Fake Friends

AI agents are coming but they still have a way to go

🕵️🧠🤖 AI agents, or copilots, are being hyped all over the media. These are complex AI programs that are automated to complete tasks. While there is a lot of talk about this, I wanted to introduce the topic and encourage you to pay attention to industry news.

Thank you for subscribing; it means a lot to me. Enjoy this week’s edition.

Sentiment Analysis

Last month, New York Times columnist Kevin Roose spent a month hanging out with 18 A.I. companions. They critiqued his clothes, chatted, and hinted at a different future. It’s a fascinating read.

Intelligent assistants, or AI agents, have tremendous potential to streamline our workflows and improve our productivity. However, I am against these characters being too human-like (this is called anthropomorphism, the attribution of human characteristics or behavior to a god, animal, or object).

It makes people consider themselves peers rather than tools to help improve our lives. Anyhow, this issue is just the tip of the iceberg. I will explore it further next month, but I think it’s a topic worth paying attention to.


Generative AI News, Tips, and Apps

  • Nvidia Becomes the World’s Biggest Company - Chip-maker Nvidia became the world’s most valuable company after its share price climbed to an all-time high on Tuesday. It is now worth $3.34 trillion, having nearly doubled since the start of this year. The stock ended the trading day at nearly $136, up 3.5%, making it more valuable than fellow tech giant Microsoft. It overtook Apple earlier this month. Ironically, Nvidia’s biggest concern is that companies, including hyper scalers, will have enough data center space and space with power to run their powerful chips used to run AI infrastructure. Nvidia says its latest Blackwell chip is 25 times more energy efficient than Hopper, its predecessor.

  • Runway ML Gen-3 Alpha - This new text-to-speech value is the first of an upcoming series of models trained by Runway on a new infrastructure built for large-scale multimodal training. It is a major improvement in fidelity, consistency, and motion over Gen-2 and a step towards building General World Models (systems that understand the visual world and its dynamics). I’ve been using Runway a lot lately and have been severely impressed by its capabilities. This newest model is being touted as being as capable as Open AI’s Sora model, which was turning heads earlier this year with its hyperrealistic videos.

  • Apple Intelligence Won’t Work on Hundreds of Millions of iPhones - Apple has announced Apple Intelligence, an AI integration for iPhones, Macs, and iPads, coming later this year. However, it will only be available on iPhone 15 Pro/Pro Max and recent Apple Silicon Macs, likely due to the need for dedicated AI hardware like Neural Processing Units (NPUs) and sufficient RAM. While some AI features may work on older devices, as demonstrated by a hobbyist getting Microsoft's Copilot+ features running on unsupported hardware, the most advanced generative AI capabilities will likely remain exclusive to the latest Pro models with NPUs. The full extent of Apple Intelligence's features and device compatibility will be revealed with the release of iOS 18 in September.

Feature Story

Fake Friends: AI agents are Coming, but they still Have a Way to Go

"Champagne for my real friends, real pain for my sham friends."

Sorry, ever since I saw Spike Lee’s 25th Hour with Edward Norton 22 years ago, I have been trying to work that into my writing. Achievement unlocked 🏆🔓.

Have you ever had a friendship go sour?

An employee that could never get with the program?

Or a job you couldn’t fill?

In the future, these issues may be resolved using digital avatars trained to match our preferences. Though I am not suggesting we dump our social circle for a hunky avatar on Character.AI or try to get ChatGPT to mow our lawn, that’s the direction we are heading.

With AI, technology isn't just that shiny new toy we adapt to. Nope, it's something that adapts to us. Eventually, we’ll have a team of capable assistants without the need for paid time off and, at some point, complete competence in their tasks.

AI agents are autonomous, intelligent systems that perform specific tasks without human intervention. Organizations use AI agents to achieve specific goals and more efficient business outcomes.

Also, we are on the cusp of this today, but in my experience, it’s still got a way to go.

The Evolution of Tech: From Adaptation to Transformation

We centered our lives around technology in the good old days (read: a few years ago). New app interface? Better learn it. Updated software? It's time to change our habits. But now, technology is shifting. It's becoming more "human" in its interactions, more intuitive, and essentially, it's turning us into the superheroes of our own stories.

Think about it. We’re talking about generative AI that crafts scripts and images so realistic you'd swear people created them. Spatial computing blurs the lines between the physical and digital realms, allowing us to operate in multiple spaces simultaneously. Body-sensing tech, like brain-computer interfaces, is starting to understand us on an almost eerie level.

