Justin's AI Newsletter (Takeaways from OpenAI drama, Q*, Pika's $55M video tool)

Justin's AI Newsletter

The most interesting content, news, and insights in AI each week.


Hey friends πŸ‘‹,

I spent the last couple of weeks traveling to Arizona and San Francisco. After spending some time in SF, I’ve made up my mind: I think NYC is better.

We worked out of our investors office and you can just feel the difference in energy in NYC vs. SF.

It feels like SF never bounced back after COVID. I'm glad to be back in NYC.

Anyways, here are my AI takeaways from the week...


πŸ’₯ OpenAI Fiasco: What did we learn?

The OpenAI fiasco had more drama than The Kardashians.

I'm going to recap what happened over the 5-day span, then tell you what I learned from the entire ordeal.

November 17: OpenAI announced CEO Sam Altman was fired. OpenAI President Greg Brockman also leaves. The world goes nuts. No one knows why Altman was let go. Rumors fly around Twitter. Did he do something bad? Did AGI scare the board? No one has a clue.

November 18: OpenAI's investors are furious. Investors put pressure on OpenAI's board to reinstate Altman. The board agrees to reverse course and resign, but nothing happens.

November 19: Emmet Shear, the co-founder of Twitch, is announced as the new interim CEO of OpenAI. Altman tweets a selfie at OpenAI's HQ wearing a guest pass.

November 20: Altman and Brockman announce they are joining Microsoft to lead a new AI research team. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says anyone from OpenAI can join. 700+ of OpenAI's 770 employees threaten to resign from OpenAI. Hundreds of OpenAI employees tweet "OpenAI is nothing without its people."

November 21: OpenAI announces Altman is back as CEO. A new board is announced including ex-Salesforce CEO Bret Taylor, former US Secretary of the Treasury Larry Summers, and Quora founder Adam D'Angelo. Brockman returns as President. We are so back.

What did we learn?

For a moment, we all thought AI as we knew it was coming to an end.

Because countless AI startups are reliant on OpenAI's models, founders were getting worried if OpenAI goes down, would their startups go down too? It was a scary few days for a lot of people.

This is why ultimately, I believe businesses are going to want to use many different AI models depending on the task. You may want to use Anthropic's Claude for one purpose, OpenAI's GPT-4 for another, and even X's new Grok model for something else.

This is why we built Cassidy to support a bunch of different models, not just OpenAI. If you want early access to Cassidy to build customized AI-assistants and workflows with many different AI models, simply reply to this email with more details about your business, and I'll personally set you up!

Ok onto more AI news.


πŸ‘€ What is OpenAI's new Q*?

Amidst the OpenAI chaos, news breaks out that the company is working on a next-gen AI model dubbed Q* (pronounced Q-Star).

Was this why Altman was fired?

We're not 100% sure. But, he has acknowledged that it is real.

The model is reportedly much better at solving math problems, something LLMs still struggle with. But it's not AGI... yet.

The internet is speculating that the name is likely a reference to Q-learning, a reinforcement learning algorithm to learn the value of an action in a particular state.

If you're interested in the technical side of why Q* could be the next big thing, check out this video.

πŸ€ͺ AI video app Pika announces $55M Funding

Pika, a platform to use AI to edit and generate videos from text and still images, raised $55 million. Their new tool Pika 1.0 is next level.

Pika 1.0 has a generative AI model capable of editing videos in different styles like 3D animation, anime, and cinematic. Pika can even extend the length of existing video, expand the canvas or aspect ratio of a video, and change someone's clothing or add another character.

Pika's goal is to use AI to accelerate the video editing process. "We wanted to push the boundaries of technology and design a future interface of video making that is effortless and accessible to everyone," said the company. If you've ever tried editing videos on the clunky Adobe After Effects, you know how exciting this is!

Will I be using Pika for my TikToks?

You might be seeing anime Justin soon enough.

⭐ AI Quick Hits

  1. Perplexity AI introduces 2 new models that are online and can leverage the most up-to-date data on the internet [Read here]​
  2. OpenAI's Andrej Karpa posted a 1-hour non-technical general introduction to Large Language Models [Watch here]​
  3. Alibaba releases a model on how to animate any characters and go from image-to-video [Read here]​
  4. LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman talks with OpenAI investor Vinod Khosla about the future of AI [Watch here]​
  5. AI text-to-voice startup ElevenLabs is providing 4,000 grants to startups and small AI teams [Read here]​

Stay tuned for more next week...

Thanks for reading,



P.S. Want more quick, hot AI takes?

Be sure to follow me on Twitter! πŸ”₯πŸ€–

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Justin Fineberg

I'm a startup founder and product manager with a focus in AI. I help companies build AI into their products and business. Subscribe to my newsletter to get the latest content and news in AI! It's read weekly by thousands of other curious people.

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