- Could we be “friends” with an AI?
- Large language models for every company
- Yet another idiotic attack on digital assets
What was he thinking?
A week ago, Elon Musk announced his long-awaited successor to the CEO role at Twitter, Linda Yaccarino.
It wasn’t the announcement of the replacement that caught users off guard. After all, Musk had been very transparent that the search to find a permanent CEO began immediately after he took control of the social media platform.
Musk and his current team’s progress has been remarkable since then. While there are still haters out there – those who don’t support free speech – the platform has never been better or functioned so well.
Hate speech has been dramatically reduced, the addition of community notes has been outstanding, user numbers are at record highs, and scientists that were deplatformed are now able to share their thoughts and research openly on the platform…
Which is what makes the hiring of Yaccarino such a surprise.
Yaccarino comes from NBC Universal Media, one of the major media outlets that was involved in a massive, coordinated effort to push a political narrative, censor scientists and scientific research, and spread false information that simply wasn’t evidence-based. We know this now thanks to Musk and the release of volumes of Twitter files.
Yaccarino also has strong ties to the World Economic Forum (WEF). She lists her involvement with the WEF on her LinkedIn page as the Chairman of the Taskforce of Future of Work.
For those that don’t know, the WEF is a body of unelected officials that have been programming and implementing “The Great Reset,” which is their view of how we should all live.
“They” have even written a book about it and used the pandemic as a way to accelerate their global agenda. One of the WEF’s ultimate goals is to create a world where “You’ll own nothing, and you’ll be happy.”
It’s for these reasons that those who believe in free speech and Musk’s vision are so upset. Yaccarino appears to be the antithesis of the kind of executive to hire to run Twitter. But I couldn’t help but think of reasons why a hire like this might make sense. After all, Musk is a savant; he does things with remarkable purpose, so there must be a logical reason for the hire.
There’s certainly a business explanation. Yaccarino’s most recent job was the head of global advertising and partnership. She oversaw more than $100 billion in ad sales. She should be able to start pulling in billions in new ad sales on the platform.
Or perhaps she’s a pragmatic executive who becomes what she needs to be for the role that she’s in. Maybe, deep down, she believes in freedom of speech and Musk’s vision for Twitter. Maybe she had to be a different person in the world of NBC to be successful. A mercenary of sorts, something that many executives have to deal with these days to avoid getting “canceled.”
Both are very logical explanations. Either could be true. But I couldn’t help but think that there might be something more to this bizarre development. I couldn’t help but ask the question:
Who got to Elon Musk?
If we’ve learned anything over the last three years, it’s that extremely powerful forces have had the ability to collude and control the entire mass media, bit tech, governments, elections, and “approved” narrative. I’ve lost count of how many conspiracies over the last three years turned out to be 100% true.
That kind of power has incredible reach and influence. If it can control governments, institutions, and mass media, it can most certainly control companies and individuals. And Twitter isn’t Musk’s only job.
If a threat were levied against Musk with regards to Tesla or SpaceX that would impede Musk’s ability to achieve his vision for these remarkable companies, that could certainly be enough to force Musk to “do what you’re told, or else…”
And for a genius like Musk who doesn’t care about more money but needs to live life with purpose solving immensely difficult problems, losing that ability would be worse than a slow death.
I can only hope that he’ll continue to drive Twitter’s tech and product strategy. I hope that he can navigate this transition and preserve the newfound free speech available on the platform to all, without discrimination or censorship.
Inflection AI’s product launch…
Looking for “somebody” to talk to?
Good news. Inflection AI just released its generative AI product. It’s called Pi. It stands for “personal intelligence.” And it’s a new take on what a generative AI can be used for…
Regular readers may remember Inflection AI. This is the company that was founded by LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman. He is teaming up with DeepMind cofounder Mustafa Suleyman and one of his key researchers, Karén Simonyan. That’s a powerhouse team.
It turns out Inflection AI’s vision is to create a generative AI capable of companionship. That’s what Pi is designed to do.
Unlike OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Pi isn’t designed to produce content or write software code for users. Instead, it’s trained to have human-like conversations.
The AI is available to everybody right now. Anyone can try it out at https://heypi.com/talk. Just click on the link to start a conversation.
And I have to say, Pi certainly delivers. Here’s a look at our conversation:
Pi greeted me as soon as I visited the website. Then I told the AI that I was worried about something… and it responded that it would help me work through my concerns.
I shared with Pi that I was worried about a depressed friend – and the AI prompted me to engage in a deeper conversation about the matter.
Now, I purposefully picked a “heavy” topic to demonstrate something important.
The AI was clearly designed with empathy in mind. And it constantly asks questions to keep the conversation going. Pi seems to understand the context and intricacies involved in human-level conversations and emotions.
I believe this to be a remarkable tool. Pi offers judgment-free conversations to anyone who cares to engage with it.
I know this isn’t going to be everybody’s cup of tea… But I think there’s a massive market out there for this technology.
Take, for instance, our elderly population, many of whom may be lonely. And then there’s people experiencing mental health issues. Pi could fill an important role in complete privacy. Not being able to afford a therapist or simply being too hesitant or embarrassed to do so is no longer a barrier with Pi.
And here’s the thing – the AI is available 24/7. We don’t have to set appointments with it like we would a therapist or counselor.
This is a perfect application for AI. The team is continuing to make developments to the technology so it’s more accessible and more flexible. I think Pi will gain a lot of traction quickly.
