Software Applications Incorporated wants to bring AI to your desktop

A new startup company called Software Applications Incorporated has an ambitious plan to bring generative AI to your desktop. Software Applications Incorporated is a new startup company set up by three former employees of Apple.

Who are Software Applications Incorporated?

The CEO of Software Applications Incorporated is Ari Weinstein. He created the iOS automation app Workflow and then sold it to Apple in 2017. Co-founder and CTO Conrad Kramer was also co-founder and CTO for Workflow with Weinstein. Workflow became Shortcuts which is now a native tool across Apple devices allowing you to create automations and customize your settings. The third member of Software Applications Incorporated is Kim Beverett. She worked on many projects including Safari, Messages, FaceTime and WebKit in a 10-year career at Apple.

What does the company want to do?

In an interview with the website The Verge, Weinstein, Kramer and Beverett said that they want to use generative AI on your desktop that “pushes operating systems forward”.  Weinstein said, “If you turned on an Apple II or an Atari, you’d get this basic console where you could type in basic code as a user and program the computer to do whatever you wanted. Nowadays, it’s sort of the exact opposite. Everybody spends time in very optimized operating systems with pieces of software that are designed to be extremely easy to use but are not flexible.”

AI language models

Software Applications Incorporated is working to develop prototypes using AI language models such as OpenAI GPT and Meta Llama 2. Weinstein told The Verge: “Sometimes you’ve got a browser window open with a schedule on it, and you just want to say, ‘add this to my calendar,’ and somehow, there’s no way to do that … We think that language models and AI give us the ingredients to make a new kind of software that can unlock this fundamental power of computing and make everyday people able to use computers to actually solve their problems.”

What next?

Software Applications Incorporated was only set up in August this year. However, the company has already raised $6.5 million worth of backing. The money has come from Silicon Valley investors including OpenAI’s Altman and Figma CEO Dylan Field. The company is also keen to grow its development team. Weinstein told The Verge that they are looking to take on up to 10 employees over the next 12 months. The new roles include a designer along with some machine learning experts.

What we think

The three founder members of Software Applications Incorporated have bold ambitions for how generative AI can shape computing. They want to give users back some of the control that existed in the early days of personal computers. As Weinstein described it to The Verge: recreate “the magic that you felt when you used computers in the ’80s and ’90s.” Don’t worry, their aim is to have generative AI do the heavy lifting, so we don’t all need to learn to program. It certainly sounds like Software Applications Incorporated has taken on a big a challenge. However, their previous success with Shortcuts on Apple devices shows that this could be the team to do it.

Pete Tomkies
Pete Tomkies
Pete Tomkies is a freelance cinematographer and camera operator from Manchester, UK. He also produces and directs short films as Duck66 Films. Pete's latest short Once Bitten... won 15 awards and was selected for 105 film festivals around the world.

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