There’s a lot of buzz right now about how generative AIs like ChatGPT and Bard will revolutionize various aspects of the web, but companies targeting narrower verticals are already succeeding. Writer is one of them and has just announced a new trio of great language templates to power your business copy assistant.
The company allows customers to tweak these templates into their own content and style guides, from which the AI can write, help write or edit the copy so that it meets internal standards. More than just detecting typos and recommending the preferred word, Writer’s new templates can assess style and write content on their own, even doing a little fact-checking when they’re done.
But the real draw is that everything can be done in-house, from fine-tuning to hosting, at least when it comes to the two smaller models in the Palmyra model series.
“No business leader wants their data to feed into someone else’s founding model, including ours,” CEO May Habib said in a press release. “We offer customers all the benefits of the AI application layer without any of the risks of other AI applications and business models. Business leaders want to invest in solutions that will essentially give them their own LLM.”
Palymra comes in three sizes: 128 million, 5 billion or 20 billion parameters respectively for Small, Base and Large. They’re trained in business writing and marketing, not Reddit and Project Gutenberg posts, so there are fewer surprises to begin with. Then you load your mouth with the last ten years of annual reports, financials, blog posts, and so on to make it your own. (This and any derived data is not filtered back to Writer, to be clear.)
Having written my share of corporate and marketing copy, I can tell you that this isn’t the most exciting app. But what it lacks in excitement, it makes up for in practicality: Companies have to do a lot of this type of writing and editing, and they tend to pay for it. Writer already plugs into many development and productivity suites, so there isn’t a lot of added friction.
The business model is similar to other generative AI companies: you get everything set up and tweaked for free, and you pay a penny for a thousand tokens, which works out to about 750 words. (This article has just over 500, as a quick reference.)
Alternatively, you can self-hose the Small or Base models for free if you have the compute.
A few dozen companies have been using the models since late last year, and we haven’t heard of any glaring problems like we did on day one of Microsoft and Google’s attempts to popularize generative AI… so that’s a good sign. This is the success I spoke of earlier. While ChatGPT is certainly impressive as a generalist or amateur AI, it’s hard to say what it’s really capable of being used for. Over the next year or two, we’ll see more targeted plays like Writers as Microsoft and Google kick the tires on their latest toy.