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  • #14: Humanoid Robots are here, PayPal embraces AI, e-Noses and Coffee, AI powered App Generator

#14: Humanoid Robots are here, PayPal embraces AI, e-Noses and Coffee, AI powered App Generator

#14: Latest edition of One More Thing in AI Newsletter.

You affect the world by what you browse.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee (Inventor of the world wide web)

Edition #14: One More Thing in AI

Date: 9-Feb-2024

Hello reader,

Thank you for subscribing to the One More Thing in AI Newsletter.

Specially curated for Startup founders and Business Leaders like you who want to get smarter on AI in less than 5 minutes. 

In this February edition, I explore what Figure AI is planning with Humanoid Robots and learn about detecting coffee aromas with e-noses!

Table of Contents

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Dawn of Humanoid Robots: Revolutionizing the Workspace with Figure AI

Imagine stepping into a warehouse or manufacturing floor where your colleagues are robots working alongside you. This isn't a scene from a sci-fi movie; it's the future that Figure AI Inc. is crafting. I am a bit star-struck by the founder, Brett Adcock, who has previously founded Archer Aviation, which aims to revolutionize urban air mobility. I think he is the “nicer” version of Elon Musk and doing equally significant endeavors. I wrote about Archer’s pitch deck on my blog here.

With a significant USD 500 million funding round in the pipeline, led by tech giants Microsoft and OpenAI, Figure AI is on the brink of transforming industrial spaces with its humanoid robots. See the video below showing the Figure01 demo.

Founded in 2022, Figure AI has embarked on a journey to disrupt the traditional market for industrial robots. The current landscape is dominated by purpose-built, boxy robots that, while functional, don't blend well into environments designed for humans. 

Enter Figure 01, Figure AI's autonomous humanoid robot, designed to operate seamlessly alongside human workers, efficiently tackling repetitive and hazardous tasks. For instance, a partnership with luxury car manufacturer BMW sees these robots poised to automate intricate, unsafe, or monotonous tasks in automotive manufacturing. This collaboration will kick off in a South Carolina factory.

Why does it matter?

The concept of humanoid robots is not entirely new. Tesla's Optimus and Agility Robots Inc.'s experiments in Amazon warehouses hint at the interest in robotics that mimic human capabilities. Yet, what sets Figure AI apart is its ambition to mainstream these robots commercially.

Brett Adcock, the visionary founder of Figure AI, emphasizes the untapped potential of general-purpose robotics. According to him, the advent of humanoid robots like Figure 01 is more than augmenting productivity or reducing costs. It's about ushering in a new era where the workplace is safer, more efficient, and harmoniously shared between humans and robots. As wages rise in the US and other developed economies, Figure AI targets a large TAM (think of the many factory workers employed in our economies). These robots will take away several dangerous jobs that humans do today.

Whiff of Innovation: e-noses powered by AI

I enjoy drinking coffee- perhaps a bit too much. I particularly enjoy the strong flavors and aromas of Central American and Ethiopian coffee. So, this AI-powered device caught my attention.

🌱The Seed of an Idea

Each coffee bean carries a unique flavor profile shaped by its origin, climate, and processing. Arabica is different from Robusta, Kenyan Coffee is different from Guatemalan, and so on. However, these flavor profiles are changing in the face of climate change. Enter the e-nose, a device capable of accurately distinguishing coffee aromas.

🤖 The Tech Behind the Aroma

How does this e-nose work? It's a fusion of traditional sensors and cutting-edge AI. The device uses metal semiconductor oxide sensors to identify specific molecules in the coffee's aroma. This data is then processed by an AI algorithm, distinguishing between different coffee varieties with up to 98% accuracy.

🌍 A Global Palette

Researchers are compiling a digital library of coffee aromas from around the globe. This library is a benchmark for understanding how environmental changes affect coffee flavors. This is a step towards ensuring that my favorite cup of Columbian coffee remains consistent.

🔭 Why does it matter?

The same team behind the e-nose envisions a future where electronic tongues, eyes (computer vision), and even tactile systems join the fray. All these will be powered by AI. These technologies could revolutionize how we perceive and enjoy our coffee and other foods. In the not-too-distant future, you could have a full sensory experience of consuming food that could be delivered through the internet or a device like the Apple Vision Pro.

Yadget (Data Generation for Testing)

“The name Yadget stands for " Yet Another Data Generator. " You need to create a large number of synthetic test data records for your AI and ML projects.

Using Yadget, you can produce realistic, non-identifiable datasets to help you test and validate your code. This is ideal for software developers who need to perform data testing and validation processes. Among the datasets that can be generated are Financial Data such as Bank Account Numbers, Credit Card numbers, and Crypto information such as BTC and ETH addresses.

Why Yadget?