And let’s consider the implications if/when a voice element is added to this artificial intelligence. The AI could “listen” to us and “talk” us through whatever is on our mind. A product like that will be incredibly “sticky.”
My belief is that – one day – people will begin to think of these empathetic artificial intelligences as not just “tools” or software but as “friends.”
The rise of enterprise-class generative AI…
Speaking of the generative AI trend, a new company just formed that we should keep our eye on. It’s called Essential AI.
Essential AI was founded by Ashish Vaswani and Niki Parmar. If these names sound familiar, it’s because we just talked about Vaswani and Parmar last month.
These two were among the seven researchers at Google who wrote the seminal paper on generative AI in 2017. Then they both left Google to found Adept AI. We checked in on that startup last month as well.
Vaswani and Parmar are teaming up to launch yet another company. And their focus is on creating an enterprise-focused generative AI. Basically, Essential AI will provide a customized generative AI for any organization that wants it.
As we discussed on Tuesday, training generative AI models on industry-specific knowledge can be powerful. For example, Crypto.com has “Amy,” the AI trained to be knowledgeable about digital assets. More of this is around the corner.
In fact, companies could have their own customized AI for every division. There could be a generative AI for customer service… lead generation… financial management… supply chain management – you name it.
That’s because it’s not difficult to train generative AI on a company’s entire business. Most organizations already have all this data ready and available.
Essential AI hasn’t announced a specific product yet. But I’m sure the company will provide a pre-trained AI similar to ChatGPT… and then it will help organizations customize it from there. Once the core AI large language model has been developed, it won’t cost that much to add in additional company-specific training data.
What I find so interesting is that Essential AI launched with just an $8 million seed round. That’s a tiny round – especially for an AI startup in this current funding environment for generative AI companies.
That said, VC firm Thrive Capital led the investment round. Thrive was also an early investor in OpenAI. There’s some smart money at work here.
I expect we’ll see Essential AI announce its first product offering before the end of this year, as well as some pilot deployments. I expect the company will then leverage that into a nine-figure venture capital raise. That will help Essential AI launch its product and grow adoption very quickly.
In the first story, we saw how AI could drastically change our interpersonal interactions. But this technology will also make its debut in our place of work.
The White House’s crusade against crypto continues…
We’re wrapping up on a rather negative note today. The White House is now attempting to impose a 30% federal tax on all electricity usage for any form of digital asset/cryptocurrency mining.
And I’ll skip ahead and just tell subscribers what I think: This is utterly, incomprehensibly stupid.
This is yet another example of the antagonistic stance the current government has taken against the blockchain industry. And make no mistake about it – this is an attack on the entire industry.
To understand why this is so critical, we have to understand the purpose of mining within any blockchain project.
The common misconception is that mining is just a way for people to make money on digital assets. But that’s not the case of all.
The purpose of mining is literally to provide the physical infrastructure, the computational power and storage, to run a given blockchain network. The digital assets that are “mined” are simply the economic incentive to do so. Let’s use Bitcoin as an example here…
Thousands of specialized servers compete to mine each new “block” on the Bitcoin blockchain. As part of that process, each of these machines validates every single transaction that happens on the Bitcoin blockchain. That means these machines trace each Bitcoin back to its origin – looking at how every single transaction that Bitcoin (or fraction of a Bitcoin) was involved in.
The Bitcoin miners provide both the security and the network infrastructure for the blockchain network to function. This process also ensures that nobody can spoof transactions or spend the same Bitcoin twice.
The fact is, the Bitcoin blockchain would not work without the miners. The electricity is not used for the benefit of speculators. It is a necessary input to maintain a distributed and decentralized network, the very foundation of the next version of the internet.
And that’s why this new proposed tax is so bad. If the tax drives the miners away, the blockchains they were mining could potentially fail. And that may very well be the intention of the White House.
Of course, the White House is positioning this tax as an environmental issue. They are talking up the fact that crypto mining consumes a lot of electricity.
And that’s true… But guess what? Cryptocurrency mining doesn’t consume any more electricity than the world’s top social media and video streaming platforms.
The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance estimates that Bitcoin mining – the largest crypto mining application – consumes 121 terawatt-hours of electricity each year.
Meanwhile, the world’s top 10 social media networks consumer roughly 107.25 megawatt hours of electricity every single minute.
That means our social media networks consume 56.4 terawatt-hours of electricity each year. That’s because it requires massive data centers to propagate these networks.
Then what if we looked at the electricity consumption required to run the world’s top streaming services like Netflix? We would arrive at a number that’s almost certainly greater than 121 terawatt-hours’ worth of electricity consumption a year.
To that end, the Shift Project put out a report in 2019 that estimated Netflix alone accounted for nearly 15% of global internet bandwidth.
So we have to ask – should Netflix and the social media companies have to pay a 30% tax on their electricity usage as well?
Of course, that would never happen. As we’ve learned from the Twitter files, the White House and numerous government agencies controlled and colluded with the social media platforms to push political narrative. Therefore, “they” wouldn’t want to risk damaging these companies in anyway. If anything, “they” want these companies to become even stronger with wider reach.
But digital money is a different story. The U.S. money wants to control any form of money. So if I had to speculate, this is yet another attempt to put a “freeze” on the industry while the federal government puts the infrastructure in place for a digital version of the U.S. dollar.
As I’ve predicted before, I believe we’ll learn a lot more about the government’s plans for the digital dollar in the summer months.
Editor, The Bleeding Edge