I Spent a Week With Gemini Pro 1.5—It’s Fantastic, AI and the Vision Pro Don’t Need a Killer App, and More

Everything we published this week

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Hello, and happy Sunday! 

ICYMI, you can listen to Evan’s latest essay if you prefer audio to text. Like and subscribe to Every on Spotify so you can get our essays in your feed, and let us know what you think in the comments.

Here’s everything we published this week, along with our take on the latest tech and business news.

Our stories

“I Spent a Week With Gemini Pro 1.5—It’s Fantastic” by Dan Shipper/Chain of Thought: Google’s new AI model is a fundamental evolution in capabilities for LLMs. It has a gigantic context window with a 99 percent accuracy—solving a lot of complaints people have with the system. Read this if you want to understand the implications (hint: They’re staggering). 

“AI and the Vision Pro Don’t Need a Killer App” by Evan Armstrong/Napkin Math: Everyone is hunting for the killer app—software so good that it justifies the purchase of new hardware. But the new tech platforms of AI and virtual reality may not even need a killer app. This isn’t a matter of semantics: Whoever gains power in the platforms of the future will garner more power than we’ve ever dreamed. Read this for an in-depth analysis of what kind of companies are best positioned to win. 🎧 Listen to an audio version of this essay on Spotify.

🎧 “She’s Running a Business, Writing a Book, and Getting a Ph.D.—With ChatGPT” by Dan Shipper/Chain of Thought: Anne-Laure Le Cunff’s profession is making you feel bad about yourself. Well, not exactly, but she is writing a book, getting a Ph.D., and running a business simultaneously (what have you done today?). To do all that she does, she uses ChatGPT as an intellectual power-up. Watch this episode of How Do You Use ChatGPT? if you want to see one of the most productive people we know crush life using AI. 🔏 Paid subscribers have access to Dan’s exclusive analysis of the episode and the transcript.

“How to Use ChatGPT to Set Ambitious Goals” by Rhea Purohit/Chain of Thought: Have you completely failed at achieving your new year's goals? Us too. Thankfully Dr. ChatGPT is available to help. This article provides a step-by-step guide from Dr. Gena Gorlin on how to use ChatGPT for self-improvement. Read this if you want to use ChatGPT to actually change your life for the better.

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Chain of links

Anthropic gets funky: Foundational models like GPT4 or Claude cost billions to develop. For these companies, an interesting dance partner has emerged—cloud providers. Firms like AWS or Azure will offer foundation models compute credits in exchange for equity. Then, thanks to U.S. accounting law, they can recognize those compute credits as revenue. Even weirder, these companies are frenemies that are developing competing products. The New York Times had an interesting piece about how Anthropic’s deal was structured. This quote made me cackle: “Google’s investment in Anthropic is separate from the start-up’s agreement to use its cloud services, said Daniel Gabis, a Google spokesman. They have ‘always been separate,’ he said.” Lol, sure, bud. 

New chip, who dis. A wild demo dropped from a startup building custom chips called Groq that proclaimed spooky-fast results. Semiconductors, whether they are Nvidia’s GPUs, Google’s TPUs (tensor processing units), or some other offering, are going to be a major story in AI going forward. Pay attention to where the power will flow. 

What are white people? Google released its latest LLM, Gemini 1.5, and the advances are pretty incredible (I reviewed it in depth). The internet noticed that the image generation part of the system was unable to generate images of white people. Predictably, X went insane with accusations of 1984, censorship, etc. Look, I’m not saying what happened is good. But I don’t think it matters—no one remembers the Sydney/Bing fiasco from last year, when Microsoft’s chatbot went off the rails and declared its love for New York Times columnist Kevin Roose. This is a bump in the road, not the end.

Gemma opens up. Google also released an open-source model, Gemma, to compete with Mistral and Meta’s Llama models. It is a remarkable pace of shipping for a company that seemed to let its foot off the gas over the last year. —Dan Shipper and Evan Armstrong

The napkin math

Porn goes public. Well, more specifically, Reddit is going public. I’ll publish a much more in-depth analysis soon, but one remarkable fact from the S-1 is that roughly 25 percent of the website is adult content—the largest percentage of any public company that I can find. 

So, so many emails. Substack announced it reached 3 million paid subscriptions. Assuming an average ARPU of $100 and a 10 percent take rate, the company is likely making about $30 million a year in annualized recurring revenue. Not bad!

The power law is the only law of the internet. I’ve been saying this for years and will continue to cite examples. The latest is gaming company Roblox, which enables creators to make games within their own platforms. The company paid $740.8 million to over 12,000 game creators in 2023. Approximately 3,500 creators earned over $10,000, and about 750 earned over $100,000. I’m willing to bet that even among that 750, about 100 or so make the majority of the money. —Evan Armstrong

The examined life

Drink a cup of LiberTEA. My friends and I can’t stop playing Helldivers 2 on PlayStation5 and PC. The game is a co-op shooter that drops you onto a planet populated by massive bugs. It is so fun! Highly recommend it if you have a few evenings to kill (no pun intended). Sometimes the examined life means you are thoroughly brain dead and need to do nothing productive. 

Source: Arrowhead Game Studios.

Write out your thoughts. Our resident designer, artist, and all-around talented guy Lucas Crespo has been going viral on X for his ideas about software companies making hardware. Our favorite this week was the Notion pen, which automatically syncs and imports all your handwritten notes into your Notion pages. —Evan Armstrong

Source: Lucas Crespo/X.

That’s all for this week! Be sure to follow Every on X at @every and on LinkedIn.

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@radicallypracticalgravity 4 months ago

Well done "Chain of links" and "The napkin math."

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