1. Generate synthetic data without the high cost of real-world data.

2. Faster than traditional methods of collecting and processing real-world data.

3. Flexible: Yadget provides tailor-made data to meet your specific needs.

Please try Yadget and let us know what you think. You can check out Yadget here: Link.”

This is a sponsored post. If you want to place an Ad with us, email: [email protected]

Tool review: Softr’s AI-powered App Generator

Softr's AI App Generator dramatically changes the way businesses can create custom apps. Ideal for developing client portals or internal tools like inventory management systems, this no-code solution leverages your existing data sources such as Airtable, Google Sheets, or SmartSuite.

Softr Website

Softr website


  • Fast Custom App Development: Quickly turn your data into fully functional apps.

  • Versatility: It is suitable for a variety of applications, including project management tools, CRMs, content calendars, and applicant trackers.

  • No Code Required: Empower your team to build and customize without technical skills.

How to build your App using Softr AI:

  1. Create Your Prompt: Outline what you need your app to do.

  2. Preview and Theme Your App: Choose the look and feel.

  3. Sync Your Backend Database: Connect Airtable, Google Sheets, or SmartSuite.

  4. Establish Users & Permissions: Set up access controls.

  5. Customize Your App: Tailor the app to your needs.

  6. Test Drive your App: Ensure everything works smoothly.

Experience the power of no-code app development. Try Softr today and streamline your business operations effortlessly. Try it out here»(affiliate link).

Paypal announced that it has embraced AI. Commentators are not impressed because they feel it is window dressing and merely a gimmick to positively influence its languishing share prices. On Feb 6th, 2023, the price was USD 80.80, and this Feb, it was around USD 61.54 at the time of writing.

So what are these changes that it announced (US Market only)?

Paypal website

Paypal Website

🔑 Transforming Checkout 

PayPal aims to reduce transaction latency by integrating advanced payment methods and biometric authentication and deploying AI algorithms to refine and accelerate the checkout experience.

💡 “Fastlane” by PayPal: Simplifying Transactions 

The unveiling of Fastlane introduces a simplified, one-click checkout solution, positioning PayPal to compete directly with industry counterparts such as Stripe's Link. Despite the crowded space, PayPal's extensive merchant and user network of 400 Million+ users presents a unique advantage.

🛍️ Smart Receipts: Elevating Consumer Engagement 

By facilitating order tracking and enabling merchants to tailor recommendations to users, PayPal aligns with consumer demand for personalized shopping experiences. This mirrors functionalities offered by competitors like Klarna. Smart receipts and personalized recommendations are not new, but the amount of data and massive user base that PayPal has could be the differentiator.

🎯 Advanced Offers: Targeting with Precision 

The Advanced Offers platform leverages AI to empower merchants with unprecedented targeting capabilities, focusing on actual purchase data rather than mere browsing behavior (like Google does through its Ads).

📲 Reinventing the PayPal App: CashPass

PayPal plans to integrate AI in its App to curate personalized cash-back offers. Set to launch with partnerships including major retailers, seeks to differentiate from existing rewards programs by offering tailored benefits based on individual shopping habits.

🔄 Takeaway

The effectiveness of these strategies will depend on their ability to deliver tangible benefits to both merchants and consumers. Will PayPal’s share prices move up as a result of this announcement? Let us check back in a few months.

🚀AI Showdown: Google vs. OpenAI 🚀

🔍 Analysis: The AI Leadership Race Heats Up 

According to the Chatbot Arena Leaderboard, Google's Bard, powered by Gemini Pro, becomes the first to outshine OpenAI's GPT-4. With its extensive database of over 200,000 human preference votes, this platform now positions Bard in a close second to GPT-4 Turbo. Is there a hint of a potential shift in AI dominance?

From Chatbot Arena Leaderboard

📈 The Numbers Speak 

Bard's ascent to the top rungs symbolizes the rapid advancements Google is making in AI technology. Despite Bard operating on the Gemini Pro model, which is not Google's flagship AI, its performance leap suggests that the forthcoming Gemini Ultra could surpass the GPT-4 Turbo capabilities. There is a reason why Sam Altman speaks about the coming of GPT5; Open AI cannot afford to rest on their laurels.

The anticipation builds as OpenAI gears up for the release of GPT-5, which could redefine the benchmarks once again. Meanwhile, Meta's rumored introduction of Llama 3 could add another layer of complexity to the competition.

Why does it matter?

Some industry insiders speculate about a future where AI models converge in performance, transforming the competitive landscape. Already, Chatbots like Perplexity use multiple LLMs at the backend.

 This shift could turn the spotlight away from the models themselves and towards the applications they empower. The value lies in the application of AI models and not in the models themselves.

References / Deep Dive:

That is it for this edition of the Newsletter. If you subscribe to our email edition, you get to read this Newsletter before non-subscribers, and it stays in your mailbox as a future reference. Subscription has its value!

Until next time, keep learning, applying, and experimenting with AI!

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