Building AI Enterprise Apps with MindStudio; AI Fears Spread at Davos

"The AI Economy" explores YouAI's MindStudio developer platform for AI-powered apps.
"The AI Economy," a newsletter exploring AI's impact on business, work, society and tech.
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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!

The Prompt

YouAI's MindStudio AI Builder
YouAI’s MindStudio AI Builder

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.”

Diagram showing how MindStudio is the application layer for AI development. Photo credit: YouAI
Diagram showing how MindStudio is the application layer for AI development. Photo credit: YouAI

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.

YouTube player

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.

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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.

Impressions from the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2024 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, 19 January. Copyright: World Economic Forum/Valeriano Di Domenico
Impressions from the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2024 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, 19 January. Copyright: World Economic Forum/Valeriano Di Domenico

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

The modern AI infrastructure stack, according to Menlo Ventures. Photo credit: Menlo Ventures
The modern AI infrastructure stack, according to Menlo Ventures. Photo credit: Menlo Ventures

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

Quote This

“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

Neural Nuggets

An AI-generated image of a robot reading a newspaper.

🏭 Industry Insights

🤖 Machine Learning

✏️ Generative AI

🛒 Commerce

☁️ Enterprise

⚙️ Hardware

📺 Media and Entertainment

💰 Funding

⚖️ Copyright and Regulatory Issues

💥 Disruption and Misinformation

🔎 Opinions and Research

End Output

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.”

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Follow my Flipboard Magazine for all the latest AI news I curate for “The AI Economy” newsletter.

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Until next week, stay curious!

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