First Look at Afeela, Ford Round Up, and Business Ready AI

February 14, 2023
Welcome to Tuesday, where we hope your day is less filled with Super Bowl Commercial conversations. We take a first look at Afeela, run around the block with Ford plans, and introduce an AI model tuned for your business.
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  • The Sony Honda Mobility project has launched under the brand name ‘Afeela’ with projected 10 year lease options.
  • Executives say they’re in it for the long haul, not as an experiment to test the waters.
  • Sony sees the automotive space as the next natural frontier for their media business.
  • “The important thing is software,” COO Izumi Kawanishi said. “We have to strengthen our software technology. That means we can provide mobility services for the future. We have to change the business from hardware to software.”

  • Let’s take a round up jog with Ford as they shrink staff in Europe and expand manufacturing in Michigan.
  • The company plans to slash 2,300 jobs in Germany, 1,300 in the UK and 200 elsewhere, all related to production development and administration.
  • The restructure comes after Q4 results that were down $11B YOY.
  • Farley: “I don’t want to just make the output the cuts without redesigning the work. This has to be sustainable and that’s how we’re thinking about it nowadays,”
  • Speaking of being sustainable
  • BlueOval Battery Park Michigan was announced on Monday, and will open in 2026 in Marshall, about 100 miles west of Detroit.
  • The plant will employ 2,500 workers and have the capacity to build 35 gigawatt-hours of lithium iron phosphate cells a year, enough to power 400K EVs.
  • Ford currently uses nickel cobalt manganese battery packs, which are less durable and charge slower than lithium based batteries.

  • With ChatGPT and Bard owning news headlines, AI company Writer has been training language model options for enterprise business.
  • Palymra comes in three sizes: 128 million, 5 billion or 20 billion parameters, respectively, for Small, Base and Large.
  • The model is trained on business and marketing writing, not Reddit posts and Project Gutenberg.
  • You can upload your company's files, including posts, annual reports, and financials to train the model.
  • Has business ready integrations like Google Docs, Chrome, Word and Outlook

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Ben Hadley, Kyle Mountsier

Kyle Mountsier  00:28

Good morning. It is Tuesday, February 14 Valentine's Day, we really hope your day is more filled with love and less miserable Superbowl commercial conversations. We're looking at a feeler talking forward and AI, you know, because Ben's over there. And we're talking why wouldn't Ben how's the show?

Ben Hadley  00:55

Um, awesome. Immediately after ask us what I'm what you say? I said immediately after this, guess what I'm doing?

Kyle Mountsier  01:04

That couldn't have a clue. Couldn't tell you.

Ben Hadley  01:05

I'm gonna tell you because my No, my wife is not listening. I'm going to go and nail Valentine's Day. No one teller.

Kyle Mountsier  01:16

I read an article this morning where it was like more people set alarms for Valentine's Day reminders than like anything else in life. Like, make sure and schedule the you know the thing at night and pick up the stuff and do that. Like it's the it is the one day that alarms are just like, reminders, right?

Ben Hadley  01:37

I have in my calendar. I did I show you what I need to do is put it like a week ago, that would have been smarter. Right? You know? Yes.

Kyle Mountsier  01:45

The day you're like No, we Yeah, so we're, we're like we you know, we got three kids. It's a it's a week night. And so it's a little bit different in in the mouse, your family, we kind of like we chill it out. We do a little bit of a family meal, you know, maybe like judge that up a little bit. Yeah, it's just kind of a it's Valentine's is a family affair these days for us.

Ben Hadley  02:10

This is the first year I think we'll be family in it. But you still gotta think can't Can't let off the gas too much. You know, I mean, you gotta gotta deal with some some. So yeah, I knew exactly.

