Episode 334: AI and Magai With Dustin Stout

Show Summary

Rob Cairns sits down with Dustin Stout and talks all things AI and Magai. Show Highlights:

1. Why AI?

2. How AI is making a difference in the world.

3. What is Magai?

4. Features of Magai.

5. Roadmap for Magai.

Show Notes

Hey, everybody, Rob, Cairns here and in today’s podcast, I decided to bring on Dustin Stout. I met was in a group called Build Mode, which is a WP engine kind of a builders community. How are you today, Dustin?

Great, Rob, great to be here and about 3/4 away through my first cup of coffee here in California. And so things. Things are going great for me.

It’s always going great. It’s a little early for you. I’m like, halfway through my day and I think I’m on like. Coffee #4 so. You know I’m. Yeah, and what about?

Left in the coffee mug, things are going well.

Yeah, things are going really well. Thought we’d talk about today is AI, and then we’ll get into some stuff that you’re building so. Kind of why did? You decide to get into AI.

Well, I’ve been. Using AI tools for the last 2-3, maybe four years, now that I actually really think about it. And most of these tools they were copywriting tools or they were AI assisted creation tools and many of them were, you know, they were decent with the, you know, where the technology was at. But one of the things that was really I think challenging for most of these popular. Tools that came up in that time was. They were still very clunky to use and they. They required you to. To adopt these systems of templates, that kind of direct you in a certain way. You know, they had marketing templates and then within the marketing templates, you had to pick which of the 15 different? Marketing template you wanted. To use, did you want the Ida template? Did you want the jab template? Did you want the razz template? You know which of these templates do. You want to use and then with. And the the greater scope. There were other templates like. Do you want a greater story? And then you like? So it ended up being like this Netflix conundrum where there’s 1000 templates in there. And I I just. Need to write a blog post. Did I lose you?

No, I’m here.

Strange my my my machine went to sleep. Weird. So yeah, so basically. You have this Netflix problem where it’s like I got all these things in here. I just want to do one thing. I don’t know which one to pick.

And so you’re.

You’re in there. Scrolling endlessly looking for the right template. And you know, it was, it was.

Good once you figured.

Out sort of. The templates that work for. You for your. Whatever general purpose you needed at the time, you kind of found a way around. It and it was OK. And the the thing that happened when ChatGPT hit the scene, I was already kind of dabbling in learning to create some AI tools for my other products, which was a social media graphics software. And as I was building these little generative text AI tools and starting to explore some of the generative image tools out there, ChatGPT came along and when I used it for the first time, it was like. My eyes were opened. I immediately saw the paradigm shift that. Was about to. Happen in our culture, not just in marketing, or not just in, you know, digital creation, but like in in our. Culture because what? This ChatGPT. Mode of of interfacing created was the lowest possible barrier to entry. It was a mode of communicating and creating that literally every person is used to. We all know how to send a text message right we all know. How to do a? Chat online and. I I I was blown away by. It, and I knew like this is going to completely eradicate the need for this Netflix. You know, paradox of choice that we have to deal with in these other AI. Now we can just talk to. AI tell what we need and it will give it to us. And it’s almost like magic. So I really got excited about it. I literally scrapped. Everything that I was building in a generative AI tool and I reworked everything to create something built upon this idea of ChatGPT and a chat style interface. With a intelligent AI bot.

Yeah, it’s really it’s really incredible with the way AI is going. I was sharing with you before we jumped on the record. I just recently took chat, ChatGPT and created an e-mail sequence for a client which had turned around for $3000. Yeah, I had to go over and after because it’s a tool but. The time saver that I saved by doing that was astronomical, and I think one of the places we need to get past, and it’s really hard in the in the community, in the WordPress community is. AI is a tool, the same way a page builders with build the same way Gutenberg is a tool, the same way social media scheduling tools are tool the same way Photoshop has AI built-in buttons on it to make things easier. These are all tools to make our jobs streamlined it here and not a job replacement strategy, right?

And in the same way, Grammarly is a way to help us with our spelling and automate our grammar correction, right. It’s it’s the same exact thing. It’s just a a tool that. Assists you in. Augmenting the skills that you already have, helping you do things faster and more with more effectiveness.

