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OpenAI teases Sora, a text-to-video modeling — the first videos are stunning.

The Future of Creativity: the next 70 years

Happy Lunar New Year!

As we roar into Q1 2024, the buzz around AI has not only persisted but intensified, with AI-related stocks in public markets soaring to record heights. Private AI companies are also starting to show strong performance, with OpenAI surpassing $2B ARR in 2024. This frenzy of market activity is typical of hype cycles, but also underscores collective acknowledgement of AI’s transformative potential.

We take the long view here at Strange.

For perspective: the Industrial Revolution changed the world in 150 years.

Today, we are about 70 years into the Information Age. If history repeats its patterns, we're right about to enter the second phase of the Information Age and its next big leap.

Creativity is a great proxy for human capital. As AI moves beyond automation into creative thinking, decision-making, and reasoning, we will see unprecedented changes in the workforce over the next few decades.

We're steering towards what we term Human Capital 3.0, mirroring the transformative periods of the Industrial Revolution and the Information Age, each marked by significant technological leaps.

Enjoy the edition.

🔥 Latest news

  • OpenAI teases Sora, their new text-to-video model capable of creating realistic videos up to a minute long.

  • OpenAI's next move could be controlling your computer: OpenAI is reportedly developing “agent software,” that will effectively take over your device and complete complex tasks on your behalf, according to The Information. OpenAI’s agent would work between multiple apps on your computer, performing clicks, cursor movements, and text typing. It’s really a new type of operating system, and it could change the way you interact with your computer altogether.

  • NVIDIA pursues $30 billion custom chip opportunity with new unit: NVIDIA is building a new business unit focused on designing bespoke chips for cloud computing firms and others, including advanced AI processors, nine sources familiar with its plans told Reuters. The Santa Clara, California-based company controls about 80% of high-end AI chip market, a position that has sent its stock market value up 40% so far this year to $1.73 trillion after it more than tripled in 2023.

  • OpenAI board chairman launches AI agent startup to elevate customer experiences: Bret Taylor, the former co-CEO of Salesforce and the current chairman of OpenAI’s board, just made his play in the rapidly growing conversational AI space with the launch of Sierra, an AI agent startup for businesses. Founded with Google’s former head of VR Clay Bavor, Sierra aims to empower enterprises with their own AI agents. The company has already raised $110 million in initial funding from multiple investors, including Benchmark and Sequoia. 

  • OpenAI hits $2 bln revenue milestone: Microsoft-backed OpenAI hit the $2 billion revenue milestone in December, the Financial Times reported citing two people with knowledge of the AI start-up's finances. OpenAI believes it can more than double this figure in 2025, based on strong interest from business customers seeking to use its technology to adopt generative AI tools in the workplace, the report said.

  • AR glasses with multimodal AI nets funding from Pokémon GO creator: Singapore-based Brilliant Labs announced its new product, Frame, a pair of lightweight AR glasses powered by a multimodal AI assistant called Noa. The glasses have captured the attention and investment of John Hanke, CEO of Niantic, the augmented reality platform behind games like Pokémon GO. Brilliant Labs declined to disclose the amount of funding it received from Hanke.

  • Sam Altman seeks trillions of dollars to reshape business of chips and AI: The OpenAI chief executive officer is in talks with investors including the United Arab Emirates government to raise funds for a wildly ambitious tech initiative that would boost the world’s chip-building capacity, expand its ability to power AI, among other things, and cost several trillion dollars, according to people familiar with the matter. The project could require raising as much as $5 trillion to $7 trillion.

🔧 Cool Tools and Experiments

  • Cohere for AI, unveiled Aya, an open-source LLM supporting 101 languages, more than twice the number of languages covered by existing open-source models

  • NVIDIA releases Chat with RTX, a tool that lets owners of GeForce RTX 30 Series and 40 Series cards run an AI-powered chatbot offline on a Windows PC

  • OpenAI tests new memory controls for ChatGPT that allows users to tell ChatGPT explicitly to remember something, see what it remembers or turn off its memory altogether

  • Generative AI platform Leonardo AI introduces an image upscaler called Universal Upscaler for reviving old photos or enhancing digital art

  • ElevenLabs introduces a new feature for voice actors to upload clones to the platform’s Voice Library, earning cash rewards each time the voice is used

  • Disney harnesses AI to bring contextual ads to streaming with its news tool Magic Words thats uses AI to analyze the mood and content of scenes in movies and shows and then allows brands to target custom ads 

  • Midjourney opened Alpha testing of their web platform for users with >1000 images, alongside a quiet announcement of a planned mobile app for the AI Image generator

💰 Latest Startup Fundings

  • 3D scanning app Polycam closes an $18M  Series A round led by Left Lane Capital with participation from Adobe Ventures, YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley and others

  • Ginger Joy, the Web3 spinoff of U.K.-based mobile developer Matchingham Games, raises £1M million ($1.26M)

  • Mindy raises $6M in a seed round led by Sequoia Capital to build an email-based AI assistant

  • Quilter, an AI-driven compiler to design chips, raises $10M from Benchmark