Robots using mouse cells to walk 🐭, ChatGPT pro 💸, massive layoffs in favour of AI 🤖, and much more!
Hi and welcome to another week of Augmented Rarity 👽
In terms of technology, this 2023 is moving too fast and I don't want to get left behind - that's what I'm trying to do with this weekly email, so let's get started! 👇
🤖 Artificial Intelligence
Last week we discussed Getty Images suing Stable Diffusion for apparently using them to train their AI-generated images.
Back in October, Shutterstock announced their partnership with OpenAI. And that was it, they were silent until this week when Shutterstock announced that their text-to-image platform in partnership with OpenAI is ready 🎉. My favourite part: there's the Shutterstock Contributor Fund, which, as the name suggests, will compensate contributors whose images have been used by the algorithm to generate images. I guess if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.
Saying that AI won't replace you anytime soon is not so credible anymore when Microsoft is laying off 10k employees when they just made a big, big deal with OpenAI. I know, I know, the layoffs are related to the upcoming economic crisis, but it's just so convenient 😩
ChatGPT pro has slowly been released for some (no official announcement yet). As an individual, I still don't see the need to pay $42/month for it… When they opened the waiting list, they asked several questions to get a reasonable price, so since I invested a few minutes of it, I expected a lower price. However, as I mainly use ChatGPT to correct my English, I would be more willing to pay for a cheaper Pro option, say $20/month.
Confession: Since the release of ChatGPT I have stopped using Deepl and Wordtune to help me with my spelling and grammar, BUT this week Deepl released an AI based beta ✍️ and they are back in the game! And yes, I’ve just used it to correct this paragraph 🤓. And the entire email.
Speculators say that Google's layoffs were also AI caused 😅. Let me explain: Area 120 is Google's incubator, and apparently they work on several projects, but only 3 make the cut. Well, there were massive layoffs in that area, and it is said that the projects that made the cut were actually AI-related 👀
🥽 Extended Reality
The layoffs at Microsoft in favour of AI are not good for the XR industry 🥽, as the AltSpaceVR (which will be shutting down in March) and MRTK (Mixed Reality Toolkit) teams have been completely shut down.
Between this, Meta’s massive layoffs and that not even the US army will be investing more on HoloLens this year , the XR industry seems to be one of the most affected this 2023.
New temporary section 👀
Thought-to-speech is also becoming a thing 🤩. Thanks to brain implants, a patient with ALS was able to speak faster than ever before, close to the way normal people speak. This was done by reading signals in the brain and displaying the words on a computer screen.
Biohybrid robots can move without being programmed thanks to mouse cells 🐭. They combine living mouse muscle cells with soft 3D-printed structures and wireless LED control chips.
I'm adding another guy to my list of tech villains. The name is Bryan Johnson, a biotech founder who is fighting ageing 👶. His project, Blueprint, aims to measure all 70+ organs in your body and then reverse the quantified biological age of each one as much as possible. He's now reduced his biological age by 5 years, but he's still a long way from his goal. You can track his progress here.
Read, watch, listen
🔗 There’s an AI for that, a huuuuge repository of AI products
🔗 AI gift assistant (tbh it didn’t work for me, but it’s a nice concept)
🔗 AI-powered Deepl, who corrected this entire email, so your eyes won't hurt from all my grammatical errors and actually helps me identify my mistakes because it highlights them… (ChatGPT is also very useful for this, as you can ask it for explanations of corrections that are still missing from Deepl).
And that's it for today!
I've added the temporary Biohacking section because I feel that Augmented Rarity is more than just XR and AI news, but everything in between the intersection of technology, design, society and the future.
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Thanks for another awesome article and "There is an AI for that" repository! 🙌