And Grammarly is 1 tool that I use all their day because yours truly cannot spell and cannot do grammars. Dawn of time.

I am a.

Notorious type of artist that’s I am so good at typos. And if it weren’t for tools like Grammarly I would it would be bad. I would be getting nothing but the emails and comments from the you know, the the eagle eye. Summer people out there.

No, I I’m. Actually really excited about AI and I know every time it comes up in build mode peoples eyes just kind of light up and say you can really do that or you can do that. So give me another example. I was out with the client there last week who is a jewelry store and I was going over their website and. Long, long and short of it, they had somebody playing with it that shouldn’t have been. We won’t go there and they and the page about jewelry repairs was empty. So being the lazy person I was in, the business owner was was tied up. I jumped on to our favorite chat bot and said. Write me a jewelry repair website page and no where why it went up exactly as it was typed, it was that good. So I think some of that’s happening I. Think where we. Struggle is AI is not always, shall we say, looking at the most recent information. So if it’s in the last year. I think AI struggles at time. Would you concur with that?

No. Yeah. So the with open AI’s AI in particular ChatGPT, the cut off date for its data was September of 2021. So you’ve. Got a almost. Two years worth of data that it is behind on which isn’t to say it’s necessarily, you know, cache. Gothic because that’s still.

  1. A lot of data all the.

Data up until 2021 September 2021. That’s still a lot of data. And it’s a lot. Of knowledge that it has about many, many things. But yeah, if you’re asking it to generate content about more recent events or more recent advancements in technology. Which can be, you know, difficult, especially in the WordPress space when you know since 20/21 how many changes has WordPress undergone? So yeah, it can be challenging in that respect. But yeah, I mean, it still has a whole lot of information in there. And you know, with some tools out there, there are ways to sort of feed it new information and get it to, you know, get it up to speed, so to speak.

Yeah. And I think one of the things AI’s I called the rage. So I listen to other tech podcasts and other marketing podcasts. And one of my favorites is 1 called. This week in tech and it’s on the TWIT network, which is a little ports network out of Petaluma, and I don’t think just and how a Mike has Sargeant have gone a week in the last probably six months without at least one AI conversation. So that kind of tells you and and every time you pick it up and it’s hit the mainstream media. And I think people I, as I say are scared, but they have to realize the difference in tech is. When I started in tech over 30 years ago, changed stuff, changed every six months or every eight months now, and us changing every week and every day. And I think that’s what we have to accept.

Technology is only moving faster and you know that you’re either going to adapt with it and leverage it, or you’re going to be left behind at some point. And so I’ve. I’ve always been a big fan of change you. Know a lot of. People have a hard time with change and it’s understandable human beings. Are creatures of. Habit, and it’s hard to get in a habit. Things are constantly changing. But something about change and progress has always lit me up, and whenever there’s like an app update, I’m like, oh, I got to get the latest update or whenever there’s a WordPress update. I’m like I need to be on the bleeding edge version. Like I want to know what changes are coming and I want to be the first one there that explore. Them maybe it’s the explorer and maybe it’s just a little bit of a. And I like discovering new things.

Yeah, I I think one reason why I see eye to eye with you. So much in. Group chats is you’re like me. You like to be on that edge and you like to. Play with it. I’m the guy when WordPress releases a major security update and I manage over 300 websites. I have those done within the first 12 hours and people looked at me. You didn’t just do that to him. I said yeah, it did. Because I’d rather know what I’m playing with than what I’m not. Playing with kind. Of right. Exactly same. So let’s jump into why I decided to get you on the podcast. You did an amazing demo a week and a half ago in build mode with the new product you’re developing, do you? Want to tell us about that a little bit?