Kyle Mountsier  02:23

This morning, this morning. The first time ever, we put a date and a location in the daily email for a soda con. So we made it like official official. We set it here on the show, but we put it in the email. So like we can't turn back now, September 25 through the 27 in Baltimore. For a soda con. We're throwing down it's coming. Oh, let's we'll have right now. So to is kind of like going through a whole shift and we're moving stuff around. And we're trying to make space for all the new things. So we'll make sure and let everyone know exactly when that's coming. But speaking of new things I got all the things and stuff and you know trigger pads. It's not my normal thing to do trigger pads but Sony Honda Mobility Project has launched under the brand name, feel law, or at least that's the best way I can say it. And they are projecting 10 year lease options. executives say they're in this for the long haul. And they're not looking to just experiment with to test the waters. And it seems like they're asking for customers to be in for the long haul as well. Have you Did you see the car throw it up again, just real quick. If you're watching the video stream, you can kind of see the way it looks. It really looks like a concept car but it's actually the car that they're saying is going to come to life at this point with video capacities installed in it and gaming capacities. Yep. Ben,

Ben Hadley  03:56

I mean, I one first take is Phila Yeah, I don't know, you know, that sounds like you pay a lot of money for someone to come up with. And you shouldn't have. Yeah,

Kyle Mountsier  04:11

I feel like there has to be some story behind that I didn't do the research on it. Okay, it's well here, here's the if you go to the website, it says mobility that people can feel as an intelligent entity, mobility that people can feel in society through new technology that that can feel people to create and nurture this new relationship of feeler has already begun so I think they just like put, you know, a is oh a on the Look at this. They see that. Okay, Ben, we're doing a little research right now. Yeah, three A's autonomy, augmentation and affinity. So there's this, wrapping it in the A's and then throw the field in the middle I'm just like, like some eighth grader was like, what do you need your name to be? Oh, it's gonna be about feeling and A's. Okay, well throw those up on them are you? Well, the big talking point on this is that they are really leaning into the software side of things. They want to provide mobility services for the future, but they also want to change not just the hardware, but the software side of the automotive, retail business. You know, things like citing, hey, there's going to be, you know, video games to play or videos to watch when you're maybe sitting there waiting for your vehicle to charge. So it's really a tech forward kind of idea, but I agreed it's a it's a name that kind of makes a feel a little different, ya know what I'm saying?

Ben Hadley  05:45

On the flip. Okay, what I would say 10 year lease sounds a lot like a new way to say subscription. Right? Yes. And the thing I've always kind of like, being a proponent of is, is sort of this retail is trying to become SAS, SAS is trying to become fintech. FinTech trying to become crypto thing. I don't know if fintechs really trying to become crypto anymore just because events but

Kyle Mountsier  06:06

recent. I mean, it's it's coming back. It's coming back.

Ben Hadley  06:09

Yeah. Well, I think it will. I mean, I don't think it's gone. I think you know, if you if you look at the sort of valuation arbitrage of that, why do people do this? Well, retail has a low valuation multiple in the revenue, SAS has a higher FinTech has a higher crypto has the highest did. And so, you know, positioning themselves in this sort of subscription economy, or whatever, you know, does change the sort of outcome of what people investors might think of dollar for dollar pound for pound of what that company is worth. So I think that's actually a cool move. Don't like well, Sony,

Kyle Mountsier  06:45

I mean, they they have mentioned multiple times that over the air updates are going to be regular elements. I mean, you know, you look at Apple, like they come out with venture and then two months later, it's like, here's point one, here's, you know, and it's just content, it's it's not like they have to make a big announcement, it's just over the air update after over the air update. The question is, can the hardware can the actual vehicle keep up with, you know, a 10 year ownership period when average ownership periods are still under 3.6? I think,

Ben Hadley  07:13

and how much of their chip do they own? You know, I mean, like I Android is pretty much their operating system for Sony phones, right? So if that's an inclination, their software sort of outsource to open source, and then you have their chips are all Snapdragon chips in the Android phone. I'm guessing they're partnering with like Nvidia or something like that to for the car. Yeah. So it's sort of this weird, like, you know, what, whereas you compare it with like a Samsung, Samsung, just recently got rid of some of their chips, but they have owned a lot of their silicon, right? Apple owns a lot of their silicon, Tesla owns a lot of their silicon. So I feel like the advantage is to those that are owning their supply chain more, as opposed to outsourcing so it'd be interesting to see what those guys do.

