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#68 Why the new AI button on your keyboard is inevitable? (Above Average Newsletter)

This episode is the audio version of Nataraj’s newsletter Above Average.

Welcome to 49th edition of the Above Average Newsletter. Your bi-weekly source of Above Average takes on the business of big technology written by Nataraj.

1. Why the new AI Button on Your Keyboard is inevitable?

Microsoft is adding a new AI button to your PC keyboard. This is the first time Microsoft changed the PC keyboard in last 30 years. If you are a regular user of ChatGPT or its competitors you will notice your own behavior, that you use it repeatedly and it might get lost in the 10s of chrome tabs you have opened.

You also realize that its a constant companion on your daily work. Microsoft already realized this and jumped head on into creating Copilots for all its products.

The next step in this strategy is to have a dedicated button that will launch bing copilot which uses gpt-4 and is currently free.

The move highlights couple of things:

Copilots are going to an enduring form factor

We will use copilots so often that it requires its own button

Its a great use of Microsoft’s distribution power to create a new user behavior

If this new behavior works its acts as counter to Google search. Your first step for any answer would be to tap that button and start asking the question. A better interface potentially to transition from a search dominant world to answer dominant world.

2. Who is the biggest AI VC in town?

As some one who closely works with a venture fund and interacted with lots of investors and invested in 20+ startups its important to note that the unseriousness of ZIRP era was prevalent in VC industry as much as it was in any other industry.

This meant higher valuations that defy the gravity of the business became common. Chasing each others and asking the question “who else is investing” became the most important criteria. Deals closed faster than ever. Crypto as a sector suck more oxygen in the room that it should. Mostly because too much capital was chasing too few deals and in the process new & some old investors lost track of what is important. Its important for a VC to invest in important things in tech.

Now with AI era on us, the biggest investors in AI are not the VC firms but its the fearsome foursome – Microsoft, Google, Amazon & Nvidia.

The amount of investment commitments from these 4 companies has already exceeded $20B with a conservative estimate.

Big tech companies never really invested in crypto like they are investing in AI.

So what’s the take away here – if you think AI hype cycle is similar to crypto hype cycle, you are wrong. AI is an enduring cycle worthy of hype, unlike crypto which was propped up by VCs with out enough depth.

3. My Experiments with AI:

One of the reason this newsletter is less frequent than usual (from now on it will be twice a month) is because I am working on writing more on AI as part of a series I am calling 100 days of AI. If you are interested in gen AI experiments, ideas & trends follow along here. Here are some posts I have written about AI.

– Design Thinking using Semantic Kernel – Get Insights from YouTube Podcast Video using Open AI’s GPT 4 – Build Your Own Chat with Data App

Till next time, stay above average.

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