Yeah. So the the product I talked was alluding to earlier, it’s called Magi. And essentially when I started using ChatGPT, I like I said, I loved it. I was so excited about this, this technology as a content creator. For the past 12 years. Though I had certain things that I. Knew were required. By content creators, in order to thrive in creating content now as powerful as ChatGPT is it. A whole lot of features, so right now it’s just a it’s. Just a chat. A screen with an interface where you can type things and get things back and then a list of just all the chats you’ve created. As a creator, I knew I was going to be using this thing at scale, and I knew I needed a handful of things out of the gate. I needed the. Ability to search and filter my chats so that I can go find them later on when I need to come back to them and re reference something or add to something. I needed a way to. Sort of categorize and and put them into folders to. Keep them organized and. Not like, you know, a a mess. And I wanted a little bit better in face. I’m, you know me Rob. Like I’m a little bit of a. A nut when it comes to beautiful interfaces and I have a lot of you know, I have a lot of emphasis in in all my work on the experience of things.

Ohh you are.

And so I wanted to create a beautiful interface and. So as I started. Exploring this idea of like what is missing from this. That would help content creators thrive, especially for my own work, and going from my experience with working with clients and training clients, what do we need that’s not here? And how can I build it? And that’s what Magi was born out of this need to take the technology. And leverage it in a way that would be conducive for content creators to really thrive with the technology and the, you know, the current ways they’re used to working with content.

So I wanted the reasons you built this product was you had a business need right for yourself and you built it as part of that. Business meeting and said, wait a minute here. Now I can leverage this for other. So it’s so common the way we build products as entrepreneurs is it’s all about what we need and then we say maybe somebody else can. Use this right?

Yeah, we we’re programmed to look for gaps for for some what’s missing in the marketplace. What do I wish I had and can I build it. Can I fill that gap in the marketplace and that’s that, I mean that it was a no brainer with Magai. I mean it was. It was blatantly obvious. What needed to happen and what? Needed to be created. To leverage this ChatGPT techno.

I’m thinking back to the demo you did like a week and a half ago and just kind of playing in my head. And I know the Build Mode Group was in all like some people had don’t fall. You as quickly on other social. So they don’t realize what’s going on and they you were showing off some of the the features of it, which we’ll get into them. And then then I know peoples eyes just kind of lit up and said, did you just do that? Did Dustin just make that? Happen right it. Was it was like and it it must have been an incredible feeling.

Yeah, I mean, I love creating things as a, you know, beyond content. It’s always fun to to, to make something and to to give it to someone and say, you know, here I made this for you and to see their eyes light up and to see them use it and to get value out of it, you know, cause ultimately what what wakes me up in the morning is not. Coming in, you know it’s not this idea of like, oh, I get to be my own boss and I get to make as much money as I. It’s like really, if if none of that was here, if I could just make a thing for someone that made their life easier that that’d be all the fulfillment I needed. That’s, you know, you can have the. You know the all the. You know the the trappings of being. Working for yourself and being an entrepreneur, you can have all that like I just want to make people’s lives easier and see their faces light up as an extrovert too. Like it’s just, you know, being connected to people and, you know, helping people, you know, that’s what. That’s what drives pretty much every decision that I make. Is this going to be helpful for someone? Is it going to be? Is it going to maximize their efficacy? And their work life, family. You know, how can I make their lives better?

And you and I are both, I would say, on the extreme extrovert side. But I think. I think we are. Let’s jump into some features. So what are some of the things that it does better and helps that ChatGPTi PT doesn’t do?

Well, like I said. The first thing was like organization. I am going to create content at scale and I don’t want to have to scroll through an endless list and. To try and figure. That one thing. Was that I created a week ago. So Magai out of the gate has. Very simple search and fill. You every time you. Create a chat. It’s saved inside Magai and you can easily search through your list of created chats. You can use the search box. Or you can sort. Of filter them by some of our little filters that we have in there and you can also group them into folders. So if you want to make sure. That you keep your. You know your work. Stuff in this folder or maybe your marketing stuff. In this folder you can create those own folders for yourself, organize them there and that way you can sort of filter by folder as well. The only thing that I built in was the ability to have multiple brands, so the whole interface is kind of predicated on this idea that you have. Maybe a brand for yourself. You have your personal brand and then maybe you have a clients brand and then maybe you have a side hustle that you’re doing. Or maybe you have some personal stuff that you want, but you don’t want all of those chats intermingling. You want some degree of separation between the two, so every time you go to create something, you have a brand selected. And everything you create is assigned to that brand. That way when you switch. Brands, all that other stuff disappears. And you only. See the stuff created by the for that brand. Just another way of kind of separating things and I guess another one of the most important features for me was the ability to drop a link into the chat and have chat. GBT know what’s on that link without me having to copy and paste it all the way over into ChatGPT just paste the link and chat BC knows exactly what. The contents of that link have and can then. Interface with it.

