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  • Sunday Signal: Google launches Gemini, the days are long but the decades are short and being tolerant of others

Sunday Signal: Google launches Gemini, the days are long but the decades are short and being tolerant of others

Hey friends 👋 Happy Sunday.

Here’s your weekly dose of AI and introspection.

AI Highlights

Gemini is Google’s most capable AI model yet competing directly against GPT-4. It’s multimodal, meaning it can operate across and combine different types of information (text/audio/video). What’s more, its performance exceeds current state-of-the-art results on 30 of the 32 widely-used academic benchmarks.

Alex’s take: I wrote about the most important takeaways in a post here. However, Gemini has already faced backlash after the ‘jaw-dropping’ demo video turned out to be fake.

I can’t help but feel this will give OpenAI the motivation (if they need any more since Sam returned) to release GPT-5 in the new year. More foundation models = a more efficient marketplace for developers.

The EU has reached an agreement on the Artificial Intelligence Act. It aims to balance innovation with the protection of citizens' rights. Key points include:

  1. Strict bans on AI for social scoring, manipulation, and exploiting vulnerabilities.

  2. Safeguards on law enforcement's use of biometric systems, requiring judicial approval.

  3. High-risk AI systems face stringent obligations, including fundamental rights impact assessments.

  4. General-purpose AI systems must adhere to transparency and EU copyright laws.

  5. Fines for non-compliance range from €7.5 million to €35 million or 1.5% to 7% of global turnover.

Alex’s take: The EU is once again doing all it can to stifle innovation. This time, it’s AI. The European Commissioner, Thierry Breton, posted on X “The #AIAct is much more than a rulebook — it's a launchpad for EU startups and researchers to lead the global AI race.”

My immediate question: how many individuals in this video regularly use AI systems like ChatGPT? I’m struggling to see how this regulation will help the EU run in the global AI race at all.

In an article from the FT, the author mentions “European companies have expressed their concern that overly restrictive rules on the technology… will hamper innovation”. I can already hear the frustration among European developers.

Deepgram launched Aura, a powerful text-to-speech (TTS) model built for real-time, conversational voice AI agents. This targets the customer service sector, which comprises approximately 2% of U.S. jobs.

Alex’s take: AI agents will take the world by storm. With Aura’s latency of ~150ms, it opens the door to hundreds of use cases. AI is at a unique place now where:

  1. Voice will become the primary interface for large language models.

  2. The evolved proficiency and reduced latency of these models now make interactions smooth and natural.

This is something I thought would take place 6 months from now. I was wrong—we’re early. And the rate of progress is only getting steeper.

1 Article I Enjoyed

In 2015, Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI turned 30. He wrote a blog post on life advice he’d garnered in the decade leading up to this milestone. My favourite takeaways:

  • Never put your family, friends, or significant other low on your priority list.

  • Don’t spend time trying to maintain relationships with people you don’t like. Cut negative people out of your life.

  • How to succeed: pick the right thing to do (usually ignored), have focus and self-belief, identify and connect with talented people, and work hard.

Another gem I enjoyed: “Always ask for what you want”. I’ve found the fear of asking often stems from a fear of failure. Don’t shy away from what you want. Just ask.

1 Idea I Learned

Be tolerant of others and strict with yourself.

Accept that others in life may be unreliable—that’s beyond your control.

Your responsibility lies in managing your own responses and actions.

Concentrate on your behaviour and let others handle their own.

There’s enough on your plate already.

1 Quote to Share

Charlie Munger on his life’s ethos:

“You want to deliver to the world what you would buy if you were on the other end.”

To get what you want, deserve what you want. Trust, success and admiration are earned.

1 Question to Ponder

Which of my daily habits are accelerating or decelerating me?

💡 If you enjoyed this issue, share it with a friend.

See you next week,

Alex Banks

P.S. I recently enjoyed watching The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar. I think you’ll like it.