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  • Using AI to Write Essays for Harvard, Yale and Princeton

Using AI to Write Essays for Harvard, Yale and Princeton

Also: Salesforce revs its VC engine in the AI race


Welcome to this today’s edition of AI KATANA, where we curate the most crucial developments and insightful conversations in the AI landscape. As we navigate through an era where AI's impact is being keenly felt across sectors, it's important to keep our fingers on the pulse. This week we look into the ethical complexities of using AI for writing college application essays, explore Salesforce's aggressive venture capital strategies in AI, delve into Apple's subtle but impactful integration of machine learning across iOS, and examine how AI is revolutionizing mental health care in the workplace. Plus, we bring you the latest updates on AI tools and venture capital investments. Whether you're an industry veteran, a student, or simply curious about the future, we've got something for everyone interested in how AI is shaping our world.


  • 📝 Using AI to Write Essays for Harvard, Yale and Princeton

  • 🦾 Salesforce revs its VC engine in the AI race

  • 🍏 How Apple is already using machine learning and AI in iOS

  • 🙂 Workers Taking Wellness Into Their Own Hands Using AI-Backed Mental Health

As high school seniors begin working on their college applications, they are increasingly turning to A.I. chatbots like ChatGPT and Bard for assistance with personal essays. While some students use these tools for topic suggestions and structural guidance, others generate entire rough drafts. Universities have yet to issue clear guidance on the ethical implications or acceptability of using A.I. for college application materials. A reporter used several chatbots to answer short essay questions for Ivy League schools and found that the A.I. often produced generic, sometimes inaccurate content. The experiments underscored that while A.I. tools can offer preliminary help, they are far from perfect and their output may require significant editing to be useful or accurate.

Salesforce is aggressively expanding its AI initiatives, leading Hugging Face's Series D funding round and significantly increasing its commitment to invest in generative AI startups. While Salesforce has been invested in AI for over a decade through products like Einstein, the rise of generative AI technologies has intensified its efforts to stay ahead in the rapidly evolving field. The company's venture arm is seen as its "secret weapon" for cultivating an ecosystem of innovative AI technologies. Although Salesforce has made over 500 venture investments since 2009, the ultimate impact of these startup investments on the company's AI capabilities remains uncertain. The tech giant plans to focus heavily on AI in its upcoming annual Dreamforce conference and is actively developing AI tech in-house while investing in external startups, both large and small, that align with its focus on responsible AI.

Apple has been quietly integrating machine learning and AI technologies across various aspects of its iOS ecosystem. Machine learning first appeared in Apple's software keyboard for predictive text and has since been incorporated into numerous features including Siri's voice and text-based queries, Photos app for image curation and facial recognition, and the Camera app for advanced image processing techniques like Deep Fusion. Apple's on-device machine learning enhances user privacy by keeping data on the device rather than relying on the cloud. Additional advancements include a Neural Engine for optimized machine learning tasks, a transformer language model for improved word prediction in iOS 17, and machine learning-driven suggestions in the new Journal app. Apple's use of AI extends beyond iOS, appearing in watchOS and potentially powering future projects like the rumored Apple Car.

As concerns about mental health in the workplace grow, AI-backed tools are emerging as a promising solution for both employers and employees. Companies like Kintsugi are developing AI technologies that can analyze voice patterns to detect signs of mental health issues in real-time, offering actionable insights and personalized care recommendations. Despite initial apprehensions about AI replacing jobs or invading privacy, studies indicate that a majority of employees are open to using AI for healthcare if it improves their overall experience. Gen Z workers, who are more willing to switch jobs if their wellness needs aren't met, are especially key to this adoption. These tools not only offer a more personalized, efficient, and affordable approach to mental healthcare but also help companies quantify the ROI of mental health programs, addressing long-standing challenges in mental health care management.

🛠️ AI tools updates

Google has launched Duet AI for Google Workspace, a set of AI tools designed to enhance productivity across Gmail, Google Docs, Meet, Sheets, and Slides. Available for a 14-day free trial, the service costs $30 per user per month for large businesses, with pricing for smaller businesses and consumers to be announced. These tools allow users to perform various tasks such as drafting resumes, creating invitations, or adding illustrations to presentations through text prompts. While over a million people have already tested Duet AI since its May debut, Google's new offering has now been made available to all 3 billion Google Workspace accounts. However, the company also cautions users that the AI's generated text should not be considered factual, highlighting the potential pitfalls of AI-generated content.

💵 Venture Capital updates

Actor and investor Ashton Kutcher's venture capital firm, Sound Ventures, recently participated in a $235 million Series D funding round for AI company Hugging Face, which is now valued at $4.5 billion. Sound Ventures, which manages over $1 billion in assets, had also raised nearly $243 million in May to invest in AI startups. Kutcher, known for his roles in "That '70s Show" and "Two and a Half Men," has a net worth of $200 million and has been a successful early-stage investor in companies like Uber, Airbnb, and Spotify.

🫡 Meme of the day

⭐️ Generative AI image of the day