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AI Kills the Video Star 🎸📺




January 30, 2024



In this week’s What’s Appening, we get in the ring with Guns N’ Roses. The rockers have used AI in a new music video release for “The General”, and the results are somewhat spectacular. GNR isn’t alone in using AI to create visuals, as controversial rapper Kanye West has also dabbled in the technology for his song “Vultures”. The videos have caused debate in AI’s role in art, and we report on how some artists are fighting back. In other news, big things are expected from iOS 18, and we report on how OpenAI is a step closer to a universal assistant. Our Stat of the Week looks at BeReal DAUs. And What’s dAppening reports from Mexico, where crypto is revolutionizing 5G internet access.

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Takes 🎬

🎵📽️ AI – Music Videos Draw Praise & Criticism for Role in Art

Both Guns N’ Roses and Kanye West have released new music videos that are, at least in part, created by AI. GNR’s video for “The General”, in particular, is drawing a lot of praise, showcasing what AI can do to create stunning visuals and blend real concert footage with comic book stylings. Ye’s video for Vultures is somewhat more controversial; no surprises there. Nonetheless, the videos act as a reminder of the growing debate over AI’s role in the arts. It’s a bit too simplistic to say that AI is anti-art. Indeed, you should check out this TIME magazine piece on how artists have been using AI to make “impossible” music, even using the tech to foster access and inclusivity. That said, not everyone is happy with the ‘process’ – the training of AI on artistic data – rather than the final outcome. Is there a fightback on the cards? Enter Nightshade, which has seen over 250K downloads since its release six days ago. Nightshade ‘poisons’ data so AI can’t learn from it, at least without consent. Another called Glaze had over 2.3 million downloads last year. The creators of the ‘poisons’ say they aren’t trying to bring down AI but rather a means of getting artists paid for their work. This idea of artists’ consent and remuneration is going to be a hot-button topic in the coming years. #AIArt Read more here.

🍏📲 Apple – Report Claims that iOS 18 Update Will Be “Biggest Ever”

“I’m told that the new operating system is seen within the company as one of the biggest iOS updates — if not the biggest — in the company’s history.”. So says Mark Gurman, noted Apple reporter. There are no guesses for why Gurman is making such a claim, as Apple is expected to (finally) get serious about adding AI capability to its devices. Gurman believes generative AI will come to Siri and Messages, as well as other Apple applications like Xcode and Apple Music. However, while Gurman is a good source for Apple leaks, we won’t know for sure until the update is unveiled. The details of iOS 18 will be announced at WWDC 24 in June. We’ll keep you posted, of course. #BiggestEverIOS Read more here.

🤖🗣️ GPTs – OpenAI Moves a Step Closer to a Universal Assistant

OpenAI is currently testing a new feature in beta. @GPT is essentially a tool for multi-GPT conversations. Why is this important? Well, if we consider the premise of GPTs being specialized microservices, @GPT will allow you to combine them for a conversation. Imagine being a stock trader and conversing with a bunch of GPTs – one an expert in macroeconomics, another in technical analysis of stocks, and another global supply chains. The GPTs can converse with you and each other, even debate among themselves to come up with a final decision on your stock trade. It is being framed as a step closer to OpenAI’s vision of a Universal Assistant. #@GPT Read more here.

🗞️ The Best of the Rest: Other News in Brief

🔎 Arc Redefines Search with “Browse for Me”. Arc Search, a new iOS app, wants to redefine how we use search engines.  Effectively, instead of throwing up a bunch of links, it creates a webpage based on your query. See the story in The Verge here.

🧪 Someone let Elon Musk Put a Microchip in their Brain. The first human trials for Neuralink have taken place, with the patient recovering from the procedure. We don’t know whether to be scared or impressed. The full story is here.

🤼‍♂️ Netflix Signs $5 Billion Deal with WWE. Netflix is pushing ahead with plans to get into live events with a massive deal to show WWE wrestling programming. Unfortunately, it looks like it is also taking away its cheapest ad-free plan. Stories are here and here.

🚘 Apple’s Self-Driving Cars Are Delayed Again. Apple has been teasing the idea of self-driving cars for years, but it has pushed back the release to 2028 at the earliest. What’s more, a lot of the autonomous features are also being dialed back. The story is here.

🧐 Stat of the Week: 23M DAUs

📈📸 BeReal – Authentic Social Media App Pushes Into Brands and Celebs

We have to admit we were quite surprised to learn that BeReal – the social media app that urges you to, well, be real – is still growing at a steady clip, with a reported 23 million daily active users. Moreover, the platform is now engaged in a big push to bring celebrities, brands, and influencers onto the app. It’s an important step, as BeReal now has to prove it’s more than a one-trick pony by keeping those users engaged. #RealGoodNumbers Read more here.

🕸️ What’s dAppening?

🛜🪙 Telefónica – Telecoms Giant Launches Crypto-Backed Mobile Hotspots in Mexico

Telefónica, one of the world's leading internet providers, has teamed up with Helium Mobile to offer 5G hotspots across Mexico. Helium Mobile is a Solana-powered project that creates a decentralized wireless internet network. In essence, users run the hotspots from their homes or businesses, and they earn crypto tokens as an incentive for sharing their internet connection with strangers. We’ve been tracking Helium Mobile for a while (it went live in the US in 2023), as it is the perfect example of the web3 decentralized ethos, lowering costs for providers and incentivizing users to expand access. Keep an eye on this one. #DecentralizedHotSpots Read more here.

Meanwhile at 3Advance...

What if we told you 2024 was the year voice really took over? For years we’ve been wishing for Alexa and Siri to get better, and finally, we think they will. Just check out our take on Apple’s iOS 18 rumors above. At 3Advance, we’re getting serious too. This month we kicked off our first AI voice app project, using text-to-speech offerings from WellSaid Labs, who we covered last week in What’s Appening. Not only can we choose between some real life voices to read scripts back to users, but we are now developing apps that allow your own voice to speak back to you! This might seem weird to some, but there is huge potential here, specifically when it comes to wellness and mindfulness. This has only just become possible with advances in Generative AI, but the results are fascinating. If you want to talk about how you can use speech and voice in your apps, just ask. And of course, look out for the release of Self Speak in the Spring! 😉 For now though, check out our blog on how conversational apps will revolutionize mobile user experience.

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