OpenAI says it’s working on AI that mimics human voices

Ayman Alashkar, Founder & CEO of overwrite was on Dubai Eye 103.8 , he highlighted the urgent need to address the threat of deep fake misinformation.

Reflecting on recent events, Ayman Alashkar highlighted the spread of deep fake misinformation in the Chicago elections last year, where a candidate’s voice was synthesized using advanced technology just before the vote. Are we to now expect similar malicious acts in the Democratic voting systems of these countries? That represents 4 billion people. Ayman Alashkar stressed the importance of people being able to recognize and address fake news, urging policymakers to develop strategies to counter its influence on electoral processes.

By Clare Duffy, CNN

OpenAI has unveiled a new artificial intelligence tool that can mimic human voices with startling accuracy. The AI voice generator has a range of potential applications, including for accessibility services, but could also prompt concerns about misinformation and other forms of abuse.

OpenAI on Friday shared samples from early tests of the tool, called Voice Engine, which uses a 15-second sample of someone speaking to generate a convincing replica of their voice. Users can then provide a paragraph of text and the tool will read it in the AI-generated voice.

An AI-enabled text-to-voice tool could help with translation, reading assistance for children or aiding people who have lost the ability to speak, the company says. But some skeptics worry it could also fuel the creation of disinformation or make it easier to perpetrate scams.

OpenAI says Voice Engine is currently being used by only a “small group of trusted partners,” including education and health technology companies, and it will use their tests to determine whether and how to allow more widespread use. Those testers have agreed not to recreate people’s voices without their explicit consent and to clearly identify to listeners that what they’re hearing is AI-generated, according to the company.

“We recognize that generating speech that resembles people’s voices has serious risks, which are especially top of mind in an election year,” OpenAI said in a blog post. The company acknowledged the need for major changes as AI-generated audio becomes more widely available, although it doesn’t plan to release Voice Engine to the public immediately. For example, the company suggested phasing out voice-based authentication for bank accounts.

“Any broad deployment of synthetic voice technology should be accompanied by voice authentication experiences that verify that the original speaker is knowingly adding their voice to the service and a no-go voice list that detects and prevents the creation of voices that are too similar to prominent figures,” OpenAI said.

Voice Engine can use a voice sample in one language to create a replica voice that can speak in multiple other languages.

Its blog post includes an example of an audio clip of a human reading a passage about friendship, alongside AI-generated audio that sounds like the same person reading the same passage in Spanish, Mandarin, German, French and Japanese. In each of the AI-generated samples, the tone and accent of the original speaker is maintained.

Click here for audio samples from OpenAI that show how Voice Engine works. The first audio clip is the real human speech that was used was the input for the tool.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of and its owners.

This story has been published from an article in CNN published on April 2024.

For informative news and views on the world of real estate, proptech and AI, follow overwrite on Instagram and LinkedIn, and keep up-to-date with our weekly NewsBites blog

overwrite | real estate content creation, reimagined

UN adopts first global AI resolution

The United Nations has moved to protect our Human Rights from Artificial Intelligence.

If you haven’t caught up on the latest news, Last Thursday, The United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted the first global resolution on artificial intelligence.

The non-binding resolution, proposed by the United States and co-sponsored by China and 121 other nations, took three months to negotiate and also advocates strengthening privacy policies, the officials said, briefing reporters before the resolution’s passage.

The resolution is the latest in a series of initiatives — few of which carry teeth — by governments around the world to shape AI’s development, amid fears it could be used to disrupt democratic processes, turbocharge fraud or lead to dramatic job losses, among other harms.

“The improper or malicious design, development, deployment and use of artificial intelligence systems … pose risks that could … undercut the protection, promotion and enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms,” the measure says.

Asked whether negotiators faced resistance from Russia or China — UN member states that also voted in favour of the document — the officials conceded there were “lots of heated conversations. … But we actively engaged with China, Russia, Cuba, other countries that often don’t see eye to eye with us on issues.”

“We believe the resolution strikes the appropriate balance between furthering development while continuing to protect human rights,” said one of the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

In November, the US, Britain and more than a dozen other countries unveiled the first detailed international agreement on how to keep artificial intelligence safe from rogue actors, pushing for companies to create AI systems that are “secure by design.”

Europe is ahead of the United States, with EU lawmakers adopting a provisional agreement this month to oversee the technology, moving closer to adopting the world’s first artificial intelligence rules. The Biden administration has been pressing lawmakers for AI regulation, but a polarised US Congress has made little headway.

The White House sought to reduce AI risks to consumers, workers, and minority groups while bolstering national security with a new executive order in October.

Like governments around the world, Chinese and Russian officials are eagerly exploring the use of AI tools for a variety of purposes. Last month, Microsoft said it had caught hackers from both countries using Microsoft-backed OpenAI software to hone their espionage skills.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of and its owners.

This story has been published from an article in Khaleej Times published on March 2024.

For informative news and views on the world of real estate, proptech and AI, follow overwrite on Instagram and LinkedIn, and keep up-to-date with our weekly NewsBites blog

overwrite | real estate content creation, reimagined

Agent’s Guide: Top House Selling No-No’s

This is a list of things real estate agents should never say to their clients.

1. You Have Horrible Taste

Agents often face challenges with sellers who refuse to alter their unique decor choices, like an extensive collection of taxidermied cats. While taste is subjective, staging a home neutrally tends to attract more buyers and potentially lead to higher sale prices, instead of criticizing their taste.

