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Your Best or Worst Dystopian Home, Ai Agents, Emotion AI, Creative Well-beings - Issue 18

Exploring Self-Hosted AI Agents, Generative AI Ads, and More

Happy Easter!

Thanks for reading and giving feedback last week. I'm in content creation overdrive and determined to clear out my Notion content backlog. Today, we’re covering these topics:

  • Discover the potential of self-hosted AI agents for your home and imagine your best or worst dystopian home yet.

  • Generative AI ads

  • Emotion + Ai? Can we capture emotion?

  • Ethical considerations of AI in society

  • Power of prioritization, the importance of friendships for well-being

  • Some interesting links and quotes

Let’s get into it!


🔸 Innovation

Self-hosted AI Agents At Home

A few months back, I mentioned AI Agents and their potential for connecting various products, inputs, and services. Check out these practical applications of this technology ‘for the home’ through open-source, self-hosted progressive web apps. Don't let the lack of eye candy fool you - the potential for social consumer startups to create gorgeous products that integrate with everything in your home and beyond is enormous (at least to me).

Imagine a home camera that not only records video footage of visitors but also interacts with other devices in your home based on what it sees.

Picture this, arriving home with that yum yum pizza box and a bottle of vino, and having your home camera trigger the oven to 420F, the bath to run, and your f45 class for the next morning to be cancelled. All autonomously. Your home cameras are a collection of eyeballs that act as inputs of a larger system that can potentially interact with other services in, or outside the home.

For whatever reason, the word "input" feels a bit flat and totally lame to me. It reminds me of the old VCR and television line-in systems that were clunky and anything but smart or dynamic. A more useful perspective could be to examine how our eyes gather information or how our brains process and interpret meaning. While writing this paragraph, I found myself opening and closing my eyes to test my own input capabilities. And this.

Dystopian AI Camera examples:

  • Personalization. It can see what you watch and eat. How you move, sit, sleep or dance. Your temperature, clothing style, and facial expressions. It could make personalized recommendations, or self-regulate based on your long-term goals. A diet coach from hell.

  • Enforcing house rules. If a family member or guest breaks a rule (like "no boys allowed" or "no soccer balls in the house"), the system can be programmed, or self regulate to issue warnings or notifications to the offending party (house ban). But it doesn't stop there, lol. The home system can take more direct action to preserve the rules. For example, it could revoke access to certain rooms, entertainment systems, assign chores, 100 pushups, or even adjust the temperature to play the heat or cold game. In more extreme cases, the system could even call/send video footage to the guest's parents, or book an Uber to escort them off the premises.

Okay. If you want to start experimenting, check out the Frigate NVR website.

And in case you think achieving this level of technology is too difficult or expensive, don't worry - there's an open-source project from last year that can detect facial expressions and it's available for free on GitHub.

(Tip — Smile and say cheese to ALL public cameras! Avoid looking angry).

Several AI startups have been developing models, datasets, and APIs over the past few years to help researchers and developers better understand emotional expressions, while also implementing standardization to align with ethical principles for a better AI future. This ties into a much large conversation about ethics and alignment.

A few years ago, I had a conversation with Ross Ingram, one of the co-founders at Maslo, who was undoubtedly the pioneer in this space. However, it seems that he has since moved on to Inflection AI. And several sections of the Maslo website no longer work.

Last week, I discovered Hume and caught myself down a few rabbit holes (one, two, and three). They market themselves as “The empathic AI toolkit” and in January closed a 12m Series A round from Union Square Ventures.


What’s the major takeaway? Cameras can be thought of as highly intelligent eyes. Generative AI will use emotional data and this will be insanely terrifying and user a new era of creativity. The way we understand and experience emotions is going to change significantly.

Perfect time for a quick poll..

Will we achieve true AGI within our lifetime?

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Facebook AI Ads

Meta is launching a generative AI engine for ad creation and predicts it will save a lot of time and money for business owners and digital agencies. This feels like a huge understatement and assuming it’s accurate (and it works), it could be the largest advertising breakthrough in the world? They've been keeping this ability lowkey for a while, but the upcoming era is gonna be remarkable.

What or how does this look for those selling physical products? Is the new game all about distribution & arbitrage? Any retailer or marketplace that lacks shipping advantages is at significant risk. Guessing brands bring as much as they can in-house.

I wanted to dedicate a post with more banter on this topic, but with AI's rapid pace, I have three or four other articles waiting to be published. And i’m behind in hitting publish on this issue. Let me know if you're interested in hearing more or have any articles/hot takes to share. Just hit reply!

