Step into the post-launch era of OpenAI’s marketplace as I chat with Dmitry Shapiro, YouAI’s co-founder and CEO. Discover the unique features of its MindStudio developer platform, explore its parallels and distinctions from the GPT Store, and unravel its enterprise appeal. Plus, learn why Shapiro believes OpenAI is falling short in its mission.
Also in this issue, AI fear echoes through the corridors of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. This week, executives shared their thoughts on the impact of AI on businesses. What are the voices from Davos saying about the technological future?
Let’s dive into this week’s state of artificial intelligence!
Dmitry Shapiro and Sean Thielen were the founders of Koji, a creator-centric marketplace, competing tangentially in the crowded “link in bio” space. Along the way, the “drying up of venture capital for late-stage companies” and the rise of Generative AI convinced the team to shift their focus.
A year ago, they embarked on a new venture, YouAI. Their inaugural product, a platform called MindStudio designed to assist developers in harnessing the power of various Large Language Models (LLMs), is geared towards the creation of sophisticated AI applications for the enterprise.
“We believe that any kind of model — language, image, video, code, whatever — should be backend services that are abstracted from end users by what we call the application layer,” Shapiro said. MindStudio is the tool to achieve this, he tells me, claiming the platform makes it “quite easy for normal people, non-technical people, business users to show up, watch a YouTube tutorial, and very rapidly build any kind of an application powered by AI.”
MindStudio is model-agnostic, meaning developers can integrate apps with ChatGPT, Claude, Google’s PaLM, Meta’s LLaMA, or even their proprietary data. The content uploaded is parsed and converted into vector embeddings. Then developers can use a query function to designate it as a data source.
YouAI is making waves. According to Shapiro, 23,000 developers joined in December alone. MindStudio boasts over 62,000 registered users, with a substantial majority joining through organic channels. Impressively, the community has already constructed 14,000 AI-powered apps.
The company also counts 280 business plan customers, a metric Shapiro bragged about when comparing it to the number OpenAI has for a similar plan.
He didn’t hold back when discussing the Gen AI market leader. While maintaining support for OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, Shapiro expressed his belief that the company is falling short of its mission. Critiquing the GPT Store launch, he likened the packaged GPTs to Microsoft Paint, expressing his underwhelmed perspective.
“You don’t need any training to use Microsoft Paint because [Paint] doesn’t do very much. What can you do with GPTs? You can give them a name, give them a prompt, [and] can upload a few files of data. That’s it,” he explained. “You can’t do multi-step workflows…call a bunch of third-party APIs, then depending on what they come back, route them to different services, meaning you can’t do any logic. You can’t do any of this stuff.”
In short: “It’s not a serious tool for enterprises.”
However, Shapiro remains bullish on OpenAI — the two companies are partners. He doesn’t think the GPT Store was a wise move though, saying it’s a detour from OpenAI’s pursuit of artificial general intelligence. Shapiro predicts OpenAI will ultimately move on, declaring the marketplace a “nothing burger.”
▶️ Read the full interview on my blog to learn more about MindStudio, tips Shapiro has for AI developers, and more.
🚀 Seeking captivating stories for “The AI Economy” newsletter! If you’re immersed in AI – whether through building, investing, or witnessing intriguing developments – I want to hear from you! 🌐✨
Drop me a message or share your insights in the comments below.
Ready to share your expertise? I’m also conducting interviews for the newsletter – connect with me to be featured!
A Closer Look
Industry leaders convened in Davos, Switzerland, this week for the annual World Economic Forum, where AI emerged as a focal point of discussion. However, the conversation didn’t center on its benefits to the world but rather delved into the risks posed by the technology.
Concerns about lost jobs through automation, the spread of misinformation, and the growing economic divide between wealthy and poor nations were raised.
Almost 40 percent of global employment — and 60 percent in advanced economies — will be affected by AI, according to a new report from the International Monetary Fund. This could result in worsening inequality.
But amid these concerns, some businesses seemed to want to press forward with AI.
CEOs representing Silicon Valley’s giants were in attendance, with at least one executive seeking to ease everyone’s fears. OpenAI head Sam Altman offered a “softened — and far less prophetic — tone” about AGI, suggesting it wouldn’t radically disrupt society as we know it.
“When we reach AGI, the world will freak out for two weeks and then humans will go back to [doing] human things,” he remarked.
It’s a surprising reversal for Altman, who wrote a year ago about AGI’s “grievous harm,” according to VentureBeat.
However, in a separate WEF appearance, he acknowledged the future of OpenAI’s technology would require “uncomfortable” decisions.
Altman believes future AI products will need to allow “quite a lot of individual customization” and “that’s going to make a lot of people uncomfortable,” because AI will give different answers for different users, based on their values preferences and possibly on what country they reside in.
His tech counterparts took a more muted approach, arguing in favor of some form of AI regulation. Microsoft head Satya Nadella told attendees he saw global consensus when it comes to regulating AI, “I think we’re now at this point where these are global challenges that require global norms and global standards.” Altman stated there’s no “red button” to halt the technology’s progression.
Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, who also owns TIME Magazine, voiced criticism against Altman’s company amid a legal dispute with The New York Times regarding copyright infringement. “All the training data has been stolen,” he remarked in an interview. He believed media companies should be fairly compensated for having their protected material used to train LLMs.
In the end, we now have a better gauge of how business leaders view artificial intelligence. Last year, attendees were more enthusiastic about the technology. So in 2025, will they once again swing back in support of AI? Will tech companies listen to their concerns and fears and make responsible product roadmap changes?
