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Did OpenAI just launch an “App Store” killer?

How ChatGPT's plugins affect Apple, more about BARD and Copyright


Barun Pandey & Barun Sharma
March 24, 2023

GM! Welcome to the Status Code.

We're like a troop of monkeys, swinging through the jungle of AI updates to bring the best ones to you!

Here’s what we have for today:

  1. 🧪 Why is Google experimenting with BARD?

  2. © Did Adobe solve the problem of copyrights?

  3. 🍎 OpenAI’s “App Store” killer

(Estimated reading time: 3 minutes 45 seconds)

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Two Headlines

Two main stories of last week. If you have only ~2 minutes to spare

1/ 🧪 Google’s BARD launch

Google shipped. Finally!

This week, Google released BARD. A lightweight version of LaMDA, an LLM they introduced in May 2021.

Call me spoilt (I blame you, Sam Altman!), but I found BARD underwhelming…

To be fair, Google has said it’s an experimental version of LaMDA.

And at the expense of sounding like a conspiracy theorist, they may be dumbing down BARD on purpose.

Hear me out.

I think Google is going through the classic case of the Innovator’s Dilemma (it explains how established companies fail to innovate because of an existing business model, and smaller, less established competitors overtake them with new disruptive technologies).


So, Google is trapped!

They want to make headlines. They want to stop the OpenAI frenzy. Sundar is jealous of Microsoft’s PR.

But they don’t want their current business to take a hit either.

And BARD is difficult to monetize. Plus, it’s not cheap to run!

A Reuters report suggests it would cost Google an extra 6 billion dollars by 2024 if it responded to half of its queries with Chatbot answers.

So Google can’t catch a break. It may win the Chatbot war, but at what margins? (lol, maybe life isn’t fair)

2/ © Did we solve the problem of copyrights?

Art AI had one missile after another last week.

Here are the major updates:

  1. Runway released Gen-2 of the text-to-video generator,

  2. Adobe announced Firefly,

  3. NVIDIA announced an AI platform,

  4. Canva announces a suite of new AI tools


Runway released the Gen-2 version of their popular multi-modal Text to Video AI.

You can create a 3-second video from scratch by typing a simple text prompt.

That’s not it. It can create better and longer videos. And they have also added masking and storytelling features.

I got beautiful and promising videos after the first few tries with Gen-2! Check it Gen-2: Text to Video:  by @runwayml#ai#AIart

— Yining Shi (@yining_shi)
Mar 20, 2023

NVIDIA and Art AI Ecosystem

NVIDIA is collaborating with other Generative-AI companies to build a better ecosystem. Their CEO said that the company is focusing on two things: AI foundations and inference platforms.

And the public market loves it. CEO Jensen’s statement that “we are at the iPhone moment for AI” is resonating with them.

As a result, their stock has seen a surge of 77% this year, and Morgan Stanley predicts the surge will continue.

Adobe’s model “without stolen content”

Meanwhile, Adobe announced Firefly. The model will bring text-to-image, 3D modelling, and AI video editing features into the Adobe ecosystem.

But there’s another bold Adobe claim: a model without stolen content.

Here’s what Adobe says the sources for the model’s data are:

  • Openly licensed content

  • Copyright expired content

  • Adobe Stock

But people aren’t convinced. There are divided opinions:

  • Some say Adobe is prematurely adding Stock Photos to their model

  • Some propose a monetization model as the solution, not what Adobe is suggesting

  • Others oppose the monetization model. They say it’s infeasible to pay everyone.

One popular tweet even blamed Adobe for “taking something that should be free for the world, applying a veneer of "ethics" to it, and then bottling it and selling it.”

But, Adobe is confident.

They are also attaching an embedded tag for AI-generated content to make content distinguishable. This means a portion of the population has already consented to the use of images.

One Trend

1 trend you can pounce on. Reading time: ~1 minute 40 seconds

🍎OpenAI’s “App Store” killer

Steve Jobs made many announcements in his career. But the one in 2008 was maybe the most consequential.

