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The Awful State of AI in California

Yohei Nakajima Interview, Robots Could Save Japan, Microsoft AI PC, How AI will reinvent Marketing

Hi everyone,

This is Lore, the techno-optimist newsletter. 

Every week, I share 5 interesting things, blending insights from Life, Techno-optimism, and Business. From personal growth and inspiration for the future to groundbreaking AI advancements, I offer my perspective to help you stay informed and ahead of the curve.

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P.S. Check out the latest episode of The Next Wave. In this episode, we talked about AI agents with Yohei Nakajima. Watch it here!

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1) The Awful State of AI in California

Today, California took a massive step backward by passing the ‘AI Safety & Innovation Bill’ in the Senate.

Senator Scott Wiener, infamous in my old home of San Francisco for pushing questionable legislation, has outdone himself.

Wild to see him gleefully cheering for the destruction of progress and prosperity in California.

I’d like to think he’s not doing it on purpose and doesn’t understand that he’s helping pass a bill that could choke the life out of open-source innovation in California.

Innovation Killing Bill

My understanding of the bill is that it essentially forces creators of large language models (LLMs) to sign under penalty of perjury that their LLMs can't cause harm…

How do we define harm?

Do we hold hammer makers accountable for the potential misuse of their tools?

It also makes it so that if your model could be modified to be dangerous, the model itself is considered dangerous. I’m no legal expert, but that sounds like a ban on open-source AI.

Silicon Valley Speaks Out

This is such an awful bill.

Weiner chooses to listen to two Canadian academics and a fringe group in Berkeley over many Ca. voices who will have to deal with this nonsense.

This is absolutely anti little tech, anti open source, and anti AI research and innovation.

Expecting developers to prevent “unsafe modification” or “malicious use” of an AI model. Requiring them to enable “full shutdown” of all copies of a model. This bill was either written by someone who doesn’t understand open source development or is determined to kill it.

Regulation’s 2nd & 3rd Order Effects

I always hear the argument that “planes are heavily regulated, and that’s why they don’t crash.” So, we should regulate AI. But planes weren’t heavily regulated at the beginning, were they?

Imagine if the Wright Brothers were prevented from conducting their flight experiments in the fields of Ohio. Because some clueless politician with no real-world experience was worried that their gravity-defying marvels might crash sometime.

What if they had to sign under penalty of perjury that their airplane experiments could cause no harm? We’d still be taking boats everywhere.

And without the invention of flying, there are so many things we wouldn’t have invented. Spaceships, rockets, satellites, solar panels, water purification systems, etc.

That’s the kind of thing these Senators aren’t thinking about. When you slow down technological progress, you prevent the invention of new things that move humanity forward. Which is the basis for our modern, thriving civilization.

We’re either moving forward, or we’re sliding backward.

Call To Arms

AI is a bigger invention than even the airplane. And we are just now at the beginning of its birth.

We have yet to discover all the progress and inventions it will bring to America and the world. We cannot allow this better future to be squandered by politicians who don't respect builders or understand the foundations upon which our society stands.

It's time for us to stand up, make our voices heard, and protect the future of AI innovation in Silicon Valley, no matter where you live.

I urge you to contact Governor Gavin Newsom's office to express your thoughts on this bill and protect innovation in California. You can also call his office at (916) 445-2841.

2) The Next Wave with Yohei Nakajima

In this week’s episode of The Next Wave, Matt Wolfe and I spoke with Yohei Nakajima about the state of AI agents, how Yohei played a key role in giving me the confidence to start the podcast, the future of AI agents, and much more.

I hope you’ll check it out!

It would also help if you subscribed to The Next Wave on YouTube, Apple, and Spotify. That’d make HubSpot and me very happy. If you enjoy the show, please leave a comment or review. If you have any negative feedback, feel free to DM me. 😉 

3) Robots Could Save Japan

This week, the yen continued its downward spiral, which I previously wrote about on X.

The most likely reason? Japan's rapid population decline, as seen in this chart:

Modern economies depend on growth, typically from productivity and population increases. So, when the population declines, the current system doesn't work.

But, hey, let’s stay positive. There is a lot of hope for Japan!

AI could bring enough productivity gains to help Japan (and other nations) offset the decline. Having called Japan home for almost two years, I'm rooting for Nihon.

Japan's secret weapon that no one talks about is its absolute cultural obsession with everything that beeps and boops. They freakin love robots.

In San Francisco, people are burning Waymo cars and trying to Mike Tyson KO robots.

But in Japan, robots are everywhere in pop culture. I mean, they’ve got a giant Gundam statue in Yokohama. If anyone accepts robots into their daily lives, it will be Japan.

Given recent tensions with China, I believe the USA and Japan will become major allies in manufacturing robots.

As Japan's population ages and there aren't enough caregivers for the elderly, robots could be the saving grace. They're already making strides in this area, with companies like SoftBank Robotics developing AI-powered companions to assist seniors.

Lately, there have been a ton of exciting developments in robotics that give me hope.

I created a thread showcasing some examples, and it's already been seen by over 2.3 million people. Check it out:

Personally, I plan to live out my days in the robot wonderland of Kyoto—and who knows, maybe I'll even get involved in making that robot-assisted future a reality...

So, while Japan faces severe challenges, I believe their embrace of AI & robots will save the land of the rising sun I’ve come to love.

4) Microsoft AI PC

Microsoft made several major announcements about its AI initiatives this week from its Redmond campus. The big one was Copilot+ PCs that integrate AI features into the OS.

For a detailed breakdown, I recommend watching Matt's video:

Much like Google's recent announcements, Microsoft’s felt like information overload.

They even talked about adding AI to Microsoft Paint. Do we need that? I didn’t even know Microsoft Paint still existed.

The one product that did catch my attention, though, was Recall.

Recall allows users to search across time to find content on their PC by creating an explorable timeline of the PC’s past. It takes snapshots of your screen every five seconds when the content changes, stores these locally and allows for natural language searches to retrieve specific moments, such as a photo, link, or message.

I know what you’re thinking—scary Black Mirror stuff. But this could be amazing and a great first step towards having AI proactively help you because it knows a lot about you. Instead of needing constant prompts.

I worry a bit about if that data got hacked, but Microsoft says all of it is being processed on your local PC, not in the cloud, so it’s somewhat safe. Hopefully.

Microsoft and Devin

One of Microsoft's biggest announcements was its deal with Cognition, the creators of Devin, which they call “the first AI software engineer.”

This partnership, in combination with their efforts at GitHub, could have major implications for the future of coding.

I am bullish on OS-level integration with AI, and Microsoft's announcements are a step in the right direction. However, their current implementation still feels half-baked.

5) Things I’m Reading Or Watching

BONUS) Inspiration

That’s all for today.

Let’s keep accelerating together!

-Nathan Lands

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