AI vs. Marshy

AI versus Marshy #23: recycling CEOs, pipedreams, and remember Neuralink?

Published 3 months ago • 4 min read

Hello ,

Welcome to another edition of AI versus Marshy!

This is the newsletter that will try to filter and make sense of the ever-deepening world of AI, and the use of the word “try” was deliberate, because this week had more plot twists than every M Night Shyamalan movie played at once.

This week:

♻️ Some takes on the exit-failed return-and-return of OpenAI’s CEO

🪈 Tool of the week - Pipedream

🧙🏽‍♂️Throwback to the wizard hat - the Neuralink between AI and protecting humanity

Strap yourself in and let’s do this!


Silicon Valley has a lot of egos and drama

Quick recap: OpenAI sacked and very recently reinstated its CEO: Sam Altman.

Here’s a quick summary of current state from Ben’s Bites.

This blow-by-blow from over the weekend on Reddit gives you more detail.

I think the one thing that you can be sure of is that this whole saga was handled dramatically and was a complete mess.

I don’t have much to add that hasn’t already been said, but here’s a fresh article from Reuters referencing something called Q*.

The reason this is interesting is because generative AI is predictive - it will guess what the most likely next word/pixel/placement is.

It does this very accurately, but will never “understand”.

Being able to have a model understand concepts, and then use those concepts to reason out more advanced concepts (ie. how math works) is a breakthrough, and the reason alarm bells might have been rung is because of the pace this can operate at.

If its grasping precise concepts at a basic level with lots of resources TODAY it’s only a matter of time before it grasps more advanced concepts with less resources LATER.

How much later is any guess.

Despite all of the hullabalooo - I don’t think this was a case of there being lots of smoke and no fire.

If only their teams had a good comms person… 😅

Tool of the week: Pipedream

I’ve noodled on no-code tools before and one of the staples of that world is Zapier.

It lets you connect software and get it to pass data from one tool to another to another.

For example - I can get ConvertKit to send a Slack alert to me whenever I get a new subscriber.

Zapier is simple, easy to grasp, and works with nearly everything.

But what if you wanted to do more?

Enter Pipedream.

Pipedream connects to all of your software and enables you to fine tune and execute things in a very precise level of detail.

I’ll colour it with an example:

I’ve been testing cold outreach in the month of November for lead generation. My goal in November hasn’t been to get leads, it’s to push through the resistance I’ve got to doing it and beat it through sheer force of will.

I aimed for 100 emails and follow-ups for this month and have very deliberately been doing it manually.

  • Finding the right person at a software company.
  • Getting their email
  • Crafting a thoughtful email with what I can help with
  • Following up with more help etc.

Doing this so manually has been slow, but it has built up my confidence in doing it, and a byproduct has been coming up with 6-7 different entry points with which I can help (a competitive review, a sweep of their ads and feedback, etc.)

Because Pipedream can connect to nearly all of the things and do it with nuance, this is a process I can build (and will build a version of) after November.

  • Scan list and find name
  • Browse the web to find any press/information about them
  • Screenshot their companies landing page
  • Screenshot snaps of any advertising they’re currently doing on Google, LinkedIn, or FB
  • Put all this information into Airtable
  • Scan a table of potential entry points (competitive review, landing page feedback etc.)
  • Scanning previous emails sent of this nature, draft a similar email with an approach to send in the same language
  • Prospecting process done for you

The benefit of committing to manual first reaps unexpected rewards later.

It’s a far techier tool than Zapier (and I’m not a developer).

But it’s been REALLY fun bashing through and figuring things out in a Command Line Interface (that’s like what DOS was for the older heads on this list).

I’ll keep you posted!

A throwback to the wizard hat

Tim Urban, author of WaitButWhy is one of the original Internet writers I fell in love with. I put him in the same category as The Oatmeal and I don’t say that lightly.

Later on it got quite politicky-and-US-y but my memories of Tim’s work are largely fond and mindblowing.

With the recent kerfuffle over at OpenAI, it jogged my memory to revisit Tim’s coverage of Neuralink.

Before you jump into that link and try to read that bad boy, please consider the fact that it is over 36,000+ words and finish reading this bit first.

Neuralink is a communication tool for the brain. Since time of writing there’s been progress in this area.

Connecting a machine to the brain seemed like crazy science fiction.

2 years ago, a monkey can play Pong with his brain.

At the time of Tim’s article, OpenAI was being formed (yes by Elon as well) because AI was perceived as an existential threat to humanity.

The solution to this as framed by the article was:

  • Solve extremely hard problems around building a machine into the brain
  • Be ready to merge the brain with general artificial intelligence when it comes

The thinking was you can’t beat AI - it will eventually supersede everything.

So instead of that - collectively benefiting with access to its intelligence is one way it could pan out.

I remember reading the article at the time and having my mind blown completely wide open.

I think as this continues - circus shenanigans and all - the reality the fictions are getting closer and will likely happen while most of us still live.

Which makes the circus shenanigans all the more terrifying because we’re playing for more than sheep stations here.

That’s this week done - apologies for the delay.

I was travelling this week and our family has been unwell 🙏

Take care, stay curious, and remember we’ve got this! 💪


AI vs. Marshy

by Luke "Marshy" Marshall

Growth marketer meets biggest technological advancement in our lives. Learn about AI in a way that doesn't overwhelm. Add a splash of strap yourself in and be prepared.

Read more from AI vs. Marshy

Hello and welcome to the 36th edition of AI versus Marshy! The distillation of a week’s worth of AI news by a growth marketer with a conscience. Lots to talk about this week, including: A deeper look at context windows and why they're important Some hard data on the impact of AI on freelancing jobs I rub shoulders with the HR crowd investigating AI and startup potential So let’s make like a slope and ski on with it ⛷️ -Marshy TIL about context windows Via Every. First Google called it Bard....

2 days ago • 4 min read

Hello! Welcome to another edition of AI versus Marshy. Here’s a fun fact - EVERY time I write this opening I have to open up ConvertKit and check what issue we’re up to… Issue #35! If you’re new to this newsletter - welcome again! Most subscribers are friends I’ve met over the years, readers of my last book Start Marketing, or have found me via searching for AI news. There are plenty of sources of AI news now and it goes at a million miles an hour. So what I try to do is filter that news,...

9 days ago • 4 min read

Good afternoon, welcome to the 34th edition of AI versus Marshy! Think of it like this - a growth marketer charting the impacts of AI on the world in a way that separates hype with pragmatism. If my newsletter inbox is anything to go by it was a very busy week! Eek! I’ll share a tip for managing such things at the end of the newsletter. I’ve been covering a lot of news and trends of late so this week it’s tools - let me know if it vibes with you :) This week: Professional headshots but with...

16 days ago • 3 min read
Share this post