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  • ChatGPT Voice could change storytelling forever

ChatGPT Voice could change storytelling forever

Also: Meta Introduces AI Tools and Meta Verified on WhatsApp


In today's newsletter, we delve into transformative strides in the AI landscape, highlighting OpenAI’s groundbreaking ChatGPT Voice demonstration, which showcases the future of interactive storytelling through bespoke character voices. Meta unveils new AI tools for businesses on WhatsApp, enhancing customer engagement with advanced support features and the introduction of Meta Verified in several countries. Meanwhile, the FTC launches an antitrust investigation into Microsoft’s $10 billion investment in OpenAI, scrutinizing potential competition impacts. Meta faces criticism over plans to use public social media posts for AI training, with digital rights groups decrying privacy concerns. As the AI race heats up, Apple grapples with its privacy principles while lagging behind competitors in AI advancements. We also explore Google’s latest updates to its AI-powered NotebookLM app, enhancing its utility for organizing information. Lastly, South Korean startup Wrtn secures $18 million in funding to bolster its AI model access and customization services, positioning itself as a key player in the burgeoning AI market.


  • 🧙‍♀️ ChatGPT Voice could change storytelling forever

  • 🆕 Meta Introduces AI Tools and Meta Verified on WhatsApp

  • 🏛️ FTC Opens Antitrust Probe of Microsoft AI Deal

  • ⚠️ Plans to use Facebook and Instagram posts to train AI criticised

  • 🍎 How Apple Fell Behind in the AI Arms Race

OpenAI's latest video demonstration of ChatGPT Voice showcases the remarkable potential of AI in transforming storytelling by enabling the creation of unique character voices through simple voice prompts. This new iteration, built on GPT-4o and informally known as Omni Voice, represents a leap forward by processing speech natively, without the need to convert spoken input into text first. Users can expect to experience a wide range of vocal styles and emotions, as demonstrated by the AI’s ability to emulate various characters, such as a gruff lion and a squeaky mouse. These capabilities not only enhance the immediacy and versatility of interactive storytelling but also suggest broader applications like acting as a dynamic Dungeon Master in tabletop games or generating custom interactive audiobooks. With a rollout anticipated later this summer, GPT-4o voice promises to bring personalized, real-time voice interactions to a wider audience, offering a glimpse into the future of AI-driven narrative experiences.

Meta has unveiled new AI-powered tools for businesses on WhatsApp, enhancing how companies engage with customers. These tools, showcased at Meta's annual business messaging event in Sao Paulo, include AI capabilities that streamline customer support by answering frequently asked questions and suggesting relevant products. Additionally, AI-driven functionalities will aid in creating targeted ads on Facebook and Instagram to remind customers of items left in their shopping carts or to offer discounts. Meta is also introducing Meta Verified on WhatsApp in countries like Brazil, India, Indonesia, and Colombia. This service provides businesses with a verified badge, enhanced support, and the ability to manage their accounts across multiple devices, increasing trust and efficiency in customer interactions. Furthermore, a new feature allowing customers to make calls to larger businesses directly through WhatsApp is being tested, aiming to simplify complex customer service interactions.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has launched an antitrust investigation into Microsoft's $10 billion investment in OpenAI, the creator of the popular AI chatbot ChatGPT, according to people familiar with the matter. The probe, which hasn't been previously reported, is focused on whether Microsoft's involvement in OpenAI could hinder competition in the fast-growing field of artificial intelligence. The FTC has requested information from Microsoft and OpenAI in recent weeks to assess the potential antitrust implications of their deal. The investigation is in its early stages, and the FTC's information demands don't necessarily mean it will take any formal action against the companies. Microsoft said its investment complies with antitrust laws, while OpenAI stated it remains in control of its research and that the deal had been announced publicly in 2019.

Meta has come under fire from digital rights groups for its plans to use public posts and images from these platforms to train its artificial intelligence (AI) tools. The company recently informed UK and European users that, starting June 26, their publicly shared content, including posts, images, captions, comments, and Stories, will be used to "develop and improve" Meta's AI products. The European campaign group Noyb has filed complaints with 11 data protection authorities across Europe, urging them to halt the company's plans, which they deem an "abuse of personal data." Meta maintains that its approach complies with relevant privacy laws and is consistent with practices of other big tech firms. However, critics argue that Meta's opt-out process for users is misleading and shifts the responsibility to the user, with some describing it as "highly awkward." The Irish Data Protection Commission is currently investigating the matter following a complaint from Noyb.

Apple, once a pioneer in AI with early innovations like the Siri voice assistant, has fallen behind rivals Google, Microsoft, OpenAI and others in the escalating AI arms race. While Apple has made strides in AI-powered features for iPhone photos, speech recognition, and auto-correct, the company's long-standing privacy stance and walled-garden approach have hindered its ability to compete in AI against rivals that openly collect massive troves of data to train their models. Apple's 2021 hiring of former Google AI scientist Samy Bengio and acquisition of AI startups signal efforts to catch up, but overcoming the company's privacy-first ethos and aversion to cloud computing remains a challenge. As transformative AI technologies like ChatGPT emerge, Apple finds itself playing defense in a field it once led. CEO Tim Cook now faces pressure to balance Apple's privacy principles with the need to stay competitive in the fast-moving world of AI.

🛠️ AI tools updates

Google has updated its AI-powered note-taking app, NotebookLM, with new features that make it more useful for researchers, students, and anyone who needs to organize information. The app now allows users to upload Google Slides and web URLs as sources, in addition to the previously supported Google Docs, PDFs, and text files. NotebookLM also introduces a Notebook Guide feature that reads sources and creates study guides, FAQs, or briefing documents, with inline citations pointing to the user's own sources for fact-checking. The app is now powered by Google's latest large language model, Gemini 1.5 Pro, enabling it to answer questions about charts, images, and diagrams uploaded to the platform. These updates aim to make NotebookLM a more comprehensive and user-friendly tool for organizing and analyzing information, while maintaining a closed system that does not perform web searches beyond the content users add.

💵 Venture Capital updates

South Korean startup Wrtn Technologies has successfully raised $18 million in a pre-series B funding round, attracting significant investment from BlueRun Ventures and Japan's LY Corp. This marks a strategic move in the competitive AI landscape, as Wrtn aims to simplify access to various AI models and enable users to build customized services like chatbots. The company's user base has seen rapid growth, increasing from 40,000 to 2.2 million monthly active users since its launch in January 2023. Wrtn's expansion aligns with South Korea's ambitious goal to become the third-largest global player in AI and related technologies by 2030, emphasizing the development of next-generation AI solutions and domestic semiconductor usage. This funding round follows a previous $15 million series A investment in June 2023, underscoring the growing investor confidence in Wrtn's vision to lead in the consumer AI sector.

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