The announcement of the App Store.

With 500 apps at launch, App Store was an instant success.

Developers worked day and night to create apps for the new platform. Just in four years, there were more than a million apps.

It created a new “app economy”. And by 2020, Apple claimed it paid over $155 billion to developers.

Today, the App Store is one of Apple’s biggest cash cows. It has more than 62% of the global revenue share. And there are concerns if it’s operating a monopoly.

But is it about to change?

It’s early days, but ChatGPT might have had an App Store moment.

OpenAI announced Plugins for ChatGPT.

Here’s how it will work:

  • You can go to ChatGPT’s Plugin Store and install the necessary plugins.

  • Then, you ask ChatGPT to carry out certain actions. Like “find me the cheapest flight from the USA to Mexico for 27th March?” or “give me things to do in Dubai for under $50”. ChatGPT will then use plugins to carry out actions (check the demo).

  • With that, ChatGPT is heading towards becoming a general-purpose computing platform. (folks at AdeptAI: Are you scared?)

You can see how this might replace apps in the future.

Right now, to book a flight to Mexico, you need to download a host of apps from the App Store. Then, you need to use filters in the app and pick flights that suit your needs.

But, if OpenAI pulls it off, apps may not be necessary. ChatGPT will be the interface.

You would download the necessary plugins in ChatGPT and input your requirements in the chat. ChatGPT will then use the plugins to find flights for you.

Everything in one platform. And using the plain old English language to do it!

With every new platform, there are major openings to create value. To fulfill the needs of the new users. So developers are on cloud nine. They are flocking to join the waitlist.

But, OpenAI is wary.

They are taking their time. Logan (their Dev Relations guy) says they want to assess how people use Plugins. And they want to make sure it’s not used for harm.

But one thing’s clear.

OpenAI has overnight turned ChatGPT into a platform.

It will not only be providing an informational service. But it will use the value of that information to create an ecosystem where developers create and distribute their plugins for specific use cases.

More plugins there are, the more value it generates for the users.

A network effect.

A study by nfx showed Network Effects are responsible for 70% of the value created by Tech companies since the Internet (which included just 336 companies).

OpenAI wants to use the same playbook.

But will it be The App Store killer?

🦾What happened this week?

  • Roblox launched their AI game generation tools

  • Magrathea AI released Bob, an AI assistant that simplifies data to give insight

  • Bill Gates released a paper on AI

  • Coda released their AI virtual assistant CodaAI

  • OpenAI and others released a paper about GPT and Labor Market

  • Runway released Gen-2 of their text-to-video application

  • OpenAI announced ChatGPT plugins

  • Adobe apps introduce Stability AI plugins

  • Microsoft launches Loop, a collaborative app

  • Sam Altman warns that other A.I. developers working on ChatGPT-like tools won’t put on safety limits

💰Funding Roundup

  • MVision AI receives $5.8M in post-seed funding

  • Coactive, a data-driven AI received $14M in combined Seed and Series A Funding

  • Character.AI raised $150M in recent funding making it a $1B company

  • Mercator AI, a construction intelligence platform raised $3.75M in seed funding

  • Mozilla, the browser company raised $30M for its new Mozilla.AI platform

  • Workera, a skill-intelligence platform raised $23.5M in Series B funding

  • Health AI platform Unlearn AI, raised $15M in funding

  • AI startup Coactive raises $10.4M in Series A funding

  • Yorkshire healthtech secures £1m+ new funding

🐤Tweet of the week

In the 12hrs since Bard told me it was trained on Gmail data:
-Google replies (says it's not)
-Elon Musk replies (lol)
-Google adds a 'community note' that this is a Bard error and it's not trained on Gmail
-Some ace memes
What should happen next: Real talk about training data 🧵

— Kate Crawford (@katecrawford)
Mar 22, 2023

😂 Meme of the week

That’s it for this week, folks! If you want more, be sure to follow our Twitter (@CallMeAIGuy)

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