My favorite AI apps for April 2022.
AI-enhanced products are leaving competitors in the dust. Here are my favorite apps for March 2022: from blogging to photo editing, AI & Machine Learning can help increase productivity.
Beware the software living dead!
Before I get into the list itself - let's do a quick show of hands - do you know how many AI email clients are on the market in 2022? 2? 5? 10? The answer is over 30, and that's just what I could find through a quick google search. Here's a small selection. Outlook is part of what I call the software living dead: giant, lumbering applications that only continue to exist because they are backed by cash-rich corporations but seem incapable or unwilling to innovate.
Microsoft is in good company. Adobe Photoshop. Apple GarageBand. Sony Vegas. These are the MySpace of the future. The "I can't believe we even had a thing called Clippy" of the 2030s.
In a future article tentatively titled "The Everything of Babel", I'll argue that as of today, a surprising amount of content is procedurally generated and that in the not-so-far future, everything will be procedurally generated. From TV series to web searches, from videogames to stock photos, all because AI makes it not just possible but also faster, cheaper and better - three arguments that have historically been proven hard to beat :)
Onto the AI list!
I'm slowly but surely getting rid of my French accent thanks to Boldvoice, which uses AI to replace a speaking coach. It saves me a lot of money, and this coach is available 24/7, never cancels on me, and is always in a great mood. Lovely.
Luminar NEO has replaced my trusted copy of Adobe Photoshop. I haven't had to create a single mask since switching, as it's using AI to 'understand' the scene and derives depth from a 2D image. Note that's Luminar NEO, not Luminar AI. Go figure.
Topaz Labs tools have transformed my old photos from earlier digital cameras into 4k prints using… you guessed it, AI. Their tools even show you the models being downloaded as they automagically adapt to what's appropriate. Jpg-artifacts: gone. And rather impressively, it can do 4k upscaling in minutes on run-of-the-mill RTX 2080. I cannot wait to see this type of software being moved to a hosted model and harness the power of the Google, Azure and Amazon datacenters. Things are about to get crazy.
To round up the subject of photography, I've plugged my DSLR into a capture card and I'm using this for my video conferencing setup. My new camera is my old phone, a Google Pixel 4 that costs a whopping USD 250$ and takes photos that are, viewed on a smartphone screen, as good as my bulky GH5. I don't have to switch expensive lenses, carry a bulky bag, because it's using AI to detect faces, presses the shutter for me when people smile, and classifies all my photos into neat folders. The artificial bokeh is tolerable despite the phone having a terrible aperture of f/2.4 and a sensor the size of a pinhead. I'm curious to try the new aptly named Tensor chip on the 6th gen.
I know of at least 2 videos games that use AI to 'engage' the user more when they detect that the player is getting a bit bored by the action on screen. One is Rimworld, which is as good as it is addictive. Proceed with caution :)
I admit I cannot draw to save my own life, so I use the AI google experiment AutoDraw on a cheapo Samsung tablet to take quick notes and distribute them after meetings. People are impressed by my sketching skills, which I feel a bit guilty about.
Reface provide my family and friends with amusing reimagined versions of my favorite movies where, thanks to AI, I'm in the lead actor position. Wombo has my dog sing duets with me, based on a single selfie. This entertaining tech may look like pointless fads - but the same concept behind Wombo will soon power our low-bandwidth video calls. Think Google's acquisition of Niantic to better understand how people walked through parks: these are 'gateways' to much, much bigger things.
You probably figured this by now, but this article was in part written by an AI. Writesonic checked what keywords would be more impactful, the outline and all the hashtags were AI-generated, and the summary was adapted from something that a transformer (that's their name) 'dreamt'.
Furthermore, this article used AI to correct my grammatical errors and even monitored that I was not accidentally offending someone by accident. In fact, I didn't even get to finish the previous sentence, because Google Docs AI did it for me.
This list is by no means extensive and not intended to reflect the state of the art or 'what just came out'. I simply find it fascinating how quickly AI has now permeated every part of our content creation and consumption experiences, for better or worse.
From entertainment to productivity tools, AI shows not just promise but actual adoption and staggering increases in MAU/DAU for the products that leverage it. The same cannot be said for a lot of influencer-backed "trends" out there, something I'll explore in my next article.
Note that I am in no way affiliated or sponsored by any of these companies or products.
About the Author
I'm Stephan Tual and my passion is in communicating the impossible while building lasting communities. I was the architect behind the marketing and partner strategy for Ethereum.
I'm currently helping companies like yours navigate complex and sometimes overwhelming next-generation technologies around the buzzword minefield: AI, ML, Deep Learning, Crypto through my unique consultancy: Ursium.AI.
I regularly speak at both small and large conferences or community events.
Full bio: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephantual/