AI Startup #5: Blog Memorizer

Richard Reis
4 min readMay 13, 2024
Link here

Hey there!

It’s been 2½ months since I started my “25 AI Startups in 50 Weeks Challenge.”

Startup #5 is here already (time flies): This one’s called Blog Memorizer.

Sidenote: Launched on Product Hunt today. Check it out 🙂 (Oh, and by the way, I’m experimenting with different launch days, so the next few startups will be launching on Mondays)

The problem

Ever get that feeling you forgot most of what you’ve read?

Yeah, you’re not alone.

Turns out we’re still learning the same way Socrates did (books have been around for 2,500 years, and don’t get me started on papyrus scrolls).

Research suggests we could do way better. In 1885, Hermann Ebbinghaus found we forget 50% of what we read after one hour. After 24 hours, 67% is gone, and after a month, 80% (!!)

Put another way, reading a 300-page book takes roughly 8 hours. So 6½ of those hours are wasted!

This… hurts me.

The solution

Introducing Blog Memorizer! A simple tool to help you remember long blog posts.

Dory who? Now you can remember more from the blogs you read!

Just enter the URL, and Blog Memorizer will get to work…

Feature #1: Short summary

And first you’ll get a short summary of the text.

This was inspired by Barbara Oakley’s fantastic book, “A Mind for Numbers.”

She calls it “priming your mental pump.” Before reading the text, skim through it (look at the graphics, diagrams, photos, headings, summaries, etc).

“You’ll be surprised at how spending a minute or two glancing ahead before you read in depth will help you organize your thoughts. You’re creating little neural hooks to hang your thinking on, making it easier to grasp the concepts.” — Barbara Oakley

Feature #2: Flashcards

As you read, Blog Memorizer will present selectively chosen sections with three flashcards each.

As discussed in Michael Nielsen’s “Augmenting Long-term Memory”, a spaced-repetition system (such as Anki) is a powerful learning technique.

Sidenote: In fact, he used in his “Quantum country” essays. Which, along with this Show HN post, inspired Blog Memorizer.

“Anki can be used to remember almost anything. That is, Anki makes memory a choice, rather than a haphazard event, to be left to chance.” — Michael Nielsen

Now, thanks to the amazing new AI tools, we can apply these systems to everything we read.

Conclusion

I’ve wanted a tool like Blog Memorizer since reading “A Mind for Numbers” over five years ago.

So I’m happy it’s finally out there.

However, my main motivation for building it as part of the AI challenge was to learn Google Gemini 1.5 Pro’s API (its one-million-token context window is perfect for long blog posts like some on Slate Star Codex, Wait But Why, or Paul Graham’s essays).

While learning Google’s API was great, it isn’t ready for production apps yet. They can only process two API calls per minute (which I only realized a few days before launch, ha) so I had to switch back to OpenAI.

Fear not, this won’t affect your experience (both LLMs are very similar).

But I do hope Google’s API becomes production-ready soon. Imagine the possibilities with a one-million-token context window! 🤯

Speaking of exciting possibilities, it’s time for me to focus on Startup #6 (launching in two weeks!).

Ta-ta 🙂

Thanks for reading!

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Relevant Links

I Will Build 25 AI Startups in 50 Weeks” (what announced the challenge)

25 AI Startups List

  1. AI Document Translator: Translate documents cheaply, with superior AI quality. (post here)
  2. AI Hypnosis: Experience hypnosis tailored uniquely for you. (post here)
  3. AI Subreddit Finder: Find relevant subreddits instantly. Without endless browsing. (post here)
  4. Fashion or Disaster: Your personal AI stylist, inspired by Cher from Clueless’ app. (post here)
  5. Blog Memorizer: If Anki and blogs had a baby. (post here)
  6. AI Personalized Resumes: Tailor resume to job descriptions. (post here)

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Richard Reis

"I write this not for the many, but for you; each of us is enough of an audience for the other." - Epicurus https://www.richardreis.me/