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The 3 Books on Artificial Intelligence Everyone Should Read

Plus, listen to the most realistic text-to-speech you've ever heard from Eleven Labs (they're hiring)

"Machine intelligence is the last invention that humanity will ever need to make"-Nick Bostrom

In today's email:

  • AI-generated voice just crossed the uncanny valley

  • The 3 books on Artificial Intelligence everyone should read

  • Music LM: Text-to-Music

  • Using GPT on your own data set

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AI Voice Technology Has Entered The Uncanny Valley

Just in the past few months, Eleven Labs has emerged as the clear leader in AI generated text-to-speech with their stunning realism. Our short demo of their speech synthesis gained over 500k views on Twitter.

The company’s platform lets writers and publishers narrate long-form content and expand into the audio format. Its features are powered by an in-house developed deep learning model for speech synthesis which realistically renders human intonation and inflections, and can adjust delivery based on context.

Much of Eleven Labs research is focused on developing new text-to-speech models which rely on high compression and context understanding to render human speech ultra-realistically.

The company also built a new model for voice cloning which achieves high output similarity with no training (no fine-tuning), on samples as short as 5 seconds - a feat only matched by an unreleased demo of VALL-E.

Watch: ElevenLab's Voice Cloning Demo

One of the more interesting aspects of "ultra-realistic" sounding speech is actually found in the imperfections. Subtle, seemingly random pauses, emphasis on the subject of a sentence, or the correct tone to convey a specific intent. These variations in speech are what typical text-to-speech models were lacking, and that's exactly what Eleven Labs is looking to fix. 

Implications of Voice Cloning

If voice cloning technology does become indistinguishably "perfect", it could have several potential economic implications.

For one, It's a near certainty that the widespread use of voice cloning technology could result in job losses in industries such as call centers, voice acting, and broadcasting.

The potential for voice cloning technology could also be used for malicious purposes, such as identity theft - as many financial institutions like Chase rely on Voice ID - leading to a need for stronger security measures and stiffening requirements for voice "biometrics."

There could also be legal and ethical debates around the ownership and control of people's voices and the rights of individuals to control the use of their voice in the digital world. For example: Does your "likeness" include the sound of your voice? And if so, how can it be proven to be yours?

Eleven Labs AI Voice narrates the first chapter of The Great Gatsby

Eleven Labs, currently a team of five, just announced raising $2 million in a pre-seed funding round led by Credo Ventures, with Concept Ventures and other individual investors also participating.

After speaking with the co-founder today, we were informed that the Eleven Labs team is also hiring a Front End Engineer and a Full Stack Engineer

The 3 Books on Artificial Intelligence Everyone Should Read

The growth of AI will rapidly transform the world as we know it.

With AI becoming increasingly integrated into various industries, it's crucial to understand its impact and prepare for its integration in the near future. To help navigate this rapidly evolving field, these are the three must-read books that provide a comprehensive overview of AI and its potential implications. From its history and current applications to its economical considerations, these books are a great foundation for understanding the coming wave of Artificial Intelligence.

Philosophy of AI

  • Superintelligence by Nick Bostrom - This S-tier book explores the potential risks and benefits of creating artificial intelligence beyond human levels. The book argues that if the development of superintelligence proceeds rapidly, it could pose an existential threat to humanity. Bostrom paints an incredibly articulate perspective on why we must consider the possibility of creating AI in a way that aligns with human values, and that we must prepare for various scenarios of superintelligence, both good and bad.

Business of AI

  • Power and Prediction Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans, and Avi Goldfarb - An insight into AI developments from a business perspective, written by three economists. This is a must-read for business leaders and others who are interested in how AI will likely impact the economy. The authors do a great job of making it clear that it is not technology that revolutionizes business, but it is how that technology enables a whole new way of working. Their first book, Prediction Machines, is also a great read.

Strategy and AI

  • T-Minus AI: Humanity's Countdown to Artificial Intelligence and the New Pursuit of Global Power by Michael Kanaan - Written by first chairman of artificial intelligence for the U.S. Air Force, With expertly woven social and political considerations, including the impact of bias, this book connects to the lives of everyday people in a way that is both enlightening and accessible. Whether you're a military operator or planner who thinks they already have a good grasp of AI or someone simply looking to broaden your knowledge, this book provides a comprehensive rundown of all the essential AI-related information that you need to be fully equipped to participate in shaping and guiding our operational reality in the years to come.

Groundbreaking Text-to-Music Research: MusicLM

Researchers from Google have created a new tool called MusicLM that can make high-quality music based on text descriptions, like "a calming violin melody backed by a distorted guitar riff."

MusicLM uses a special way of organizing the process of making music from text to produce music at a high audio quality that stays consistent for several minutes. Initial tests show that MusicLM works better than previous systems in both the quality of the music and how well it matches the text description.

Perhaps it's most remarkable feature is its ability to generate music from non-musical text, such as the description of a painting. (about half way down the linked page)

Coming Soon: Using GPT on Your Own Data

Query your own data, or your company's data, with a ChatGPT-like interface coming soon. 

usechannel.com is currently accepting waitlist appointments for their application, Channel, which can plug into databases and retrieve relative information via plain english queries. 

"I originally got sick of answering ad hoc data requests from team members in the startup that I was working at and then got way too sucked in on this project and here we are now."- reddit user u/lfogliantis, creator of Channel 

This first-to-market project could be big.

Demo from usechannel.com

Thanks for reading this week's edition! If you have any comments or questions, reply to this email or DM us on Twitter. Consider giving it a share!


Our friend @mreflow on Twitter has a great website, futuretools.io which catalogs the latest AI tools as they're released. Definitely worth checking out. 

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