Say This Instead:

You have a beautiful collection of stuffed cats. It is so meaningful and important to you. However, we might have potential buyers who are allergic or may miss their dear departed cats. They will spend the whole time looking at your cats, thinking about their cats, not your lovely property. Let me show you some simple things we can do to stage your home that might even bring a higher sales price! 

2. Call Me Anytime, 24/7

As an agent, maintaining open communication with clients is essential, but setting unrealistic expectations of being available at all times can lead to frustration and burnout. Balancing professional responsibilities with personal commitments is crucial for long-term success and well-being.

Say This Instead:

You can commit to top-tier customer service. You can promise to return all emails and texts within one business day. You can pledge to monitor messages and respond promptly and regularly. You can also introduce your clients to a fellow team member or assistant who can step in if you are unavailable. You can deliver the best customer service in your area in many ways without sleeping with your phone. 

3. I Only Make Money if You Buy a House

Real estate agents should avoid saying they only get paid when clients buy a house, as it can create undue pressure. Recent commission lawsuits highlight the confusion surrounding agent compensation and their value. Agents should take the opportunity to clearly articulate the various roles they play in helping clients find their dream home.

Say This Instead:

If asked how you make money, be careful not to answer by assigning any responsibility to your clients. Rather, point to the many services you provide. Make sure they understand commission but do so in a way that ensures they never feel like they are responsible for you keeping your lights on at home. Even if they are.

4. Your Dream Home Doesn’t Exist

Avoid telling clients that their dream home doesn’t exist, as it can crush their hopes and aspirations. Many buyers are influenced by media portrayals of ideal homes and may have unrealistic expectations. Instead, agents should navigate compromises with sensitivity and understanding, acknowledging the challenges of the current market and managing client expectations accordingly.

Say This Instead:

I understand that these not-granite countertops make you want to gouge your eyes out with pruning shears, but countertops are replaceable and are easier and cheaper than you think. Let’s look at some cosmetic changes that can make this house (the one that checks every other box) your dream home. 

5. You’re Delusional

I’m guessing you may have said this in your head many times to different clients about different issues. After all, any time you work with people, there will be a time when there’s a difference of opinion. For example, agents might want to call a client delusional when they submit a low-ball offer.

They say, “I know it’s listed at $380,000,” they say, “but let’s go in at $290,000 and just see what happens.” You’ll be tempted to respond, “You’re delusional.”

Say This Instead:

Instead of questioning their ability to reason, you’ve got to lean on your numbers and their emotions. Explain how the comps make the listing price pretty accurate. While there might be room for negotiation, a basement-level low offer will sour the relationship from the outset. The sellers might not even counter, cutting off further opportunities for negotiation. In a seller’s market, those lowballs aren’t going to get it done (highest and best should be the order of the day). Try to suss out if they really want the home, and if so, how badly. And is it worth making a realistic offer to get it? 

Agents must refrain from making insensitive remarks, even in challenging situations like viewing homes with unconventional decor. Instead, they rely on diplomacy and persuasion to guide clients effectively. By offering tactful feedback and professional advice, agents can help clients prepare their homes for sale successfully.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of and its owners.

This story has been published from an article in The Close published on February 2024.

For informative news and views on the world of real estate, proptech and AI, follow overwrite on Instagram and LinkedIn, and keep up-to-date with our weekly NewsBites blog

overwrite | real estate content creation, reimagined

Is your phone listening to you?

Have you ever had a conversation on your smartphone, only for your newsfeed to shortly thereafter show you unsolicited ads and articles relating to what you’d recently spoken about?  

The phenomenon of content targeting based on private conversations, has sparked widespread debate. 

Could our phones be actively listening to us, using microphone data to tailor content in breach of privacy settings?

Uncover opinions behind the debate. Learn what you can do to improve your privacy protection. Tune in as Ayman Alashkar, Founder & CEO of, teams up with Zeena Zalamea and Sonal Rupani on Dubai Eye 103.8 for a captivating discussion.

Ayman recounted numerous occasions where he experienced this phenomenon. One memorable instance he shared involved a conversation with a friend about rugby scrums. Watch what happened.

To his surprise, his phone seemingly intercepted the conversation, as ads related to software development scrum methodologies began appearing on his feed within moments. It was clear that his phone had been listening. And if that wasn’t bad enough, it had misunderstood the context entirely.

These instances not only confirm the active listening capabilities of our devices but also highlight their tendency to misinterpret our conversations.

So what can you do to improve your smartphone’s privacy settings?

Anybody that wishes to take their privacy and security seriously, should regularly review their app permissions every 6 months. Decide which permissions they’re comfortable granting to apps. Some apps may overreach for data that they have no business wanting. Stay vigilant and consider uninstalling apps that request excessive permissions. This proactive approach helps enhance smartphone privacy settings.

Here are some useful tips on how to manage app permissions on both iOS (iPhone) and Android devices.

The debate surrounding whether our phones are eavesdropping on our conversations remains highly controversial, with numerous publications such as The Washington Post weighing in on the matter. However, what becomes evident is that there are arguments supporting both perspectives.

Now, the question remains: Do you believe our phones are actively listening in on our conversations, or is it all just speculation?

