What’s being built in generative AI today?

If you look past the financial headlines, what are today’s AI startups building?

News coverage of the AI boom has been hectic and mainly covered a few categories: Financial, Big Tech, concern and hype, and startup activity. The financial side is simple: Investors are working to put capital into companies that are either building new AI-powered products or embedding it into existing products.


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The Big Tech collection is also easy to understand: Google and Microsoft are racing to own the cloud layer underneath major AI technology and building generative AI services into their existing productivity and search products. Meta, Amazon and Baidu are also busy. The list goes on.

Hype is not hard to find┬ánor is the doomer perspective. Reality will likely be somewhere in between. I suspect that we’ll grow accustomed to having AI-powered tools and services around us at all times and some of the use cases will be positive while others will prove negative.

But these conversations often don’t actually discuss what is being built. So, this morning, I’ll go back through our recent generative AI coverage to provide a few notes on what folks are working to create. I am approaching the topic as a generalist who has a pro-tech, pro-progress and pro-capitalism perspective tempered by a dash of anxiety. Call me an optimist with an asterisk.

Fair enough? Let’s get to work.

Looking past the money

We’re going to look at Together, Contextual AI, Instabase, Adept and Cohere.

Together