Kyle Mountsier  08:02

It will be interesting, especially because I also I we didn't have this in the show, but it seems it sounds like Apple has allowed some test drives in a prototype model. So maybe we can maybe we can grab that tomorrow and might

Ben Hadley  08:17

actually switch to Apple if the car is dope. Right then diehard Android my whole Oh, it's

Kyle Mountsier  08:22

like Paul, Paul always says he's like, Yo, if if Tesla came out with a phone, I'm probably buying a Tesla in the phone, right? Because this integrated lifecycle and ability to hand off type things,

Ben Hadley  08:34

probably get Starlink, satellite, internet, you know, 100, wherever

Kyle Mountsier  08:39

you're driving Exactly. coverage on Mars. It's like send a car in space. If you land on Mars, you're good.

Ben Hadley  08:47

Not a problem, right? The Horizon guy all over again, like,

Kyle Mountsier  08:51

well, a little less far from Mars. We've got Ford in Europe and Michigan, we're going to take a little track around that. The company has plans to slash to 2300 jobs in Germany, 1300 in the UK, and 200 elsewhere in Europe. This is This news comes shortly after in q4, they were they announced to be down $11 billion year over year. Farley saying I don't just want to make the output the cuts without redesigning the work. This has to be sustainable. And now and that's how we're thinking about it nowadays. So thinking about sustainable work as job cuts come, you know, even meta there was a financial report saying hey, we've got all these job cuts. We haven't had budgets yet. And so aligning budgets with people is is just the new economy. And especially like you see, you see Ford kind of following. Like we were just talking about the classification of vehicles. Ford starting to following you know, tech companies in the way that they're laying off people realigning their focus on technology as opposed to vehicle hardware.

Ben Hadley  09:53

Sure. Yeah. I mean, a couple of things there too, is like in Europe. It is way higher. are harder to sort of lay people off. You have to by law generally prove that that you're not going to hire that position again, for like at least a year, I think it is that you're like that that position truly is going away. So the redesign of work thing probably has a lot to do with that, to me is like an angle. And then on the other flip of it, it's like, well, as we're starting to move into EVs and subscription and all these, like new business models, it's also very believable, like, you know, you talked about at the tier three level how the service guy is probably going to be more like a Best Buy geek, Geek Squad kind of guy. And less of like a, you know, gearhead, oil change wrench monkey, dude. Absolutely. So like, you know, you can kind of see it just up and down, up and down the train. Yep.

Kyle Mountsier  10:49

Well, they are laying off 2300 in Europe, but they're bringing on the capacity to employ 2500 in the States. They have partnered with a a foreign company to start their blue oval Battery Park in Michigan. It is about 100 miles west of Detroit and will open in 2026. And they will be building lithium ion phosphate cells there and and enough in one year to power 400,000 E. V. So it's clear that the realignment of job capacity is focused on Evie materials and an Eevee future rather word so that really it's just like, it's just a switch going, Hey, we're just gonna

Ben Hadley  11:36

it's also back to the supply chain. It's onshoring. Yep. You know, if you think about fragility, right, like, the more optimized something is, the more fragile it gets. And that's when we experience the breakdown of the supply chain, like the very beginning of COVID, super optimized supply chain, brittle as hell right. And so this is actually awesome, because, you know, like, you bring things in, you own more of it, and you let have less dependency on others. I love it.