For informative news and views on the world of real estate, proptech and AI, follow overwrite on Instagram and LinkedIn, and keep up-to-date with our weekly NewsBites blog

overwrite | real estate content creation, reimagined

It’s For SALE, Stupid! An Estate Agent’s Story

Every real estate agent has encountered their share of challenging Clients, each presenting unique hurdles to overcome.

Take a look at this story shared by a real estate agent in the USA.

Phone Rings. 

I answer.

A guy is calling from a listing sign, and he doesn’t know where he is. 

He can’t read the agency name — he blames the sign — and he can’t describe the property for crap. He starts getting really impatient with me, but I finally get enough information to McGyver his location by intuition and the hard science of assuming he’s looking at one of our cheapest listings because of his demeanor. I am right, and after I answer his basic questions about the home’s layout, this conversation ensues.

Caller: “How much is the rent? I’m interested in making it my home.”

Me: “Sir, the house is not for rent. You can only buy it.”

Caller: “Well, that’s dumb. Why did you put the sign here, then?”

Me: “I’m not the agent listing the house. [Agent] is out of the office, but the sign clearly says, ‘For sale,’ with the number to get assistance right away.”

Caller: “That’s why I called. I want the house, and I’ll pay rent on time.”

This goes around and around, with me using analogies comparing buying versus leasing in other situations like cars and equipment. Trying to make him understand makes it worse.

Me: “If you really like it, I will have an agent get in touch with you to show you the inside and explain the buying process. Remember, though, it can’t be rented. The owner only wants to sell it.”

Caller: “Look, idiot, I know this may be hard for you to understand, but I just want to rent it. I think I can come up with the $130,000, but I need to know what the rent will be after that. It shouldn’t be hard for an educated person to figure out.”

I once again try to explain loans, mortgages, and buying a home.

Caller: “So, what happens after I come up with the money? I won’t get a loan like you tried to sell me on; that sounds like a scam, and I don’t want to pay rent to a bank. What will I be paying per month, and who do I pay it to?”

Me: “So, you’re wanting to buy the house for cash? And now you want an estimate of the monthly costs? Is that right?”

I start pulling up Excel to estimate closing costs and taxes.

Caller: “Yes, finally, you understand. I need to know what the rent will be.”

Me: “That is not called rent. Those are monthly expenses, not rent. If you pay cash to buy the house, you won’t have a rent payment; you’ll be the home’s owner. You’ll only pay the taxes and utilities if you occupy it, and you’ll have to pay closing costs and title insurance.”

Caller: “So, you mean if I pay cash, I won’t pay rent? Just that other stuff? What about cable?”

Me: “That’s up to you. Nobody is forcing cable on you.”

Caller: “This sounds great. Tell me more. This will be cheaper than I thought.”

Me: “Is this a joke? This is [My Boss], right? You’re hazing me or something?”

Caller: “I have no idea what you’re talking about. Back to cable…”

Me: “You can hire a company to mow your lawn, get a satellite dish, or anything you want as long as it’s not illegal or against neighborhood rules. It’s your house to decide what services you want.”

Caller: “Those are great ideas. And I’m going to rent this house. You are smarter than I thought. God bless you, son. Jesus loves you. Praise the Lord, I can retire!” *Hangs up*

In this story lies a reflection of the challenges and triumphs that define the daily lives of real estate professionals and it serves as a reminder of the importance of patience, communication skills, and adaptability required to guide clients through the intricacies of property transactions.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of and its owners.

This story has been published from Not Always Right on July 2023.

For informative news and views on the world of real estate, proptech and AI, follow overwrite on Instagram and LinkedIn, and keep up-to-date with our weekly NewsBites blog

overwrite | real estate content creation, reimagined

Three Top Tips for AI Investing

We just wrapped Step 2024, Dubai’s biggest startup conference of the annual calendar, where I had the pleasure of sharing some of my top tips for successful Artificial Intelligence investing.

If you’re a startup Angel, Venture Capitalist, or a business manager who is looking at AI investment, read on. By the end of this short article, I’m hoping to give you a little clarity on how to make a cursory assessment of the opportunity you’re looking at. 

First for some Context.

I’ve been an AI Investor and startup Founder for five years. During that time we’ve made mistakes that’ve cost us. And we’ve made some clever decisions that have proven to be almost prophetic. 

One of the best early decisions we made was to treat Artificial Intelligence as a financial asset class in its own right. As you would Stocks or Real Estate.

From that vantage point, any investor can make sense of an AI investment, with these 3 tips.

1. Boring is Sexy.

One of the simplest ways to detect whether someone’s pitching you a genuine AI investment or AI Snake Oil, is to probe their knowledge of AI.

You’ll be surprised how many people are pitching you something they barely understand. Many an investor has parted ways with precious capital in exchange for promises of glory and sackfuls of BS.

AI is a broad term. It is many intelligent automation methodologies. Generative AI is one. There are others. Anyone talking to you as though all AI is GenAI, is a hard pass. 

AI is not all things for all instances. You want to invest into AI use cases that operate in the background, performing their specific tasks to a high standard in a narrow domain. An unsung operational hero. 

Narrow, boring AI beats Sexy AI for investment security, every day of the week.

2. Is it a Bird or a Plane? 

Investing into Artificial Intelligence is not the same as investing into an AI-enabled business. This is critical to understand for any would-be startup investor or business looking to commit capital to AI. 

AI is a tool. Many startup investment opportunities present themselves erroneously as Artificially Intelligent when they aren’t. They’re just AI-enabled businesses, using the tool to do what they do. 