The AI Dilemma

Do you remember “The Social Dilemma” that went beyond viral? The Center for humane technology is back with a message to Align Technology with Humanity’s Best Interests.

Major Takeaways from the presentation:

  1. Half of AI researchers believe there's a 10% or greater chance that humans will go extinct from their inability to control AI.

  2. Humanity’s ‘First Contact’ moment with AI was social media - and humanity lost.

  3. Guardrails you may assume exist actually don’t

  4. The media hasn’t been covering AI advances in a way that allows you to truly see what’s at stake

  5. We should put the onus on the makers of AI - rather than on citizens - to prove its danger.

AI and Chat-GPT For Good

Remember that viral dyslexia tweet from a few months ago? If not, it’s below. Danny blew up in a big way, delivering a presentation at the Zapier retreat that could inspire ideas for your business, workflows, or Zapier's future.


🔸 Culture

Have you been considering starting your own personal newsletter? Well, this video might just be the push you need to take the leap! And if you already have a newsletter or end up starting one, hit reply and let me know - I'd love to subscribe.

🔸 Creativity Engines

Taste - an unexpected but delicious international expedition acquiring new ingredients.

^^ just watch it

Learn By Doing

🔸 Product

🔸 Marketing

Future of You

🔸 Personal Development + Well-being

The Global Happiness Report was recently released, and produced in Vancouver with support from UBC. For the sixth year in a row, Finland is the world’s happiest country. The report provides a snapshot of life satisfaction scores around the world, as shown in the map above. Here are the top five countries:

  1. 🇫🇮 Finland 7.8

  2. 🇩🇰 Denmark 7.6

  3. 🇮🇸 Iceland 7.5

  4. 🇮🇱 Israel 7.5

  5. 🇳🇱 Netherlands 7.4

Friends With Benefits

Why friends are good for your health. Studies over the past decade have shown that the number and quality of close friendships are the biggest predictor of overall psychological and physical health and well-being, far surpassing traditional health factors.

On the other hand, having more than five friends was found to be detrimental, as social effort was divided among too many people, resulting in weaker friendships.


Sleep Deprivation Makes You Unhelpful and Or a Bad Boss

If you're not catching enough Z's, you're less likely to help other people the next day. It impacts individuals, groups, and entire societies. Here are few results:

Not only is getting good sleep important for yourself, fam, and your team, but it can also be a game-changer for those in marketing, especially for charities, non-profit organizations or those that offer donation tips.

The Rise Of Negative Media

It’s not your imagination, since 2010 the media has been using fear, anger, disgust, and sadness in headlines. Yikes


🔸 Interesting Links

🔸 In The Slow Lane

Ah, yes. Some of us are approaching or looking forward to living "over the hill."

Qs or Quotes Bouncing in My Brain

"If you create it for yourself, it’s art. If you create it for others, it’s business."

To improve, compare little things.

- marketing strategies

- exercise technique

- writing tactics

To be miserable, compare big things.

- career path

- marriage

- net worth

Comparison is the thief of joy when applied broadly, but the teacher of skills when applied narrowly.

James Clear via sari azout

🏀 Reach vs relevance?

🏀 Missionary vs mercenary?

🏀 Strategic core values or part of your DNA?

Which game are you playing?


🔸 Life Log

  • I've just kicked off a new client project, conducting a marketing/sales audit and digital transformation plan. At the same time, I've also started advising a marketplace as a startup advisor. Few spots left, talking to founders in SG and LA. Hit me up if you want a hand!

  • Working on building some epic content-creation pumps. What? I recently joined a content creation community and we're currently in the midst of a 30-day challenge. So, you can expect to see or hear more from me across various social channels and this newsletter list.

  • AI is moving too quickly.

🔸 AirPod Status

These sounds feel good to me right now.. especially with some of Tdot's Drake.

Newsletter Vibecheck

How'd I do? Slam dunk or airball? Lmk your thoughts on this issue so I can level up future content.

What'd you think of this issue?

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Wrap Up

Thanks! Have a great week!


ps - If you find my content valuable, please forward it to friends, colleagues, or anyone else who might benefit from it. You can also find me on Twitter.


Hi there, my name is Kenny Grant and I specialize in the 0 to 1 builder stage (read full bio). Every two weeks, I cover various topics focused on product development, marketing, creativity, social impact, innovation, r&d, and the future of work. Although my perspective is universal, I mainly cover the frontier of North America and Southeast Asia.

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