Today’s Visual Snapshot
Menlo Ventures, a venture capitalist firm, has identified the essential AI tech stack it believes enterprise companies need to address the challenges of reasoning, creation, and creativity.
Corporations spent more than a billion dollars modernizing their AI stack in 2023, but what does it look like? To Menlo Ventures, it starts with the foundational models and the infrastructure to deploy them. One layer above is where the infrastructure connecting LLMs integrates with the data. Next is where developers manage and orchestrate AI applications. Finally, at the top is where the solutions to monitor run-time LLM behavior and security reside.
▶️ Read more about the modern AI stack and the future of enterprise AI architecture
“I don’t have a one-sentence, pithy definition. You can quibble about if general intelligence is akin to human-level intelligence, or is it like human-plus, or is it some far-future super intelligence. But to me, the important part is actually the breadth of it, which is that intelligence has all these different capabilities where you have to be able to reason and have intuition.”
— Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg on how he defines artificial general intelligence
🏭 Industry Insights
- Big Tech companies say AI is to blame for mass layoffs (Axios)
- Mark Zuckerberg wants to create artificial general intelligence — and open source it (The Verge)
- Former Stability AI exec’s non-profit launches AI data licensing certification program (WIRED)
- This is the Vatican’s go-to person on AI and who has the ear of Pope Francis and Silicon Valley (Associated Press)
- Can mobile AI make Google search better? (WIRED)
- Why AI is once again this year’s ad industry buzzword (Infillion)
🤖 Machine Learning
- Google’s DeepMind AI can solve geometry problems like a math Olympian (VentureBeat)
- Two Google DeepMind scientists reportedly could soon depart and launch an AI startup called Holistic (Bloomberg)
- Scientists develop a new machine learning method, allowing researchers to identify molecules for use in developing new therapeutics (Phys.org)
✏️ Generative AI
- I created a custom ChatGPT chatbot, and so should you (Fast Company)
- Meta wants standards on Gen AI watermarking (Bloomberg)
- Novelist Rie Kudan admits her award-winning novel The Tokyo Tower of Sympathy was ‘5 percent’ written using ChatGPT (The Daily Beast)
- OpenAI must defend ChatGPT hallucinations in court after judge allows libel suit brought by radio host to proceed (Ars Technica)
- Retrieval-augmented generation (RAG), explained (InfoWorld)
- Can ChatGPT train me for the Boston Marathon (Outside Magazine)
- Adobe Firefly is doing generative AI differently and it may even be good for you (TechRadar)
- Udacity launches Gen AI nanodegree program (VentureBeat)
- OpenAI partners with Arizona State University to use ChatGPT in the classroom (The Verge)
- AI is the new retail reality, as industry gathers for trade show (Forbes)
- Salesforce announces AI-powered tools for retailers, including predictive insights, Gen AI-based segment creation, and content creation tools (MarTech)
- Vulnerabilities in GPU drivers from Apple, AMD, and Qualcomm could allow snooping on AI training and chats (The Register)
- We’re not even close to building the iPhone of AI (Fast Company)
- Samsung S24 Galaxy phone to integrate Google’s Gemini AI models (Silicon Angle)
- CES-standout Rabbit r1 device will use Perplexity AI’s tech to answer queries (TechCrunch)
📺 Media and Entertainment
- What it’s like speaking to Nvidia’s AI-powered video game NPCs (The Verge)
- Survey: Game developers wary of Gen AI’s impact on jobs, copyright infringement (VentureBeat)
- OpenAI CEO Sam Altman reportedly looking to raise billions for chip venture to build a network of factories that would manufacture semiconductors (Bloomberg)
- AI startup Cohere is reportedly in talks to raise between $500 million to $1 billion in venture capital (Reuters)
- Artifact, the AI-powered news aggregation app created by Instagram’s co-founders, shuts down (TechCrunch)
- Recraft raises $12 million for its AI graphic design tool and foundation model (VentureBeat)
- Google launches AI-first startup accelerator program in North America (The Keyword)
⚖️ Copyright and Regulatory Issues
- Is AI the end of I.P.? (The New Yorker)
- Anthropic wants a judge to reject bid from three music publishers seeking to block the company from using song lyrics with Claude (Reuters)
- OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and TIME owner Marc Benioff disagree on AI’s use of copyrighted content (Bloomberg)
💥 Disruption and Misinformation
- Most AI researchers think fakes will become undetectable (The Economist)
- How OpenAI will try and prevent AI abuse ahead of 2024 elections (Axios)
- Google DeepMind COO: AI shaking up materials science and biology (Axios)
- Google News boosting sites that use AI to plagiarize other outlets (404 Media) — Google disagrees (Search Engine Roundtable)
- Anthropic study warns malicious actors could be installing backdoors in your LLM (TechTalks)
🔎 Opinions and Research
- Is there a proven use case for AI art? (Garbage Day)
- Don’t talk to people like they’re chatbots (The Atlantic)
I hope you enjoyed diving into the latest articles on “The AI Economy!”
I’m eager to hear your thoughts on this edition. What struck a chord with you, and what left you scratching your head? Leave a comment or shoot me a message on LinkedIn with your feedback — it’s the secret sauce that makes this journey worthwhile.
Missed any articles this week? I know staying up-to-date on all the AI news can feel overwhelming. Fret not; I’m curating the big stories in my Flipboard Magazine, “The AI Economy.”
Thanks for reading and be sure to subscribe to receive future editions.
Until next week, stay curious!
Subscribe to “The AI Economy”
New issues published on Fridays, exclusively on LinkedIn