Whereas investing into AI technology is an intellectual property play. Investing into an AI-enabled business is a revenue play. The former is asset-backed. The latter is not. 

In real estate terms, when you invest into AI it’s as if you’re buying a property. Its value is inherently the bricks and mortar that it comprises, making your investment asset backed. Meaning it can not collapse to zero worth. It’ll always have residual value no matter what. And it’s yours. You own it, together with the benefits derived from it.  

When you invest in an AI-enabled business, be under no false illusion. As successful as the business may potentially be, it’s not AI that you are investing into. 

To use the real estate analogy again, AI-enabled investment is like buying a structured product that pays you a non-securitised yield from the rent of a property. It’s not asset backed. There’s no AI ownership to it. If for some reason the AI which the business uses fails, so does your money. 

Golden rule. When you’re investing into AI, you’re a Landlord. When you’re investing into an AI enabled business you’re further downstream, with rental revenue but no recourse or underlying asset in your name. Both are investable, so long as you know where you stand. 

3. Risk On. Risk Off. 

I say it often. Sound investment is not about maximising profit. It is first and foremost about mitigating risk. Understand where the risks to your investment are. If the business you’re investing into depends on the functional integrity of an AI system it doesn’t own, then your business is at the mercy of someone else. 

Most investors don’t realise just how exposed their investment is to third party dependency risk. Whether you’re investing into new technology, or a startup business, there’s already plenty of risk involved. Don’t unnecessarily compound it with a lack of knowledge as to where your risks lie. Do your homework. And if needed, look for people who have been in the AI trenches to help you define risk and mitigate for it.

The Price of Perfection.

Millions of MENA investment capital was squandered during 2023 because of the hysteria around Open AI’s ChatGPT, and it’s ok because that’s how mistakes are made and learnt. 

As a result today we’re seeing more deliberation, a greater understanding of the applicability of AI, and more targeted, efficient capital investment decisions.

Like I said at the beginning of this piece. I’ve made my own mistakes. Learned lessons from them. Lessons I’m hoping can be of use to you. 

Ayman Alashkar is the Founder and CEO of, and the Ex Head of Real Estate for Emirates NBD’s Private Bank.

He is a recognised AI industry pioneer and a regular speaker on the MENA region’s Artificial Intelligence and Entrepreneurial speaking circuits. develops proprietary Artificial Intelligence to solve for inefficiencies in MENA’s +$2.4 Trillion dollar real estate industry.

For informative news and views on the world of real estate, proptech and AI, follow overwrite on Instagram and LinkedIn, and keep up-to-date with our weekly NewsBites blog

overwrite | real estate content creation, reimagined

OpenAI will now let you create videos from verbal cues

Say hello to a new era of efficiency and innovation in real estate marketing, courtesy of Sora by OpenAI.

Imagine this: you’re a busy real estate agent, constantly juggling client demands and property listings. With Sora at your fingertips, generating captivating property videos becomes as simple as typing a quick text prompt.

Artificial intelligence leader OpenAI introduced a new AI model called Sora which it claims can create “realistic” and “imaginative” 60-second videos from quick text prompts.

In a blog post on Wednesday, the company said Sora is capable of generating videos up to 60 seconds in length from text instructions, with the ability to serve up scenes with multiple characters, specific types of motion, and detailed background details.

“The model understands not only what the user has asked for in the prompt, but also how those things exist in the physical world,” the blog post said.

OpenAI said it intends to train the AI models so it can “help people solve problems that require real-world interaction.”

This is the latest effort from the company behind the viral chatbot ChatGPTwhich continues to push the generative AI movement forward. Although “multi-modal models” are not new and text-to-video models already exist, what sets this apart is the length and accuracy that OpenAI claims Sora to have, according to Reece Hayden, a senior analyst at market research firm ABI Research.

Check out the OpenAI’s text-to-video model:

Hayden said these types of AI models could have a big impact on digital entertainment markets with new personalized content being streamed across channels.

“One obvious use case is within TV; creating short scenes to support narratives,” Hayden said. “The model is still limited though, but it shows the direction of the market.”

At the same time, OpenAI said Sora is still a work in progress with clear “weaknesses,” particularly when it comes to spatial details of a prompt – mixing up left and right – and cause and effect. It gave the example of creating a video of someone taking a bite out of a cookie but it not having a bite mark right after.

For now, OpenAI’s messaging remains focused on safety. The company said it plans to work with a team of experts to test the latest model and look closely at various areas including misinformation, hateful content and bias. The company said it is also building tools to help detect misleading information.

Sora will first be made available to cybersecurity professors, called “red teamers,” who can assess the product for harms or risks. It is also granting access to a number of visual artists, designers and filmmakers to collect feedback on how creative professionals could use it.

The latest update comes as OpenAI continues to advance ChatGPT.

Earlier this week, the company said it is testing a feature in which users can control ChatGPT’s memory, allowing them to ask the platform to remember chats to make future conversations more personalized or tell it to forget what was previously discussed.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of and its owners.

This story has been published from an article in CNN BUSINESS published on February 2024.

For informative news and views on the world of real estate, proptech and AI, follow overwrite on Instagram and LinkedIn, and keep up-to-date with our weekly NewsBites blog

overwrite | real estate content creation, reimagined

When Ayman met Jensen Huang

A Founder’s journey is never easy. 

