AI Insider No. 37

Hey, AI Insiders! Hope all’s well in your universe. In the AI universe, lawsuits are dropping like bugs in version 1.0 of an app. (Sorry, ChatGPT wrote that.) Read on to get caught up on the legal brouhaha. And DIY AI is back this week. Time to learn something new. Yay! If you like what you see, feel free to drop something in the tip jar

(Dall-E 3)

As the AI Lawsuits Turn

By Michelle Johnson and ChatGPT, AI Insider

Elon Musk, purveyor of the Hellscape Formerly Known as Twitter (and that fancy car), is suing OpenAI and its CEO Sam Altman, purveyor of ChatGPT, alleging that OpenAI dropkicked its founding pledge not to put profit ahead of developing AI for the good of humanity.

Well then, shouldn’t we be suing almost every damned company for putting profit above people? Sorry, I’ve digressed. Let’s get back to the point of this post.

Anywho, what does Musk have to do with OpenAI? A little background: Musk is actually a founder of OpenAI. Financially, he’s in to the tune of about $44 million. Back when he and Sam were deep in the throes of a tech bromance, they would get together and pontificate about how open-source, non-profit AI would change the world. And furthermore, how someone needed to stop the evil for-profit Google from being the leader in developing AI. 

So, they collaborated on OpenAI. Eventually, they had a falling out over the profit vs non-profit question. Microsoft then stepped up with big bucks, and here they all are today, enriching the for-profit legal eagles.

Meanwhile, you may recall that the New York Times is suing OpenAI for copyright infringement, alleging that ChatGPT was illegally trained on Times content and that it spits out plagiarized copy. This week, OpenAI fired back with its own lawsuit, saying that the Times “hacked” ChatGPT to generate results that looked like plagiarism.

And, if this isn’t enough, the FTC is investigating Altman, digging into that saga a couple of months ago when he was fired and then rehired, looking to see if he misled investors.

Back to Musk, tho. His lawsuit also claims that OpenAI has achieved the holy grail: Artificial General Intelligence, and that they’ve accomplished this in cahoots with big ol’ Microsoft. “OpenAI, Inc. has been transformed into a closed-source de facto subsidiary of the largest technology company in the world: Microsoft,” according to the lawsuit.

If you’ve ever wondered about Sam Altman and why he’s pushing ahead on AI so hard, check out this document that I recently came across from 2021. Titled “Moore’s Law of Everything,” it lays out a possible vision of a future when AI has taken over everything, drastically transforming the economy, making most jobs obsolete, and freeing humanity to pursue creative endeavors while AI makes all of us rich. Under this scenario, every citizen gets a guaranteed income.

If you don’t have time to read this, here’s how ChatGPT describes it: “It’s like if capitalism and socialism had a baby, it would be a society where the market drives innovation and wealth creation, but there’s a strong safety net and public services ensuring everyone has access to healthcare, education, and a decent standard of living. This blend aims to harness the strengths of both systems: the efficiency and dynamism of capitalism with the equity and community focus of socialism.”

Scroll to the bottom of this essay, and you’ll find some high-profile names attached that appear to be in agreement with this AI world, according to Altman.

Whether you see this all as science fiction or soap opera, you have to admit these are interesting times, my friends.

As we go about our business asking bots to generate resumes, work memos, and images of a cat wearing a suit, there may be some hidden agendas at play. The future may not be: “AI annihilates us all.” What if it leads to future generations getting a permanent vacation from work that comes with a paycheck? 


Microsoft Launches Copilot Tutorial Site

By Perplexity for AI Insider

Microsoft announced the launch of Copilot Lab, a new resource that features training videos, ready-made prompts, and other resources for Copilot users. While it’s primarily focused on Copilot for Microsoft 365 (the online versions of Word, Excel, etc.), there are also tips for using the chatbot in Windows 11 and the Edge web browser, as well as general tips that apply to any chatbot.

Key Features of Copilot Lab

Instructional videos: Users can watch videos that explain the basics, including “Meet Copilot,” “What you can do with Copilot,” and “Start using Copilot.”

Example prompts: The site offers example prompts that demonstrate the range of tasks Copilot can assist with across various Microsoft 365 apps, such as creating a quiz in OneNote, writing an email in Outlook, and adding an image in PowerPoint.

Prompt writing tutorial: The “art of prompting” section provides a toolkit and articles that explain how to get the best results from a prompt, which can be useful for any chatbot user.

The site also includes a section to help users sort out the various versions of Copilot that are available for work and home use and how to subscribe.

