🍋 VoiceBots

OpenAI launched Voice Engine, plus Harvard applications fell by 5% last year.

Together With

“I would say the most dangerous thing in the world with a 12-year-old is to try to be his friend. But the worst thing with a 40-year-old is to try to be their parent.” — Chris Davis

Good Morning! Hope everyone had a great Easter. Harvard applications fell by 5% last year, and the university’s 3.59% acceptance rate is its highest in four years. The S&P 500 just had its best Q1 since 2019, adding 10.2%. JPMorgan is betting on new wealth planning tools for new investments. Citi says 42% of energy clients lack a climate transition plan. And private credit firms are boosting pay to attract top talent. 



OpenAI is launching its latest ambition - Voice Engine. The company behind ChatGPT wants to take a brief, 15-second snippet of someone’s voice and then create a digital clone that can chat away in any text you throw at it.

OpenAI says the synthetic voice sampling can express emotions, and even speak foreign languages the original speaker might not know. So you’d be able to create a voice narration of yourself that’s suddenly fluent in Spanish, Mandarin, Japanese - or any language you want.

OpenAI wants to take a ‘take it slow’ approach. They say the technology could help break down language barriers as well as assist those struggling to read or those who can’t speak - such as those with diseases like ALS. 

But, as you might be able to guess - there are tons of concerns about voice clones causing problems with digital identity theft and misinformation. Scammers are already using AI-generated voices for robocalls, and as the technology spreads, so does the potential for misuse. 

Takeaway: OpenAI isn’t the only one dabbling in the AI-generated voice space - Apple and HeyGen have their own programs, too. As the world of AI gets more real by the day, some experts are encouraging you to create a family password or code word to stay one step ahead of AI-generated voice scams.

Do you think AI-generated voices should be legal?

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Add AI to Your Portfolio

Marketing is an art, not a science — or, at least, it was. 

Dubbed “essential AI” for brands, RAD AI decodes the language of the internet into actionable, highly valuable insights. These findings can be used to deliver outsized ROI, and sometimes, help brands avoid disaster.  

RAD AI is disrupting the $633B marketing technology industry and its potential is evident by the numbers…

  • $27M raised from 6,500+ investors, including VCs, and execs at Google, Amazon and Meta, and is also backed by the Adobe Fund for Design.

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Top Reads

  • Harvard applications fell by 5% last year (Hill)

  • JPMorgan bets on new wealth planning tool to draw investments (Reuters)

  • Global smartphone market set to rebound in 2024 (Reuters)

  • Private credit firms awash in cash boost hiring (WSJ)

  • Citi says 42% of energy clients lack climate transition plans (YF)

  • Why SBF's time will be "nothing like a country club" (Axios)

  • Amazon's senior employees may not get a cash pay raise this year (Reuters)

  • How The Atlantic went from broke to profitable in three years (WSJ)

  • Getting over high inflation is going to take some time (Axios)

  • Apple's new iPad Pro likely to launch in May (Reuters)


Markets Rundown

The stock market was closed on Friday March 29th, in observance of Good Friday.

Private Dealmaking

  • Blackstone sold 48 California warehouses to Rexford for $1 billion

  • Blue Yonder bought One Network, an intelligent control towers provider, for $839 million

  • Take-Two bought Gearbox Entertainment, a gaming studio, for $460 million

  • Brandtech Group, a marketing tech firm, raised $115 million

  • Descartes Systems bought OCR Services, a global trade compliance solutions provider, for $90 million

  • Madison Dearborn Partners invested $35 million into Zilliant, a B2B price optimization company

For more PE, VC & M&A deals, subscribe to our Buysiders newsletter.


Behind The Startup

In recent years, dreams about our technological future have soured as digital platforms have undermined privacy, eroded labor rights, and weakened democratic discourse.

In light of the negative consequences of innovation, some blame harmful algorithms or greedy CEOs. Behind the Startup focuses instead on the role of capital and the influence of financiers.

Drawing on nineteen months of participant-observation research inside a successful Silicon Valley startup, this book examines how the company was organized to meet the needs of the venture capital investors who funded it.

Investors push startups to scale as quickly as possible to inflate the value of their asset. Benjamin Shestakofsky shows how these demands create organizational problems that managers solve by combining high-tech systems with low-wage human labor.

With its focus on the financialization of innovation, Behind the Startup explains how the gains generated by these companies are funneled into the pockets of a small cadre of elite investors and entrepreneurs.

To promote innovation that benefits the many rather than the few, Shestakofsky compellingly argues that we must focus less on fixing the technology and more on changing the financial infrastructure that supports it.

“Systematic analysis of everyday life inside a tech startup dissects the logic of venture capital and its consequences for entrepreneurs, workers, and societies.”


Regional Bank Stocks Underperforming

Source: Apollo



Music has been a crucial part of human evolution and mental well-being, tracing back to ancient hunter-gatherers who created instruments. Fast forward to our complex modern life, music's role in promoting mental health is undeniable. It not only engages multiple brain regions but also harmonizes their functions, offering a holistic workout for the brain.

While researchers continue to explore the full extent of music's impact on cognitive functions and dementia prevention, current evidence highlights music's power in enhancing mental wellness. Listening to music stimulates the brain, encourages connectivity, and has therapeutic value in aging healthily, combating neurological diseases, and managing stress.

In essence, music is more than an auditory delight—it's a powerful tool for sustaining and nourishing mental health, potentially shielding the brain from cognitive decline. With ongoing research, the profound benefits of music in brain health and mental well-being will likely become widely recognized and utilized.


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