One of the greatest joys of mine with, has been to have our work validated by the AI industry’s undisputed leader. We are the only AI Proptech startup from MENA to be a member of NVIDIA’s prestigious Inception accelerator programme.

This week NVIDIA shot past Amazon and Google-parent Alphabet to a market cap of $1.83 Trillion, becoming the third most valuable US company after Apple and Microsoft, thanks to the strategic vision of its Founder & CEO Jensen Huang and his leadership team. 

Jensen was in Dubai attending the World Government Summit. And I had the pleasure of meeting him, together with His Excellency Omar Sultan AlOlama (UAE Minister of State for AI).

It was an evening filled with inspiration and game-changing insights.

My key takeaway? Listening to a man with such unmatched intellect. Whose vision is so expansive, it seems almost impossible that it’s contained within the mind of a single individual. 

As Jensen spoke about the symbiotic future of humanity and technology, I got a sense that the scale of his ambition is matched only by that of the Middle East, it’s leaders, and the people that are driving its future, forward. 

Nearly 20 years older than me, and with far fewer wrinkles; the legendary Jensen Huang

There are worse ways to spend an evening than getting mobbed on stage with none other than Jensen Huang

Having a giggle withthe one and only Jensen Huang

For informative news and views on the world of real estate, proptech and AI, follow overwrite on Instagram and LinkedIn, and keep up-to-date with our weekly NewsBites blog

overwrite | real estate content creation, reimagined

Listen In: Top Real Estate Podcasts 🎧

From Bloggers to Vloggers to Tik-Tokers, the real estate industry has ridden every social media wave. But this week, we’re diving into the world of Podcasts. While it’s not the freshest face in the crowd, savvy agents are turning to this medium in growing numbers and unlocking the secrets of success in the ever-evolving real estate world.

1. Dubai Property Podcast

Dubai Property Podcast provides you valuable information about the real estate market in Dubai. Including property investment, property management, market trends, legal requirements, and comprehensive information if you are looking to buy or sell property in Dubai, as well as for real estate agents and investors.

Continue reading “Listen In: Top Real Estate Podcasts 🎧”

From Crypto Mines to AI Gold

Ayman Alashkar, the founder of, is an active public speaker and leader in AI. He believes that the trend around the business application for generative AI “lies in outcome-oriented content, where high accuracy is important”. He developed in 2019, a highly efficient real estate generative AI.

Since generative AI exploded into global consciousness in 2023, an unprecedented demand for computing power has emerged alongside the demand for apps utilising the technology.

Tool’s like OpenAI’s ChatGPT require thousands of Nvidia GPUs (graphics processing units) to smoothly process all the information being fed in and output. Nvidia last week compared GPUs to rare earth metals for AI, saying they’re “foundational” for the operation of generative AI today.

The energy required to power all this hardware is the equivalent of a small country, according to a report released by French energy company Schneider Electric last year. On Wednesday OpenAI’s CEO, Sam Altman, told an audience at Davos that an energy breakthrough was needed to power AI advances. “There’s no way to get there without a breakthrough,” he said, suggesting it was motivation for investing more in nuclear fusion.

Fortune Business Insights estimated earlier this year the global GPU market size was valued at US$2.39bn in 2022 and is projected to grow from US$3.16bn in 2023 to US$25.53bn by 2030. Nvidia claims more than 40,000 companies use Nvidia GPUs for AI and accelerated computing.

To meet the demand, Nvidia announced in August it would be tripling its production of GPUs. In November, Microsoft signed a multi-year deal with Oracleto supply computing power for its Bing Chat AI functionality.

Now companies that once serviced the boom in cryptocurrency mining are pivoting to take advantage of the latest data gold rush.

Canadian company Hive Blockchain changed its name in July to Hive Digital Technologies and announced it was pivoting to AI.

“Hive has been a pioneering force in the cryptocurrency mining sector since 2017. The adoption of a new name signals a significant strategic shift to harness the potential of GPU Cloud compute technology, a vital tool in the world of AI, machine learning and advanced data analysis, allowing us to expand our revenue channels with our Nvidia GPU fleet,” the company said in its announcement at the time.

The company’s executive chairman, Frank Holmes, told Guardian Australia the transition required a lot of work.

For others, like Iris Energy, a datacentre company operating out of Canada and Texas, and co-founded by Australian Daniel Roberts, it has been the plan all along. Iris did not require any changes to the way the company operated when the AI boom came along, Roberts told Guardian Australia.

“Our strategy really has been about bootstrapping the datacentre platform with bitcoin mining, and then just preserve optionality on the whole digital world. The distinction with us and crypto-miners is we’re not really miners, we’re datacentre people.”

The company still trumpets its bitcoin mining capability but in the most recent results Iris said it was well positioned for “power dense computing” with 100% renewable energy. Roberts said it wasn’t an either-or situation between bitcoin mining and AI.

As with cryptocurrency mining, the massive computing power required by AI systems means massive amounts of energy and carbon emissions for some of the centres.

AI companies like OpenAI keep their carbon emission figures a secret, but it has been estimated that the training of the previous iteration of GPT, GPT-3, consumed 1,287 megawatt hours of electricity and generated 552 tonnes of CO2 – the equivalent of 123 fossil-fuel-powered cars driven for one year.

Iris Energy views its use of renewables not just as better for the environment, but a cost saver.

While there is much hype, some are viewing the shift in the market with a level of scepticism, suggesting some might be jumping from one fad to the next.