Ideogram was first out of the gate with reliable text generation. (Ideogram)

AI Image Generator Ideogram Officially Launched

By Michelle Johnson, AI Insider

A few months back, I wrote about a new AI image generator that could accurately create text. That was rare and apparently hard to do back in August 2023, so when Ideogram started dropping properly spelled text into images, the company generated quite a bit of buzz. 

Well, mostly properly spelled text. It was a work in progress but far ahead of anything else out there. They were all spitting out text gibberish.

As I wrote then, “If Ideogram nails the text thing, they might be able to stand out in that crowd. Well, at least until the others fix it. And you can best bet they are working on it.”

They did work on it, and most image generators can handle text these days, albeit the accuracy and quality vary. So maybe two of four images pass the spelling test. The rest is still gibberish.

Meanwhile, Ideogram has moved on, tweaked the beta, and officially released version 1.0 this week. In addition to text generation, pundits have been praising Ideogram’s “prompt adherence.” Meaning how accurately it generates exactly what you ask it for.

Version 1.0 features something called “Magic Prompt” that automatically creates more detailed prompts to improve its output. (Adobe Firefly has a similar feature.)

On Wednesday, the Toronto-based startup launched by former Google developers, announced that they raised $80 million in new funding. That’s on top of the $16.5 million they previously snagged.

One of the things that we don’t like about Sam Altman’s vision of a future transformed by AI (see above) is that it’s so focused on the US. There’s not much acknowledgment or concern about how things play out internationally. For some perspective, see this piece. Al Jazeera asks experts: Could AI deepen inequalities in the world?

(LTX Studio)

There’s been a lot of yammering about generative video being the breakout of 2024. OpenAI dropped jaws recently with an eye-popping teaser of its Sora video generator. This week, a company called Lightricks unleashed a full-blown AI-powered video generation studio that isn’t just about pushing out realistic-looking clips.  LTX Studio will generate a script and storyboard with scenes organized as shots. Users can specify camera angles, motion scale, and special effects, add and remove characters, change locations, and a lot more. All by just typing in what they want. Yes, there’s a waitlist.

Despite the fact that several AI news startups have already bitten the dust, a couple of Former Twitter engineers are building Particle, an AI-powered news reader, backed by $4.4M. Check out Particle’s newsreader and join the waitlist here:

Adobe Research is showing off a new AI-powered tool that can generate and edit music. If you’ve struggled to learn audio editors like Adobe Audition, or you have a hit tune that lives in your head but you have zero musical ability, this one’s for you. How does generating tunes with a text prompt work? Watch this video demo. It’s pretty cool.

A humanoid robot at work. (Figure)

There was some buzz this week about OpenAI partnering with Figure, a startup in the robotics space. Figure envisions AI models from OpenAI running the humanoid robots it’s developing. Humanoid robots are what the name implies: They can mimic human movements, interactions, and expressions. They are great at doing repetitive tasks in commercial environments. Figure released this video of one at work. 

Did you know Venus Williams’ talents extend to interior design? She’s launched a company offering an AI assistant that will help you redesign your spaces. Details at

Venus Williams is co-founder of Palazzo, an AI interior design service. (Screenshot)

DIY AI: Make a Talking Avatar on Canva

By Michelle Johnson, AI Insider

Do you use Canva? If you do, have you ever clicked on that “Apps” icon in the left-hand menu? If you haven’t, you may not have seen some of the AI-powered add-ons available in both the free and paid versions of this program that helps you make everything from newsletters to social media posts. Let’s fix that with this week’s tutorial. 

The Assignment: Create a talking avatar using the “HeyGen AI Avatars” app in Canva.

Here’s an example:

To get started, you’ll need a Canva account. Sign up for one, or log in if you’re already there. (Note: You’ll also need a HeyGen account, but we’ll get to that later.)

Step 1:

(Click images to enlarge.)

Step 2:

Step 3: Once you’ve opened the interface for HeyGen, you will see options for adding an avatar, choosing a voice, and more. Take a few minutes to review the options. Look for the “See all” links to show more options under various sections.

Step 4:

Step 5:

Step 6:

Step 7:

Reflect and Share: If we are Facebook friends, post your video on Facebook and tag me so I can see what you’ve created. And share with friends and family to show off what you’ve learned!

Extra Credit: Scroll through the other AI-related apps, pick one, and try it out. The best way to learn is by doing when you’re not on a deadline. Have fun!

Aht Gallery

With Spring approaching, thoughts turn to budding trees, blooming flowers, and buzzing bees. Personally, I also think about that crazy Black Mirror bee episode. As an homage to truly terrifying TV, I asked Midjourney to envision robotic bees. Although, the one with the pointy butt is probably a wasp. Michelle Johnson

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