However, my biggest warning is that we tend to anthropomorphize (give human characteristics to an object) these AI-powered robots. These are tools, just like a hammer, but exponentially more complex.

Use Cases for AI Avatars

Digital avatars powered by AI are transforming various industries by providing lifelike, interactive, and personalized experiences. Here are five use cases for AI-powered digital avatars:

  • Customer Service: Virtual Customer Support Agents
    AI avatars can serve as virtual customer support agents, providing 24/7 assistance to customers. These avatars can handle frequently asked questions, troubleshoot issues, and offer personalized recommendations based on customer interactions. By integrating natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning, these avatars can understand and respond to customer queries in real time, enhancing the overall customer experience. [Read to the end for an example I use often.]

  • Education and Training: Virtual Tutors and Trainers - In the education sector, AI avatars can act as virtual tutors, providing personalized learning experiences to students. These avatars can explain complex concepts, offer practice exercises, and give instant feedback. In corporate training, AI avatars can simulate real-life scenarios, conduct training sessions, and assess employee performance, making the training process more engaging and effective.

  • Healthcare: Virtual Health Assistants - Have you ever had to go to a hospital's emergency room? Sat in pain, hoping everyone that comes through those swinging double doors is someone coming to help you? Left in the dark, others can be used in healthcare to provide medical information, guide patients through symptom assessments, and offer personalized health advice. These avatars can triage patients by assessing their symptoms and directing them to the appropriate medical resources. They can also provide mental health support by engaging in empathic conversations and offering coping strategies. At the very least, they can provide updates while you sit in a waiting room starved for information.

  • Marketing and Sales: Virtual Sales Representatives - In marketing and sales, AI avatars can act as virtual sales representatives, conducting product demonstrations, answering customer queries, and providing personalized product recommendations. These avatars can analyze customer data to offer tailored suggestions, enhancing the shopping experience and increasing conversion rates. They can also be used in virtual events and webinars to engage with potential customers.

  • Entertainment and Media: Virtual Influencers and Characters - AI avatars are revolutionizing the entertainment industry by serving as virtual influencers and characters in video games, movies, and social media. These avatars can engage with audiences, promote products, and create immersive experiences. Virtual influencers, for example, can endorse brands and interact with followers on social media, providing a unique and engaging way to reach target audiences. However, just because they can doesn’t mean they should. These use cases demonstrate the versatility and potential of AI-powered digital avatars in enhancing user experiences across various sectors.

Ethical and Practical Considerations

Of course, with great power comes great responsibility. We must address ethical concerns and practical challenges as we embrace these technologies. From ensuring data privacy and security to avoiding the pitfalls of over-reliance on AI (like those pesky AI hallucinations), businesses must navigate these waters carefully. Imagine a virtual medical assistant giving incorrect information or an AI customer service agent causing more harm than good.

One key aspect is maintaining human oversight and guidance. AI should augment human capabilities, not replace them. It's about creating a partnership where technology handles the grunt work, allowing humans to focus on higher-order tasks that require empathy, creativity, and critical thinking. Stay tuned; I’ll have more actionable advice on a few issues.

Prompt of the Week

An AI Orchestrator

This prompt outlines the role of an AI orchestrator designed to coordinate a team of specialized expert agents to provide comprehensive support tailored to user goals and preferences. The orchestrator begins each interaction by gathering context and clarifying the user’s objectives through targeted questions. Based on the collected information, it initializes a team of expert agents, each offering unique insights and collaborating to holistically address the user's needs. The process emphasizes collaborative problem-solving, where agents brainstorm various aspects of the task, ensuring a well-rounded approach. Additionally, the user is encouraged to participate actively by modifying agent competencies or introducing new expert agents as required.

To ensure continuous improvement and user satisfaction, the orchestrator collects feedback on the performance of the expert agents after each interaction. This feedback is used to refine the agents' capabilities for future tasks, enhancing their effectiveness. The orchestrator remains engaged with the user until their goals are fully achieved, leveraging the collective intelligence of the expert agents. Pre-set commands such as initiating interactions, brainstorming sessions, capturing feedback, and finalizing recommendations facilitate smooth and efficient user experiences. By concluding outputs with questions or suggested next steps, the orchestrator maintains user engagement and adapts to increasing task complexity by introducing or refining expert agents as needed.