Institutional Investor reported in August that a “penny stock” company known as Applied Sciences had reinvented itself as a bitcoin miner hosting company in April 2022 as Applied Bitcoin, but by November 2022 – perhaps sensing the shift in investment – renamed itself Applied Digital with a focus on AI.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of and its owners.

This story has been published from an article in The Guardian published on February 2024.

For informative news and views on the world of real estate, proptech and AI, follow overwrite on Instagram and LinkedIn, and keep up-to-date with our weekly NewsBites blog

overwrite | real estate content creation, reimagined

Isn’t head-desking an inevitable part of a real estate agent’s day?

Office jobs all have their quirks. Here’s one that some real estate agents might find familiar.

I work for a real estate company that has offices in two states. We have just adopted a new website platform and have had a lot of frustrations with the transition. One recurring issue we are having is that the pages showing specific property listings will display names and contact information that do not belong to the agents representing those listings.

I opened an email ticket with support to get this addressed.

Me: “There is an issue affecting some of our property listing pages. For properties listed by [Agent], the page is showing someone else as the listing agent and a phone number that is not her cell number, nor our office number.”

Support Person #1:“I just took a look at your account, and [Agent #1]’s ID number was entered incorrectly in our system, so I fixed it. As for the phone number, that is a number assigned to your company by our system to capture customer contact information. It can’t be changed, but don’t worry; sale leads will still be directed to the agent representing the property listing. Have a great day!”

This explanation suffices for my team, and the fix they applied seems to do the trick… until I realize the same issue is happening with a handful of other agents. I reach back out to support.

Me: “I had a ticket open about agent information displaying incorrectly on property listing pages. I have now discovered that this is still happening for the following agents: [list of names].”

Support Person #2: “I see the ticket you had open with [Support Person #1]. Unfortunately, you cannot change the phone number displayed on property listing pages. It is a number assigned to your company by our system to capture customer contact information. Don’t worry; sale leads will still be directed to the agent representing the property listing!”

Me:“Okay, that’s fine and actually not what I’m concerned about. There are a handful of agents who are not showing up on their own listings. The last support person applied a fix to correct this for one agent, so now I just need that same fix applied to these other agents.”

Support Person #2:“I have put in a request with our developers to allow you to change the phone number in the future, but unfortunately, at this time, it cannot be changed. Is there anything else I can help you with?”

Me: “Okay, as I already said, I understand that the phone number can’t be changed, and I’m not concerned about that. I need to ensure that the correct agent is displaying on property listing pages. For example, [Property Listing] is currently showing that [Agent #2] is representing this listing, but they’re not. This listing is represented by [Agent #3], so [Agent #3]’s name and photo should be on this page.”

Support Person #2: “That information is actually all random. The agent displaying on the page won’t always be the agent representing the listing. If you don’t want an agent showing up on these pages at all, you can turn that off in Settings.”

They send me a screenshot showing that they have ALREADY DONE THAT in my account. I rush into my account and turn that setting back on.

Me:“Actually, we aren’t allowed to turn that off. Our regional real estate commission requires the correct information to be there. I know for a fact that it’s not random because the last support person already fixed it for me once. Also, in the example I just shared, the agent displayed on the page is not even licensed in the state the property is located in, so they couldn’t even legally represent a buyer for this property. I really need these specific people’s information to be fixed.”

Support Person #2: “Unfortunately, at this time, the phone number cannot be changed.”

They go into the same spiel about the assigned system phone number.

Me: “I understand the system phone number, and that is fine. I really need the other part of my issue addressed.”

Support Person #2: “I have put in a request to allow the phone numbers to be changed, but at this time, they can’t be. I understand that this is not an ideal solution for you, and I apologize.”

Me:“Okay, is there someone else I can speak to about this? Or maybe we could get on a video call? It seems that my actual concern here is still being misunderstood.”

Support Person #2:“Sure, I’d be happy to get on a video call with you! Here is a link…”

We get on a video call, and I am able to share my screen, show them the exact place on our website where the incorrect information is being displayed, and prove to them that in most cases, it IS displaying the way we want to and not randomly.

Support Person #2: “Okay, I do apologize for the misunderstanding. Let me reach out to the first support person you talked to and find out what fix they applied so that we can correct these other agents.”

I breathe a sigh of relief, thinking I have finally gotten through to this person… until a day later when I get this response.

Support Person #3: “Hi there. I spoke to the previous support person on this ticket, and they were able to explain that they assigned you a system phone number to match the area code of your primary office. Unfortunately, at this time, this number cannot be changed, but I have put in a request with development to allow this in the future. I understand that this is not an ideal solution for you, and I apologize for the inconvenience. Have a nice day!”

I don’t think I’ll ever head-desk any harder than I did at that moment. This conversation was primarily over email, and it would sometimes take days for Support to respond, so this entire exchange took well over a month.

I still haven’t found out how to fix the problem.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of and its owners.

This story has been published from Not Always Right on July 2023.

For informative news and views on the world of real estate, proptech and AI, follow overwrite on Instagram and LinkedIn, and keep up-to-date with our weekly NewsBites blog

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Palestine Tech Launch: Tools for Palestinian Support

Paul Biggar, the founder of Tech for Palestine, hopes to raise more awareness of the war in Gaza, fight for a permanent ceasefire and provide ways for those who are afraid to speak publicly in support of Palestine to still offer support. 

