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Update #2: Working hard or hardly working amirite
Look I know it seems quiet but we've been making back-end websites, firmware, and peering deep into the abyss[delete][delete] supply chains
Hey gang! This is a newsletter about developing the AI Clock — a new ChatGPT poem every MINUTE on a gorgeous e-ink screen (here’s a web-based sim). You’re getting this email because you subscribed for updates, probably when that tweet went craaaazy.
If you’d no longer like to receive these emails, the unsubscribe link is at the bottom of the email. And if you’re sticking around, thank you :)
Read on for:
Some no-news news
Some other clocks
Some showing off
Some requests for help
— Matt, May 2023
Updates will always come to this newsletter, and I’ll try to make each meaningful and not overwhelm your inbox. If you need to email directly then my deets are on my homepage.
💃 No news is good news?
I really want to get the hardware AI Clock in your hands!
Like I said before, we’re chasing down two routes, and will go with whichever makes most sense. An update on both…
Kits. Progress! We’ve developed new embedded software for the clock that makes it super easy to set up on wifi. BUT there’s no readily available hardware that suits. Booooo. (I’d like to have a kit without soldering, and the available “assembled” off-the-shelf hardware takes 40 seconds to refresh the screen… not great for a clock.) Still chasing this one down, there must be something straightforward.
Boxed product is tantalising. I’ve been talking to production partners and retail partners and let’s just all keep our fingers crossed right?? We are diving for answers deep in the Shenzhen supply chain, and we had to do that firmware development (above) to get the questions right. I’m not going to say anything out loud yet because I don’t want to jinx it. Watch this space.
Another piece of the puzzle is the cloud service. I mentioned the cost of AI last time: generating 1,440 poems per day (one every minute) costs about $1.80/day 😬
So there’s now a cloud service that composes the poems and syndicates them out. That will mean the AI cost will be $0/day for everyone who buys the Future Clock! It's here at Poem. We’re on V2 now! It works well!
And don’t worry the poems still have that mysteriously positive vibe.
If you’re working on a product (apps or devices) that could benefit from custom AI-powered live copy, get in touch. We can help.
Anyway. Lots of emails and phone calls. Still digging.
🕰️ Other people’s clocks
As part of doing this project I’ve got kinda obsessed with novel clocks.
Here are two of my faves…
REAL TIME by Maarten Baas uses video projection to look like there’s a person inside continuously erasing and re-drawing the hands. There’s an installation by Paddington station in London, go check it out if you can.
PONGSAVER is a Mac screensaver by Mike Ash that looks like the old video game Pong… only it’s continuously in action, each player controlled by AI, and the score at the top is the current time. When the time has to change, the AI is made artificially stupid so it lets in a goal on the appropriate side 🥲
It has been a wild couple months for press!
The New York Times!! 35 Ways Real People Are Using A.I. Right Now (#11)
NDTV Man Develops AI Clock That Generates A New Poem Every Minute Using ChatGPT — and subsequently viral in India!
My favourite because I’m a Brit — Private Eye lol
There is something about AI IRL that people love.
🙇 Heeeeeelllllppp meeeeeee
Look I had some awesome responses when I put out some Asks last newsletter so I’m doing it again.
Here is my list of asks right now.
I’m chatting with an arts org about doing an AI Clock installation later in the summer using projection. Oooooh. Which makes me think… lobby art?? Any big firms with a big lobby fancy some big AI lobby art? Or any other art/installation collabs come to mind?
Retail/distribution partners esp in UK/Europe — I think the US will be covered (fingers crossed) but I would love to keep exploring. Is that you? I’m looking to partner with folks who bring scale and capabilities because I’m just one guy you know
I need some “standard numbers” for product markup/margins between factory gate, landed cost, wholesale, retail, etc, for this kind of gadget. Do you have current knowledge? Let’s chat!
IF YOU DON’T ASK THEN YOU DON’T GET.
🤖 Until next time…
Okay my droogs, that’s all for now. A “holding pattern” email I know, but now you know that I am (a) alive and (b) working with all haste to get this tasty AI Clock into your loving hands. I will send you more news as I have it.
p.s. I recently prototyped a gesture-controlled lamp that makes a sound like the Monolith from 2001. Here it is.