Kyle Mountsier  12:08

Well, speaking of owning more of something and less dependency on others, segway if anybody's been around LinkedIn, you've seen myself and Ben talking a lot about chat GPT and Bard as as places where businesses and individuals can go to create efficiencies, through copywriting, or creating code or any level of writing or learning. An AI copywriter. Writer, the actual name is writer has been training language model options for enterprise businesses. So as opposed to where chat GPT and Bard and Google's tool are being trained on billions, millions, and then now billions of interactions across all of the web. This writer has been trained specifically on business copy and business interactions, financial reporting, annual reports, all of that, across the internet, they've got three sizes, the model is called pal Limra. And it has three sizes for businesses to use anywhere between 128 million interactions all the way, all the way to 20 billion parameters for small base and large businesses. But the really, really key thing here, and I think this is the thing that I want to lean into, is it actually allows you to own your brand's voice, which which Ben, you've been talking about a lot that brands that don't have a clear voice when utilizing chat GPT will actually detract from their overall brand voice if they don't insert that in. And so I think this is this is like a solution for business brands. And, in particular,

Ben Hadley  13:48

yeah, it's almost like it's like Inception level, almost because you're using AI, to eventually like, if you're using it for SEO, for example, then you're using it on a publicly available website that will get scraped by Bard or chat GPT. And then like, kind of reverberate, right, like so you're almost using AI to talk to the other AI and like, maybe gain some relevance there. I think there's like, a big, anybody that's at home listening, you go to if you're not familiar with chat, GPD Whoa, come on. Go to chat that open And like, try and ask it. If you have Twitter, for example, Hey, who is and I can put like AP, then Hadley and it will be like you're a UK or Australian developer that's like that, like likes to bake cakes, like completely has no idea who I am. Right? Right. But if I go in and ask it to write an article about, you know, asparagus, but pretend like you're Elon Musk, it'll sound exactly like we'd all expect Elon Musk to sound Yes. And so like that, to me is the new SEO, the be the ability to You have your brand reflected through the eyes and through the typing of AI and the output of AI. So this is really cool. It also gives you a signal of how important your data is going to be. So

Kyle Mountsier  15:18

this is like we talk about first party data in in auto all all the time. And there's kind of two sets of first party data. One is your brand's data, what you how you talk, how you believe how your financial history and annual reports, look. And then there's your customer data. And this is leveraging that first part, which is your brand's data,

Ben Hadley  15:39

totally. And if you're, if you're really thinking about like, Hey, I'm a dealership, I have no brand, all I do is sort of like, you know, drop my price and try to sell cars, like this is the moment where you're gonna want to pivot and start having a brand identity, because this is going to be key in the future to maintain relevance on these new platforms.

Kyle Mountsier  15:59

Yeah, well, and I think it's interesting because, like, let's just say you took all of your training documents and your reports and your financial reports, and maybe some executive emails and uploaded those, you know, executive level email, communications, and uploaded those into this language model, and then started to see how it writes based on all of those inputs, you might actually start to see whether or not you'd like your brand, right? You're gonna go Oh, I like that. Oh, that's, that's not what we're trying to be clear. Yes, yeah. Yeah, it's a great mirror. And, and then like the, the general output is, if you like your brand, and now you've got a way to start generating content that's unique. Because what's cool is this, when you train this model, it doesn't train anyone else's model. It only trains yours. It's a completely closed system, once you train it, which is really dope. And it also has integrations like Google Docs, Chrome, Word, Outlook, all of the systems that a lot of businesses use already, as well as its self sufficient model. So I think this is this is like if a business is not paying attention to this and they've got clean and clean API's great documentation on that as well. So it's not just user based. Hey, watch out for the way that this this starts to express it will

Ben Hadley  17:19

be super helpful if you're like running I don't know like a website on like a, I don't know composable like website or something. That'd be

Kyle Mountsier  17:25

something like that. Something like that. You happen to know a thing or two. I know. You know, a guy you know a guy. Awesome. Well, hey, look, that's all the time we have for today. We took a little trip around EVs, jobs, and even some AI with my good friend Ben Hadley. Thanks for joining us this morning. Go try some of these thoughts and ideas out of might serve you.


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