It is one of the first tech initiatives to take a public stance supporting Palestine and could represent a turning point in the venture industry’s posture regarding the Israel-Hamas conflict as more people seek to speak out in favor of a ceasefire.

More than 40 founders, investors, engineers and others in the tech industry are today announcing a coalition called Tech for Palestine to build open source projects, tools and data to help others in the industry advocate for the Palestinian people.

The platform, still in its early days, will feature projects run by small groups and serve as a place to share resources and advice, something many pro-Palestinian tech workers are already doing privately. 

It has already secured names like Idris Mokhtarzada, founder of the unicorn Truebill, to help build out the platform. So far, it has created a badge for engineers to use on GitHub that calls for a ceasefire and created HTML snippets for people to use on their websites to put up a support ceasefire banner.

Ayman Alashkar, Founder & CEO shares on LinkedIn his support for Tech for Palestine

With your help we aim to end the dehumanisation of Palestinians within the tech community, and to bring voice to those who speak up. 

Please share with any techies you know. This is an open source platform supporting Palestinians and BDS more broadly. It’s still in early beta but already a great resource:

✅ Naming VC’s who support Israel’s genocide
✅ Suggesting alternatives to Israeli technology and gaps that can be populated by Palestinian technologists
✅GitHub repositories of badges, banners and codes that can be inserted directly on websites to show support for Palestine.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of and its owners.

This story has been published from an article in TechCrunch published on January 2024.

For informative news and views on the world of real estate, proptech and AI, follow overwrite on Instagram and LinkedIn, and keep up-to-date with our weekly NewsBites blog

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What’s next for AI in 2024

MIT Technology Review’s What’s Next series looks across industries, trends, and technologies to give you a first look at the future.

Here’s their pick of AI trends to watch out for in 2024.

By Melissa Heikkilä and Will Douglas Heaven writing for MIT Technology Review.

1. Customized chatbots

You get a chatbot! And you get a chatbot! In 2024, tech companies that invested heavily in generative AI will be under pressure to prove that they can make money off their products.To do this, AI giants Google and OpenAI are betting big on going small: both are developing user-friendly platforms that allow people to customize powerful language models and make their own mini chatbots that cater to their specific needs—no coding skills required. Both have launched web-based tools that allow anyone to become a generative-AI app developer. 

In 2024, generative AI might actually become useful for the regular, non-tech person, and we are going to see more people tinkering with a million little AI models. State-of-the-art AI models, such as GPT-4 and Gemini, are multimodal, meaning they can process not only text but images and even videos. This new capability could unlock a whole bunch of new apps. For example, a real estate agent can upload text from previous listings, fine-tune a powerful model to generate similar text with just a click of a button, upload videos and photos of new listings, and simply ask the customized AI to generate a description of the property. 

Melissa Heikkilä

2. Generative AI’s second wave will be video

It’s amazing how fast the fantastic becomes familiar. The first generative models to produce photorealistic images exploded into the mainstream in 2022—and soon became commonplace. Tools like OpenAI’s DALL-E, Stability AI’s Stable Diffusion, and Adobe’s Firefly flooded the internet with jaw-dropping images of everything from the pope in Balenciaga to prize-winning art. But it’s not all good fun: for every pug waving pompoms, there’s another piece of knock-off fantasy art or sexist sexual stereotyping.

The new frontier is text-to-video. Expect it to take everything that was good, bad, or ugly about text-to-image and supersize it.

It’s no surprise that top studios are taking notice. Movie giants, including Paramount and Disney, are now exploring the use of generative AI throughout their production pipeline. The tech is being used to lip-sync actors’ performances to multiple foreign-language overdubs. And it is reinventing what’s possible with special effects. In 2023, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny starred a de-aged deepfake Harrison Ford. This is just the start.  

Away from the big screen, deepfake tech for marketing or training purposes is taking off too. For example, UK-based Synthesia makes tools that can turn a one-off performance by an actor into an endless stream of deepfake avatars, reciting whatever script you give them at the push of a button. According to the company, its tech is now used by 44% of Fortune 100 companies. 

Will Douglas Heaven

3. Generative AI’s second wave will be video

If recent elections are anything to go by, AI-generated election disinformation and deepfakes are going to be a huge problem as a record number of people march to the polls in 2024. We’re already seeing politicians weaponizing these tools.

Just a few years ago creating a deepfake would have required advanced technical skills, but generative AI has made it stupidly easy and accessible, and the outputs are looking increasingly realistic.

The coming year will be pivotal for those fighting against the proliferation of such content. Techniques to track and mitigate it content are still in early days of development. Watermarks, such as Google DeepMind’s SynthID, are still mostly voluntary and not completely foolproof. And social media platforms are notoriously slow in taking down misinformation. Get ready for a massive real-time experiment in busting AI-generated fake news. 

Melissa Heikkilä

4. Robots that multitask

Inspired by some of the core techniques behind generative AI’s current boom, roboticists are starting to build more general-purpose robots that can do a wider range of tasks.

The last few years in AI have seen a shift away from using multiple small models, each trained to do different tasks—identifying images, drawing them, captioning them—toward single, monolithic models trained to do all these things and more. By showing OpenAI’s GPT-3 a few additional examples (known as fine-tuning), researchers can train it to solve coding problems, write movie scripts, pass high school biology exams, and so on. Multimodal models, like GPT-4 and Google DeepMind’s Gemini, can solve visual tasks as well as linguistic ones.

