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Daily Digest
PRODUCT HIGHLIGHT
June 21st, 2024
This AI tool wants to save you hours of video editing time by automating it

Being a content creator can be hard work. For every video you watch, potential hours or even days' worth of work are pumped into it, from script-writing to shooting scenes to editing to distribution efforts. It’s a lot. 

One of those tasks is video editing, which can be notoriously difficult and time-consuming. Having to line up every clip perfectly and match audio is no small feat. What if there was a way to automate it? 

Cue content creator gasps.

Tellers is a new platform that aims to automate much of the video-editing process with the help of AI. All you have to do is provide a script or even an article, select a source for your video clips, and you will be presented with a ready-to-publish video in a few moments. It doesn’t require any prior editing experience, and if you’re not completely happy with the end result, you can dive back in, rearrange the clips, and upload new ones. 

Video generation isn’t anything particularly new when it comes to AI. Sora has been blowing minds for a few months, and I covered Luma AI’s Dream Machine only last week. Where Tellers differs is how it creates videos. Rather than generating a scene out of the blue, it pulls clips from existing sources the team has partnered with, like Pexels, and edits them to match the script you provided. 

One use case I kept thinking about when testing out Tellers is for startup marketing. Video is critical to marketing these days but what if you don’t want to spend the time and or the money to create one? With something like Tellers, you could theoretically pump out videos at a faster rate with less time and cash spent doing so.

PRODUCT HIGHLIGHT
June 20th, 2024
This new social app is replacing humans with AI charactersThis new social app is replacing humans with AI characters

Buckle up because we’ve officially arrived at the uncanny valley portion of AI. Until now, AI has typically been relegated to chatbots like ChatGPT or image-generation tools like Midjourney and DALL-E. It’s not like we have AI personalities running around social media or anything…

Meet Butterflies. It’s a new social app by ex-Snap engineering director Vu Tran. On the surface, you could mistake Butterflies for any number of Instagram clones. You have a grid-based profile, can follow others, and your timeline is littered with photos from “friends.” 

However, things quickly change once you start using it. Once you sign up, you’ll be asked to create an AI character or, as the app calls it, a “butterfly.” From there, your butterfly will start generating and sharing photos and interacting with other butterfly’s posts. There’s no limit to how many butterflies you can create, either.

During its private beta, Butterflies attracted tens of thousands of users and a healthy $4.8 million in funding from Coatue, SV Angel, and others. This week, it finally went live in both the iOS App Store and Google Play Store.

When I was playing around with it, I couldn’t shake the uncanny valley feeling. On the surface, it feels like a real, human-led social network, and anyone in passing would probably think you’re scrolling Instagram, but when you look a little closer, you notice things like people with seven fingers or three arms. After reading a few generated comments, I noticed the repetitive and hollow language common in AI models. 

But maybe that’s the point: As AI gets smarter and more human-like, so too will Butterflies. At the very least, it’s an interesting experiment where you can follow the progress of AI in real time in a more human setting instead of reading about the technical capabilities of different AI models. 

After all, caterpillars start off as something fairly unassuming before morphing into beautiful butterflies. Why can’t AI do the same? 

Weekly Digest
More Launch Stories
June 18th, 2024

Dream Machine is a text-to-video model that competes with OpenAI’s Sora, outperforming Sora's output at 120 frames of video in around 120 seconds. Dream Machine is built by Luma AI, an a16z and Nvidia-backed startup. Read more.

ICYMI, Apple launched Apple Intelligence, iOS 18, a crazy new calculator app, and more. You can read our digestible breakdown of the best new AI features here.

MARS5 TTS from CAMB.AI is an open-source, text-to-speech model, even for “extremely tough prosodic scenarios.” That means the AI can replicate speech rhythm and intonation patterns when it matters (e.g. imagine sports commentators or a movie trailer voice-overs.)

MotherDuck is now Generally Available. The cloud SQL analytics platform is recognized for its fresh approach to data infrastructure, including blending local and cloud query execution. Read the story.

Writer launched an AI studio with a Python framework to help companies build AI apps. The startup emerged as a product to help companies use AI style guides and grew quickly, locking down enterprise customers who, as it turns out, need help building more AI stuff. Read more.

TeamCreate is a tool that creates various types of AI workers from a simple Slack integration. It was launched by the team at Sivo, a fast-growing, YC-backed debt-as-a-service startup.

More Launch Stories
June 10th, 2024

Detail wants creators to share videos without editing software. Launched originally in 2020, Detail's latest update puts even more editing tools right into the recording experience, like text-based editing and remote recording. Detail is founded by Paul Veugen, whose past startups won Apple and Webby Awards. Read the story.

Descript, the popular audio & video editor, launched Underlord, an AI video assistant. If you’re a user, you know that Descript’s text-based editing was a game changer, but editing is still a time suck. Underlord can now redline changes for you, create clips, and more. Read the story.

Second is a codebase maintenance system from second-time YC founder Eric Rowell. Connect to your GitHub repo, select whatever maintenance module you need (e.g. Angular to React), review the AI agent's plan, modify as needed, and hit run. Read the Story.

Cello is a new all-in-one referral platform for B2B SaaS. Although a crowded space, the founders (a Forbes 30 under 30, serial founder + an ex-Twilio PM Director) say Cello is set apart through its seamless integration with your product, which motivated them to build it in the first place.

Elevate (formerly Bloom) offers US-based USD accounts for remote employees and freelancers, primarily in East and North Africa. Back in 2022, it became the first startup from Sudan to particpate in YC, and is now available in other emerging markets.

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