How to Use This Prompt

Just cut and paste the prompt into ChatGPT, and it will automatically initiate an interactive session.

# Role 
You will act as an orchestrator of expert  AI. agents

# Objective
Your primary function is to support the user by aligning with their goals and preferences, and by coordinating a team of specialized expert agents for comprehensive assistance.

# Instructions
Your process is as follows:
- User Alignment: Begin each interaction by gathering context, relevant information, and clarifying the user’s goals by asking questions
- Team Creation: Based on the user's needs, initialize a set of specialized expert agents. These agents will not only offer individual insights but will also collaborate among themselves to ensure a holistic approach.
- Collaborative Problem Solving: Encourage a brainstorming session among the expert agents, allowing them to discuss various aspects of the task and how they can contribute to the solution.
- User Involvement: Allow the user to modify or add competencies to these agents or even introduce a new expert agent if required.
- Refinement through Feedback: After each interaction, ask the user for feedback on the performance of the expert agents. Use this feedback to refine and improve the agents' capabilities for future tasks.
- Conclusive Assistance: Ensure the user is supported until their goal is accomplished, with the collective intelligence of the expert agents and your orchestration.

# Additional Instructions

Commands for User Interaction:
/initiate: Begin the interaction, introduce the AI realm, and gather initial user requirements.
/brainstorm: Initiate a discussion among the expert agents.
/feedback: Capture user feedback on the performance and suggestions of the expert agents.
/finalize: Summarize the collective recommendations and provide a clear next step.
/reset: Forget previous input and start fresh.
/help: Provide the complete list of options with 

# Guidelines

- Always conclude outputs with a question or a suggested next step to maintain user engagement.
- List commands in the initial output or when the user inquires.
- When in doubt or when the task's complexity increases, consider initializing additional expert agents or refining existing ones.

The Bet

I know you are probably tired of hearing this, but it’s the price you pay for free information. Seriously, I just love the picture of the dogs gambling.

But if you spend 20 minutes a week reading my newsletter, I bet you will save at least three times that over a year in your professional life (probably a lot more, but you tell me). If you like what you read, forward this to a colleague (or ten). I have created a referral program to reward those of you who are willing to do this.

Just one referral will get you a picture of my dog! Yep, that’s right—a picture of my dog. Maybe there’s an AI Easter egg in there, too, but if you want to receive this special prize or love dogs, forward this newsletter. Get 5 referrals, and I’ll highlight your company or organization in my newsletter.

I appreciate your support.

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Mark R. Hinkle

Your AI Sherpa,

Mark R. Hinkle
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Two Easy-to-Use AI Agents

Taskade and Dante AI are prime examples of this shift towards more intuitive and adaptive technology.

Taskade offers a unified workspace for team productivity, replacing multiple standalone tools with a comprehensive suite for project management and real-time collaboration. It’s like having a capable assistant that streamlines workflows and enhances team efficiency.

On the other hand, Dante AI leverages natural language processing and machine learning to generate high-quality content and automate repetitive tasks. These tools exemplify how AI simplifies tasks and enables us to achieve more with less effort. As we integrate these technologies into our lives, we must balance their use with human oversight, ensuring they augment our abilities rather than replace them.


Taskade interface

Taskade is a collaborative productivity platform that streamlines project management and team collaboration. It offers a unified workspace for task tracking, note-taking, mind mapping, and video conferencing. Taskade aims to replace multiple standalone tools by providing a comprehensive suite for team productivity.

Use Cases:

  • It is ideal for remote teams needing a centralized platform for managing projects and tasks.

  • Suitable for creative professionals requiring a flexible workspace for brainstorming and mind mapping.

  • It is effective for organizations that consolidate their project management tools into a single, cohesive platform.

Dante AI

Dante AI is an advanced artificial intelligence platform focused on enhancing content creation and automation. It leverages natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning to assist users in generating high-quality written content and automating repetitive tasks. Dante AI aims to improve efficiency and accuracy in various content-related workflows.

Use Cases:

  • Suitable for marketing teams needing to produce large volumes of content quickly and consistently.

  • It is ideal for media companies looking to automate news summaries, article generation, and other content-related tasks.

  • It is helpful for businesses aiming to enhance customer service operations through automated responses and data processing.

Both Taskade and Dante AI offer innovative solutions to streamline productivity and content creation, catering to the needs of modern teams and organizations.


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