Happy Friday, everybody. Wild times, huh? There are world leaders giving interviews on X (with ~140 million views at the time of this writing, less than 24 hours after the interview first aired) and conspiracy theories plaguing mankind’s most beautiful form of competition (iykyk). The upside for this newsletter is that the Super Bowl is also known for its big-time advertisements.
This year’s Super Bowl will feature more A-list celebrities in commercials than we’ve ever seen before. Times have changed since Vincent Chase made $500k to hock a Chinese Red Bull knockoff 20 years ago. Ben Affleck reportedly reeled in a $10 million payday for a Dunkin’ Donuts commercial. You can also expect to see Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer, Chris Pratt, and Jason Momoa during the ad breaks this year.
MGIE was quietly released earlier this week. It’s Apple’s first AI model. MGIE stands for “multimodal large language model guided image editing,” which is exactly what any reasonable person would guess after seeing the acronym. There was a waiting list to use it, but anyone with a Hugging Face account (register here) can now start playing around with it right away.
You cannot generate images from scratch with MGIE. It only makes adjustments to existing pictures. The most amusing example from the academic paper that describes MGIE’s capabilities is a picture of a pepperoni pizza that gets vegetable toppings added to it after prompting MGIE to “make it more healthy.”
We were not impressed with MGIE’s performance when we tested it. It gave us something along the lines of an oil painting of a golden retriever after we asked it to make a picture of a golden labradoodle “look more ferocious.” It also added cushions to the back of an office chair when we prompted it to make the chair look fancier. You can see the full size images here. Whatever. Early days.
We just created a Gemini Ultra account, so we will be putting it through its paces this week to see how it fares against GPT-4. Google’s in-house studies claim that it outperforms OpenAI’s strongest model in some ways, but Google has already been caught lying about Gemini. We’ll let you know what we think next week.
We have a new Local Viking/Local Brand Manager feature to tell you about this week. It’s not nearly as cool as the updated GeoGrid search results we wrote about last week (which is a shame since the majority of you didn’t receive last week’s newsletter because of new Gmail and Yahoo! requirements we’ve since satisfied [we mostly raked Prime Video over the coals]; you can read it on our blog), but it’s not nothing either. The automated audits that are included with your subscriptions now include business attributes. There are only so many we could legibly include in the screenshot you’re seeing, but in addition to accessibility, amenities, atmosphere, and children, the other business attributes for the restaurant we audited include: crowd, dining options, highlights, offerings, parking, payment options, planning, and service options. The attributes will obviously vary by primary business categories.
We want to start this week’s closing links with an editorial from The Economist called The end of the social network. You can see the clever artwork that accompanies the column above this paragraph. It describes the way that fewer and fewer people are sharing public posts and how conversations are increasingly moving to private group chats. Next, Monday’s Wall Street Journal had an article about the new rules Google and Yahoo put in place for bulk emailers. We referenced these rules earlier when we mentioned that most of you didn’t receive last week’s newsletter. The new requirements will theoretically reduce the amount of spam going around, but this article isn’t optimistic about how successful they’ll be. Our third link is tangentially related to the conspiracies we barely touched on in the first paragraph. Digiday wrote a (long) piece about how Taylor Swift’s presence at this year’s Super Bowl will impact advertisers. Our final link comes from Vox and is called Against trendbait. It takes a look at why a bunch of microterms (a word we’ve never seen before) like “mob wife aesthetic,” “girl dinner,” and “dinner and couch friend” keep coming into existence on TikTok. Don’t worry if you can’t make sense of the previous sentence because we really can’t either.
Have a great weekend. The Super Bowl will air on Paramount+ and CBS in the United States. Places with insufficient freedom can watch it on DAZN (and plenty of other country-by-country sources). We’re hoping to find some kind of sideline-view for VR headsets. If anyone knows of such a broadcast, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know.