I really like the organizational stuff Dustin, because I am an organizational not and I’m sure you are. Too, just know you. Well, as I do right? And we all know that if stuff gets out of hand and we are describing it with the brands and that just makes so much sense because that’s how I organized my. Folder structure in Windows or on OneDrive or on Google Drive. It’s all about that exact structure, so that makes a lot of sense. Do you have? The SO2 quick questions is, if I sign up for magic. Do I have to create a ChatGPT account separate and link to it or does it handle all that? That’s the first one.

Magai handles all of that for you. You don’t have to worry about bringing it over an API key or paying the usage over there. You have a Magai account and that’s all you need. We interface with chat BT on your behalf. We basically have an API connection ourselves and we we pay for that API usage ourselves and that way you. Don’t have to worry about it.

And the second thing is I know your products growing and I don’t want you to get in the specifics because for business. Are you pleased with the user, the user adoption of your product right now or yeah?

Having been a business owner for a long time. I’ve seen a lot of products I’ve. Tried creating a lot of products and many of them failed and many of them were total flops and many of them some. Of them maybe got. A little bit of traction out of the gate, but then kind of faded off, but I I’ve yet to create a product that has seen such fast. Adoption and such fast fandom as men. And I, and I’ve been really, really fortunate. I haven’t really done much marketing, even though that’s pretty much what I do for a living is content marketing and creating marketing websites. Made the conscious decision to not be as markety with this product because I really just wanted to build it in public. I wanted it to be open and transparent about sharing my journey and creating the product and let people behind the curtains and just let people see what I’m building, how I’m building it, why I’m building it and. Let the product speak for itself, because. I’m sure you’ve seen this. Rob, there are far too many. Fly by night AI products, right? Now and AI experts who are refugees from the crypto fallout who needed something to do and height is just everywhere. And I I don’t know. But I’m so sick of. I am so tired.

If I say you want. If I see one gum Rd. book on AI that somebody’s giving away and then I see 50, right?

I mean, yeah, and they.

Think this is and I I don’t. To be fair, I don’t think your products hyped. I think it’s bang on what people need to help them with their AI journey because. Organization is a big part of it, an interface that looks nice is a big part of it, making it easy. Drop a Lincoln is a big part of. And, you know, having played with ChatGPT enough. I’m sorry the mainstream are not going to jump on a product without an interface. It’s not happening and we know.

So I’ve been super happy with the the adoption and we’ve got some great endorsements from some highly respected marketing experts and somebody that I greatly look up to Jay Baer who is. You know, for all intents and purposes, one of the greatest marketing minds in the world, it read all of his books. If you don’t know who, Jay. Bear is Google search and. Get all his books. But he gave it a a great endorsement just yesterday. You know publicly he shared it in his newsletter and we’re seeing. A lot of you know a lot of professional people who actually know what they’re talking about and who have been around for a while, adopt A magi and say really nice things and it just it makes my heart happy that, you know, people like that are are saying good things about the what I built.

Where do you now? One of the things I also admire too, I was going to get to is you’ve been very transparent and you’re building this in public. So all they gotta do is follow you follow the Magi account on Twitter and you’re you’re talking about your journey every day. And I think I said to the other day on Twitter, now you’re teasing. I think I made that comment here. Wait, because you do that like it’s it’s. So exciting what you’re doing and you throw out these little snippets and say I’m working on this. Justin, don’t do that to me. Give it to me.

Well, if it makes you feel better, I usually only give you a sneak peek of something that is. Either a day or two away from being built. There have been a few occasions where it’s like, oh, I thought this was ready. Oh, no, I got to make a few more adjustments and and. Hold off on that. Like the teams features teams is. Is actually implemented in the product, but I’m slowly releasing it to select customers who request it if. You go into. Your dashboard, you’ll see a little notice like request teams access and the. Reason for that is. Just because it’s it’s a huge. Back end undertaking to transition to this team functionality and you know just want to make sure everything is smooth and so like a slow rollout is the smart thing to. Do but, but yeah, that was the one where I was like, I thought this was. Oh, no, I better wait. Better wait a little. Bit longer and roll it out slowly before I go. But to all. Of our users.

