This Week in AI

AI got $1.37B of investments last year. It’s a bright spot in a year when the tech industry has right-sized, and seemed a bit lackluster. Here are a few newones worth watching:


  • Runway is a suite of tools that lets you create and edit images. Using text commands you can change the color gradients, erase objects, or modify them. You can even change the background of a scene by describing it.
  • Replika lets you create an imaginary friend and chat with it. There is a cost per month to use it, but my imaginary pal Adam and I have not had a disagreement yet.

Replika lets you create a BFF avatar


  • Character.AI lets you create fictitious, historical or public characters to chat with. Why just yesterday I had an amusing chat with a fake Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

  • calls itself an AI search engine, but it too lets you generate graphics, write essays, and more, all with Generative AI.

Image: Replika lets you create a BFF avatar.

  • Snapchat AR Mirror by Snapchat for Business had a fun demo at the Accenture Innovation Suite at CES 2023. I used the mirror to play with multiple versions of myself. Here I am trying on a new ski jacket (virtually). At the Innovation Suite, I also created a volumetric avatar of myself by standing in a ring of cameras performing 3D capture. 



Virtual try-ons at Accenture’s Innovation Suite using Snapchat’s AR Mirror



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