The same approach can work for robots, so it wouldn’t be necessary to train one to flip pancakes and another to open doors: a one-size-fits-all model could give robots the ability to multitask. Several examples of work in this area emerged in 2023.

The problem is a lack of data. Generative AI draws on an internet-size data set of text and images. In comparison, robots have very few good sources of data to help them learn how to do many of the industrial or domestic tasks we want them to.

Lerrel Pinto at New York University leads one team addressing that. He and his colleagues are developing techniques that let robots learn by trial and error, coming up with their own training data as they go. In an even more low-key project, Pinto has recruited volunteers to collect video data from around their homes using an iPhone camera mounted to a trash picker. Big companies have also started to release large data sets for training robots in the last couple of years, such as Meta’s Ego4D.

This approach is already showing promise in driverless cars. Startups such as Wayve, Waabi, and Ghost are pioneering a new wave of self-driving AI that uses a single large model to control a vehicle rather than multiple smaller models to control specific driving tasks. This has let small companies catch up with giants like Cruise and Waymo. Wayve is now testing its driverless cars on the narrow, busy streets of London. Robots everywhere are set to get a similar boost.

Will Douglas Heaven

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of and its owners.

This story has been published from an article in MIT Technology published on January 2024.

For informative news and views on the world of real estate, proptech and AI, follow overwrite on Instagram and LinkedIn, and keep up-to-date with our weekly NewsBites blog

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Challenges & Dangers of AI Generated Fake news

Join Ayman Alashkar as he discusses the imminent challenges and dangers posed by AI generated fake news on Dubai Eye 103.8

Can We Spot the Difference Between Bias and Fake News?

Ayman delves into the challenge of distinguishing biased news from fake news. “Our biases shape the news we consume, creating a reciprocal loop with AI until we train ourselves to recognize and ignore it,” Ayman Alashkar said.

Navigating the Impact: the Struggle to Identify Fake News

How will inexperienced individuals handle the rise of AI-generated fake news? Ayman foresees a shift as the perception evolves from ‘I can figure it out’ to a realization that even the savvy can be fooled. The generational gap in media consumption plays a crucial role, with the older generation vulnerable and the younger more adept.

Brace for Impact: The Shifting Landscape of Misinformation

As AI becomes more convincing, the impact on everyone is imminent. Are we heading toward a future where distinguishing fake from real becomes an everyday challenge? Is it time to fact check everything that crosses our screens? 🧐

For the full conversation…

For informative news and views on the world of real estate, proptech and AI, follow overwrite on Instagram and LinkedIn, and keep up-to-date with our weekly NewsBites blog

About is a multi-product deep-tech startup that develops proprietary Artificial Intelligence solutions to address inefficiencies in the MENA region’s massive +$3 trillion real estate economy.

overwrite | real estate content creation, reimagined

Tips & Tricks to Close More Deals in 2024

Join Jodie Cordell, one of the leading estate agents in the USA on a journey through the essentials of lead conversion.

Sharing her effective strategy that, as a solo agent led to closing an average of one deal per month. Stay tuned for valuable tips to scale your business.

Stages of Lead Conversion: Understanding the Buyer’s Journey

It’s important to understand the way your buyers and sellers think when they’re making any kind of purchasing decision. When you understand the psychology and the process that every person’s brain travels, it helps you understand your role in that decision-making process. 

  • Awareness: In this first awareness stage, your lead learns about you and the services you provide, but may not be in the market for your services at this time. 
  • Consideration: If you continue building a relationship with that lead, they will eventually enter into the consideration phase, where they will weigh whether or not they need your services. 
  • Decision: Once your lead has considered all their options, they will enter the decision phase, where they will determine whether your services are right for them. 
  • Loyalty: Finally, there’s the phase where many agents fall off—to their detriment. The loyalty phase is where satisfied past clients share you with all of their sphere. They become your evangelists, telling everyone they know how amazing you are. These people end up being a huge source of referrals that can sustain your business for years. You can’t neglect this phase if you want your business to boom.

Every single person who ever makes any kind of purchase goes through the buyer’s journey. From choosing that tube of lipstick to investing in real estate, the length of time may be different, but the mind mapping is the same.

Conversion Strategies for Common Lead Types

You will need to tailor your approach to each lead type to get the most bang for your buck.

Tips to Convert Internet Leads

  • Maintain a consistent presence on your social media, blog, YouTube, etc. 
  • Encourage engagement with polls, quizzes, and questions for your audience to answer.
  • Make sure you understand that the goal is to build your relationship, not just talk about real estate. Make them like you by sharing your everyday life.
  • Anticipate and answer their questions.
  • Always include a call to action (CTA) in your online content.

Tips to Convert Paid Leads

  • Make sure your system immediately sets the lead up on an appropriate lead nurturing campaign.
  • Use chatbots to ask and answer questions on your behalf and prequalify the leads when you can’t answer your phone.
  • Try to reach out via phone, text, and email. Your lead will most likely respond to text messages and engage with a chatbot.  
  • Don’t stop reaching out to the lead. It will likely take multiple attempts before they will make a buying decision. If you stop too soon, you will lose the lead to another agent.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of and its owners.

This story has been published from an article in The Close published on November 2023.

For informative news and views on the world of real estate, proptech and AI, follow overwrite on Instagram and LinkedIn, and keep up-to-date with our weekly NewsBites blog

overwrite | real estate content creation, reimagined