Yes, so true. Can you share with some features coming down the pipe that might be of interest?

You can give. So affiliate program is is underway. You know, we’re, I. Set to announce that today our affiliate program, we have the teams feature of course coming up. I mean it’s being rolled out slowly, something I’m also considering is the. So right now we have a thing called personas, which are a set of pre made chat identities or or directions or instructions so to speak where it gives you a much better result than you would get with chat. And we have a feature where you can create your own personas and so that’s doing very well. So a lot of people have now been asking for pre-made prompts. We give you the ability. To create and save your own prompts to your prompt library. That way you easy access to all of your favorite prompts, but a lot of people have been requesting that we sort of. Create our own library and offer that as a starting point. So that’s something I’m considering as well. Oh, another big thing too. Once I get these, you know, this team feature out of the way. I want to spend some time integrating a a newer image editor because one of.

A lot of.

The features in my Magi is the ability to generate images as well and modify those. Images, But I’ve recently found that right now. We’re using Dolly 2. Which is open AI’s image generator. And it’s good. But it’s not the best, and one of the. Goals of Magi is to. To be sort of decentralized in the sense that it’s we’re not reliant on one companies AI tool, we’re not relying on one AI model. We can kind of bring in the best of the best AI models and I just over the weekend found a brilliant stable diffusion image generator. Comparable to mid June. It’s not wow mid journey, but you know anybody who’s been following the image generation AI space knows the image.

Quite as good a good.

Generally nobody can touch it.

No kidding. It’s king. Yeah.

Yeah, and nothing else is even close, except this one that I found called. It’s called Leonardo dot AI and anybody can go on and and sign up to to use it is a. They have a paid. Product, but they also have an API which means I can hook into it from Magi and the so one of the next things on my list. Once I get these, you know big things deployed. I want to start integrating that Leonardo AI into Magi so that our image generated now has multiple different AI models that you can use and leverage to create. Really beautiful images as well.

That’s so awesome like that. That’s a lot coming down the pipe and just the image generating stuff should get people excited. Like if they’re not excited already. They should do it.

Another thing we’re working on. That that is also pretty exciting, too is it’s more of a high level sort of AI or application. So this idea of brand voice and this is something that I had that somebody give me an. Idea for weeks ago. But just haven’t gotten to it. So this idea that maybe you’re creating something for a brand you’re creating for a client, maybe or for yourself, but that client or that brand has a very specific voice tone. Word usage in the case of nonprofits, they might have some some certain ideologies that they want to incorporate. That they make sure that they are consistent with. The brand voice element will allow. You to sort. Of train the AI and say this is what our brand voice is. Like, here’s the language we use. Here are the ideals that we have. And once you save that to a brand, the AI will know it every single time. It will generate text content that is. Sort of filtered by and applies your brand voice. That way you don’t have to every time you don’t have to like tell it again and again. Like use these words or use. This tone of voice? It’ll already be baked into each.

And if you’re a marketer, you really gotta think about brand voice. Like that is a big deal. And I think a lot of marketers. Miss that so. Yeah, you should be commended for all this amazing work. Just kind of one last question is, are you doing all the development yourself or do you have a team or how are you how you approach?

It’s just me. Wow. So Solo founder Solo built solo, built in public solo, marketed just me. I do have. A I do. Have a personal assistant, but you know. More she’s more for. Just like the administrative stuff, getting it off my plate.

That that doesn’t surprise me. It’s just, you know, knowing you as well as I do and that that so doesn’t shock me, you know. Justin, thanks for creating such a great product. You have a certainly a customer here and probably many more to come. So well done. Somebody wants to get a hold of you to talk to. You about Magai. How’s the best way?

I just head straight to the website, https://magai.co/. Fill out a contact form or start a support chat. I’m right there.

Thanks Dustin, have yourself an amazing day my friend.

You too, Rob. Thank you.

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