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01: Shopping Gets an AI Upgrade

Shopping online got much smarter with Microsoft’s new AI-powered tools on Bing and Edge. It’s like having a personal shopping assistant who knows all the ins and outs.

Microsoft has been working on AI magic to make our shopping experiences smoother and more efficient. According to TechCrunch πŸ”—, these tools help you find products faster, compare prices, and even get suggestions on the best time to buy.

It’s like the AI is doing all the homework for you.

Imagine this: You’re eyeing a new pair of headphones, and instead of juggling multiple tabs and websites, Bing and Edge have your back. They’ll sift through the info, compare prices from different retailers, and give you insight on whether now’s a good time to hit that ‘buy’ button.

And here’s something extra fun – Microsoft is also rolling out visual search. Snap a picture of something you like, upload it, and the AI finds similar products. It’s perfect for those “I need this in my life” moments when you spot something awesome but have no clue where to find it.

🧠 This is where it gets fascinating. Small businesses can use these AI tools to optimize their product listings, making them more attractive and visible to customers. Additionally, the visual search capability can be a game-changer for small retailers who want to showcase their products more engagingly. Then by analyzing pricing trends, small businesses can also make more informed decisions on pricing strategies, ensuring they remain competitive without all the extra manual research work.

AI is becoming an invaluable ally for small businesses, helping level the playing field and compete with larger retailers. It’s not just about making shopping easier for customers; it’s about empowering businesses with data and tools that were once out of reach.

Microsoft is on a tear leading the charge on integrated AI tools & it’s exciting to think about what other innovations are on the horizon.

02: Google Sheets’ AI – The Data Whisperer

Google Sheets is stepping up its game with a new feature called “Help me organize.” It’s part of the Duet AI features in Google Workspace Labs, and it’s all about making your life easier when dealing with data, especially starting.

It’s an AI-powered tool that suggests and creates table templates for you.

Example: you’re planning an event & can type in something like “Agenda for a one-day sales kickoff event with session descriptions and status” in the “Help me organize” side panel. The AI then generates a table with column headers and example contents around this exact topic.

Or imagine you need to create a budget forecast but don’t know where to start. Just type in “Annual budget forecast with revenue, expenses, and profit projections,” and voilΓ , you have a structured table ready to be filled. Or even more, maybe you need to manage a customer database. Try “Customer database with contact information, purchase history, and preferences,” and you’ll get a well-organized sheet in seconds.

Then simply insert this table into your sheet and customize it or run with the initial suggestions.

This feature is convenient for those tasks that require complex tracking and organizing or just getting started fast. It’s like having an AI assistant who thinks of things you might not have considered and pre-formats them.

🧠 Time is money, and both are often in short supply for small businesses. “Help me organize” can be a real-time-saver, helping you quickly set up sheets for various aspects of your business, like tracking inventory, managing appointments, or planning events. This means you can spend less time wrestling with spreadsheets and more time focusing on growing your business.

If you have a Google Workspace account, you should get in on this early. You can sign up for early access through Google’s Workspace Labs program here πŸ”—.

In a world where data is king, having tools that simplify organizing and analyzing that data is invaluable. Google’s “Help me organize” feature is a step in that direction, making data management more accessible and efficient.

03: Cinematic Wonders with AI

Wonder Studio is an innovative web application developed by Wonder Dynamics that is set to revolutionize the visual effects (VFX) industry. It’s a browser-based platform that utilizes AI to integrate computer-generated characters into any scene seamlessly. In essence, it can flawlessly replace actors with 3D models.

Here’s how it works.

Wonder Studio allows editors to drag and drop any 3D character into a scene. The AI then takes over, animating the character frame by frame, adapting to camera motion, lighting, and color. It’s like the character was always part of the original footage. The application can even handle multiple characters in a single frame.

Imagine you’re a filmmaker on a budget and want to include a scene that would typically require expensive motion capture technology. With Wonder Studio, you can bypass the traditional motion capture process. The AI detects the actors’ performances from single-camera footage and transfers it onto a 3D character. This means it animates, lights, and renders the character in real time.

🧠 For small businesses and independent creators, this is groundbreaking.

The technology bridges a significant gap, especially for those who might not have the resources for traditional VFX processes. It’s about more than just replacing actors; it’s about bringing visions to life without the need for extensive resources. This could be particularly useful for small production companies, independent filmmakers, or even marketing agencies looking to create high-quality content on a budget.

Moreover, Wonder Studio emphasizes that this tool is designed to empower artists, not replace them. The AI handles the technical aspects, allowing artists to focus on the creative side. According to Wonder Dynamics, “Wonder Studio AI automates 80% to 90% of ‘objective’ VFX work and leaves the artist with the remaining ‘subjective’ work.”

Currently, Wonder Studio is in open beta. It is being used by the production team behind an upcoming Netflix film directed by the Russo Brothers and starring Millie Bobby Brown and Chris Pratt. The service is free to signup and try, but to process video, be prepared for a monthly subscription (however still cheaper than hiring a VFX team).

In a world where content is king, Wonder Studio provides the tools to create content that was once only possible with big budgets and large teams. I’m pumped to see how this will shape the future of content creation.

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