The $100M humanoid

PLUS: Amazon's AI Search

Good morning human brains, welcome back to your daily munch of AI news.

Here’s what’s on the menu today:

  • Amazon Search 2.0 🔍️ 

    Job listing leak reveals Amazon is building LLMs for search.

  • AI Humanoids 🤖 

    Vancouver startup reveals AI-powered humanoid.

  • Elon talks OpenAI 🗣️ 

    Musk reveals new details from the early history of OpenAI.


Amazon’s Conversational Search 🌲 

According to an archived job listing for ML engineers, Amazon is reimagining Amazon Search to be interactive & conversational.

Picture this: you’re looking for the perfect pair of headphones… and Amazon’s bot directly gives you the ten best options based on your typical spend and colors that’ll go with the watch strap you bought last week.

Amazon is pitching these changes as a complete transformation and is looking to ship ASAP. There’s a strong chance these efforts will merge with the LLMs Amazon is building for Alexa.

Our Take: we covered Google showing off its new AI-powered Search Experience that can create buying guides from a single search recently. This is Amazon punching back.


Conversational Interfaces

Apps or services that you can interact with using plain English.

Tools like Bard and ChatGPT that understand natural language are examples of conversational interfaces.

Conversational interfaces have been around for awhile (ever interacted with a customer service bot before?), but LLM’s high level of fluency mean that these interfaces are becoming much more useful and common.


A community for bootstrapped startup founders 🌐 

Indie Worldwide is a social group and virtual incubator for bootstrapped startups. Get access to an actively moderated Slack group, members-only events, and 1-1 intros to other founders making similar money.

What you'll find at Indie Worldwide:

  • Passionate founders and indie hackers to bounce ideas off of.

  • Business partners, clients, and beta testers.

  • Motivation and support from people going through the same journey.

  • A global network impossible to create if you only meet people in your own city.


AI humanoids are here 🦾 

Vancouver startup Sanctuary AI just unveiled a generalist AI-powered humanoid. Here’s what we know:

1/ Phoenix stands tall at 5'7" & weighs 155 pounds. It can lift 55 pounds, and travel at the average human walking pace of 3mph.

2/ It has complex hands with 20 degrees of freedom, matching human dexterity to a degree we’ve never seen with humanoids before.

3/ Sanctuary deployed one of these bots at a fashion store in Vancouver. The humanoid successfully completed 110 retail-related tasks, including picking & packing, cleaning, tagging, labeling, and folding.

4/ It’s powered by Carbon Mind, an AI system the startup has been developing for years to help robots like Phoenix act like humans.

How much did it cost to cook up? $100M. The money came from both government and individual investors interested in seeing a real-life RoboCop.

The bigger picture: AI development is exciting today in part because software tends to improve exponentially. Improvements in robotics have always been a lot more linear. Bots like Phoenix might break this trend.

Life Pro Tip: be nice to your AI assistants.


Elon Musk: I’m why OpenAI exists 🤖 

In a recent interview with CNBC, Mr. Musk revealed new details from the founding story of OpenAI, then publicly flamed the org for moving away from the non-profit model.

Eight years ago, Musk & Google founder Larry Page were allegedly close buddies that would regularly dive into debates about the future of AI systems (as all good friends do). Elon was paranoid about AI safety, Larry was gung-ho.

Keep in mind: this was a time when Google Deepmind had gobbled up ~75% of the world’s finest AI talent. Completed a top Ph.D. program specializing in AI? Next stop: Google HQ.

Musk says he came up with OpenAI to counter the dangerous profit motivations of companies like Google and directly contributed $50 million to recruit the team that would eventually give us ChatGPT.

"I’m the reason OpenAI exists. I came up with the name... in the beginning, I thought this is probably a hopeless endeavor."

Elon Musk, CNBC

Now, he’s scared Microsoft will make OpenAI everything he feared and is disappointed in Sam Altman’s management for making OpenAI a for-profit corp.

Our Prediction 🔮: His ego won’t let him stay away from the red-hot AI hype wave. We say watch out for more major AI plays from Elon, especially now that he’s shifted focus away from the day-to-day management of Twitter.

Is Elon about to launch his own Billion Dollar AI org?

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AI regulation & licensing - yay or nay?


Think Pieces

Startup News

Visual Layer raised $7M to help enterprise companies manage the massive visual datasets they need to build AI models



Knowbo: customize chatbots for your website.

FlowPoint: optimize for conversions & ROI with AI.

Podsift: summaries of your favorite podcasts sent to your mail.

Moda: the platform for personalized marketing and ecom growth.


Here’s what it looks like when ChatGPT takes a job:



Until next time 🤖😋🧠