If there’s one phrase you can’t help but hear over and over in the tech sector lately, it’s “generative AI.” This term applies to a wide range of technologies that seem to have hit a tipping point in quality, poised to truly impact our daily work. What is the commonality? All the companies in this space are capable of automating large sections of content creation of all kinds. Let’s look at some of the emerging leaders.
What are examples of generative AI?
Of course, artificial intelligence is used now for everything from grocery store inventory management to predicting the weather. Until recently, AI was great at synthesizing huge amounts of raw data, but not good at creating new content. As the quality of output from AI has increased, generative tools are finally good enough to actually be useful.
Generative AI refers to technology that can take human inputs and create completely new content. One of the most famous is the image generation tool DALL-E. With prompts such as, “confused man standing in grocery aisle,” the algorithm can create an original image that fulfills the prompt. Other examples include language processing AI that can write blog content or common contract language. Of course, often human adjustment and interpretation is usually still needed. Still, these tools can now cut production time by a significant factor.
The Base10 Generative AI Trend Map
In the economic slump of 2022, the bar for receiving venture capital investments got much higher. Still, several companies were showing such promising tech that they grew apace anyway. Jasper.ai, an AI content writing app, is the breakout example with a $125M raise in the summer. Similarly visual art AI startup Stability AI raised $101M.
With the news of these unicorns, the generative AI space gained even more scrutiny. Venture capital juggernaut Sequoia Capital issued a map of generative AI companies to watch in October. WellSaid made the category of Speech / Voice Synthesis, along with a two other AI voice startups.
When Base10, another prominent Silicon Valley funder issued their Trend Map last week, WellSaid Labs once again made the list in the text-to-speech category.
What to Watch for Next
As the quality and applicability of AI tools improves, look for more areas of content creation to automate. Not only will more disciplines have a generative component, they will start to connect. Soon, a text-to-speech technology like WellSaid Labs might integrate seamlessly with any number of content generation tools.
As we saw this summer and fall, investors are paying close attention to this area of innovation. There will likely be more exciting announcements of venture capital placing major bets on companies on this map. The race to pick the next leaders in generative AI has begun.