May 21, 2024 PCs get a photographic memory

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Deeper Learning

Written by Aaron O’Leary with Sarah Wright.

Hey folks! This week turned out to be almost as action-packed as last week with Microsoft following up on OpenAI’s GPT-4o announcement. We won’t delay… let’s go deeper.


An always-on, AI-powered web developer

Last week’s most upvoted AI product was Wegic. Imagine you had a 24/7 web developer by your side, ready to whip up any site your imagination can muster within a few seconds. That’s kind of the gist of it.

Chat-based interface: Building your site with Wegic all takes place in a Chat-GPT style interface. Once you boot it up, Wegic’s assistant named “Kimmy“ will ask you what kind of site you want to build while providing some examples like “An NFT site“ or a “Real Estate marketplace.“ From there, you can type in whatever prompt you want and Kimmy will get to work.

The latest model: Wegic launched right as OpenAI dropped its latest model, GPT-4o. Naturally, the makers immediately jumped on it and swapped out the old model for the new. The difference, especially when compared to other offerings, is primarily around speed and understanding. It easily understood my instruction to build a “gen-z aesthetic real estate marketplace with a newsletter sign-up form.“

Multilingual from the get-go: One of the most underrated abilities of AI is its ability to understand nearly every modern human language out there. That’s powerful, especially when we incorporate it into products. The team made sure to do so with Wegic, meaning it can understand and generate sites in hundreds of languages.

Writing updates about your project shouldn’t get in the way of shipping your project. Now there’s an AI solution to clear the way for your most important work — Loom AI workflows.

Record a video, then watch as Loom AI automatically creates a share-ready doc from your transcript. File a Jira or Linear ticket, write an SOP, or document your code in just a click. Use the time you save to hit your deadlines.

It’s all part of Loom’s master plan to give you more time to focus on what counts – shipping. Save time and ship faster with Loom AI workflows.


👩‍🦰 Her, no more: Scarlett Johansson isn’t very happy with OpenAI apparently using her likeness to craft the sound of the GPT-4o personal assistant. The “her” actress released a statement saying she was approached for permission but ultimately refused.

🗣️ Better prompts: Have you ever heard of chain-of-thought prompting? It’s kind of like when a teacher asks you to show your work. Rather than say “Jane has 10 eggs, she buys 3 cartons of 6, how many does she have now?“ You would say “Jane has 10 eggs, she buys 3 cartons of 6, how many does she have now? Explain the steps you took to generate an answer.“ Ideally, it will lead to more in-depth prompts that are easier to test for accuracy.


Could Microsoft’s new AI-enabled laptops challenge the Macbook Air?

Microsoft is making a major push to integrate AI into laptops with the new Copilot+ PC line. Announced at yesterday’s Build event, the new Windows laptops will have built-in AI hardware and native AI software features. CEO Satya Nadella announced that partners, including Dell, Lenovo, Samsung, HP, Acer, and Asus, will offer these models alongside two new Surface devices from Microsoft.

These advancements are powered by neural processors in the laptops, enabling features like "Recall," which uses AI to create a searchable photographic memory of all activities on the PC and allowing them to run over 40 different AI models, including OpenAI’s GPT-4o model, which dropped last week. Microsoft’s own Copilot software is also getting an update by being able to run GPT-4o.

Yusuf Mehdi, a Microsoft executive overseeing Windows, claims these laptops will be 58% faster than a MacBook Air with an M3 processor and offer all-day battery life. The first Copilot+ PCs will launch on June 18th with Qualcomm processors, with Intel and AMD models to follow later, and will start at $999.


Last week we asked: “Who won this AI round, Google or Open AI?”

You voted: OpenAI

This week, we’re wondering…

Will Microsoft's GPT-4o-enabled PCs pull customers from Apple?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.


“Why is Perplexity such a big deal? idk anyone who uses it!”

Ask Kitty is where we answer your questions about AI. Today’s question was submitted by @iamjasonlevin and was voted on in last week’s newsletter.

Looking for information on Perplexity? You’re not the only one. Just look at Google results for “perplexity” over the last year.

If Perplexity isn’t familiar to you yet, don’t worry. The search startup was only founded in 2022 and its growth has been rapid in the last year. Perplexity raked in 52.4 million visits in March 2024 (across 10 million users), up 2.2 million visits from December 2022. The 55-person startup became a unicorn just last month (April 2024) after raising $63M, valuing the company at more than $1 billion. Recent backers include Daniel Gross (Founder/Investor), Garry Tan (YC), and Dylan Field (Figma) not to mention early investment from Jeff Bezos and Nvidia.

Another reason you might not have heard of Perplexity until recently is simply that its top competitors are household names, namely Google and ChatGPT. And it’s hard to stand out as a search tool when that’s the case. The former has a brand name that is literally equitable to search (“google it”) and the latter (OpenAI) is far more capitalized, even as a startup, with $11.3B in funding and Microsoft at its side.

What Perplexity does differently: The “answer engine”

So, Perplexity may be an underdog, but it’s playing the job well.

First of all, the founders have a lot of experience that combines know-how across various markets. CEO Aravind Srinivas worked as a research scientist at OpenAI, President Andy Konwinski previously co-founded Databricks, and CTO Denis Yarats was an engineer at Quora along with CSO Johnny Ho — and that’s only touching on the key points of each founder’s accomplishments.

The team has not shied away from taking on Google, with its bark or its bite (the product). Let’s tackle the product stuff first.

Perplexity positions itself as an “answer engine,” not a “search engine”. The term refers to how Perplexity responds to your question with detailed answers. Unlike Google, you don’t have to dig through links to find an answer to your query (and wonder if you’ve been manipulated by ads or optimized content) – you’re given an answer in easy-to-understand sentences. That sounds like ChatGPT, but unlike ChatGPT, you aren’t just left with a paragraph of text and no way to tell if the answer is legit. Perplexity provides sources with its answers. You can check the work or dig in more directly yourself, or you can chat back to the bot to keep getting more answers. This part, and the ability to revisit past queries, is also similar to ChatGPT.

Perplexity has a freemium model. Free accounts are based on a combination of its own model and GPT-3.5, while paid Pro accounts let you access more models, such as GPT-4 Turbo and Claude 3 Sonnet.

About that “bark” we mentioned… The Perplexity team is taking Google head-on and being vocal about how its features contrast with Google. Last week, days after Google announced a bunch of updates to its Search, CEO Aravind Srinivas threw punches at the tech giant. At a speaking event with Fast company, Srinivas poked at Google’s addition of “AI Overviews” to certain search results, saying …[Y]ou’re not exactly sure what’s going to happen when you type in a query on Google anymore, it actually makes the product worse.” He went on to say, “People don’t like it when it’s a cluttered UI…. There’s ads, there’s panels, there’s links, all sorts of things in one single UI; it’s pretty complicated.”

Why Google will be hard to beat

Despite Srinivas’s comments, Google’s announcements still caused plenty of people to speculate that Perplexity won’t be able to cut it.


For Work

  • Smartli is an AI-powered marketing tool built for e-commerce.

  • UserCall lets you talk to hundreds of users instantly with the help of AI.

  • Equals just launched an update to make analysis and reporting even easier. 

For Life

  • Narafy is an AI-powered note-taking tool that’s centered around tags. 

  • Lune AI is a language-learning tutor, powered by AI that lives in your pocket. 

  • Magic Bookshelf uses AI to create bedtime stories where your kid is the star.

For Developers

  • TestSprite is an automated, end-to-end testing solution for AI products. 

  • Glitter AI is a tool that uses AI to transform speech into documentation

  • Jovu is an AI tool that generates production-ready code.

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