OpenAI’s leadership has taken us all on a rollercoaster so it’s great timing for another host-only episode. This week Sarah and Elad get into what has been going on at OpenAI and what the turbulent leadership changes tell us about the importance of good intent and good incentives when building these influential companies. They also talk about innovative products coming out of Pika Labs, why people are moving away from diffusion models to MLMs, and how, in AI investing, the ASP is the opportunity.
The future of tech is 25-person companies powered by AI agents that help us accomplish our larger goals. Imbue is working on building AI agents that reason, code and generally make our lives easier. Sarah Guo and Elad Gil sit down with co-founders Kanjun Qiu (CEO) and Josh Albrecht (CTO) to discuss how they define reasoning, the spectrum of specialized and generalized agents, and the path to improved agent performance. Plus, what’s behind their $200M Series B fundraise.
Kanjun Qiu is the CEO and co-founder of Imbue. Kanjun is also a partner at angel fund Outset Capital, where she invests in promising pre-seed companies. Previously, Kanjun was the co-founder and CEO of Sourceress, a machine learning recruiting startup backed by YC and DFJ. She was previously Chief of Staff to Drew Houston at Dropbox, where she helped scale the company from 300 employees to 1200.
Josh Albrecht is the CTO and co-founder of Imbue. He also invests in other founders via his fund, Outset Capital. He has published machine learning papers as an academic researcher; founded an AI recruiting company that went through YC and a 3D injection molding software company that was acquired; helped build Addepar as an early engineer; and served as a Thiel Fellow mentor. He started programming as a kid and began working professionally as a software engineer in high school.
Open Source fuels the engine of innovation, according to Arthur Mensch, CEO and co-founder of Mistral AI. Mistral is a French AI company which recently made a splash with releasing Mistral 7B, the most powerful language model for its size to date, and outperforming much larger models. Sarah Guo and Elad Gil sit down with Arthur to discuss why open source could win the AI wars, their $100M+ seed financing, the true nature of scaling laws, why he started his company in France, and what Mistral is building next.
Arthur Mensch is Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Mistral AI. A graduate of École Polytechnique, Télécom Paris and holder of the Master Mathématiques Vision Apprentissage at Paris Saclay, he completed his thesis in machine learning for functional brain imaging at Inria (Parietal team). He spent two years as a post-doctoral fellow in the Applied Mathematics department at ENS Ulm, where he carried out work in mathematics for optimization and machine learning. In 2020, he joined DeepMind as a researcher, working on large language models, before leaving in 2023 to co-found Mistral AI with Guillaume Lample and Timothee Lacroix.
Each iteration of ChatGPT has demonstrated remarkable step function capabilities. But what’s next? Ilya Sutskever, Co-Founder & Chief Scientist at OpenAI, joins Sarah Guo and Elad Gil to discuss the origins of OpenAI as a capped profit company, early emergent behaviors of GPT models, the token scarcity issue, next frontiers of AI research, his argument for working on AI safety now, and the premise of Superalignment. Plus, how do we define digital life?
Ilya Sutskever is Co-founder and Chief Scientist of OpenAI. He leads research at OpenAI and is one of the architects behind the GPT models. He co-leads OpenAI's new "Superalignment" project, which tries to solve the alignment of superintelligences in 4 years. Prior to OpenAI, Ilya was co-inventor of AlexNet and Sequence to Sequence Learning. He earned his Ph.D in Computer Science from the University of Toronto.
Cyber Security is going to change significantly in the era of AI, according to Ryan Noon, cofounder of Material Security, a security company that makes cloud-based Google and Microsoft email a safe place for sensitive data. Elad Gil and Ryan talk about how Material Security started to use LLMs, potential security threats from AI hacks, and the role of the government in securing the Internet. Ryan also shares his advice for founders.
Ryan co-founded Material Security in 2017 after seeing high profile email hacks in the 2016 Presidential election. Previously, he led various engineering teams at Dropbox after it acquired his first company, Parastructure. Prior to Parastructure, he led engineering at a data analysis company spun out of Stanford by DARPA. He holds both an MS in Computer Networks and Security and a BS in Computer Science from Stanford.
As the Lead for Generative AI in the Office of the CTO for Google Cloud, Kawal Gandhi has a unique vantage point on enterprise AI roll out. Sarah Guo and Elad Gil sit down with Gandhi this week to discuss his insights on how enterprises can effectively invest and roll out AI development and tools, the best use cases for Google Colab TPU, and Google’s internal AI applications driving external customer success. Plus, when will email get more efficient?
Kawal Gandhi works in the Office of the CTO of Google Cloud, where his main focus is AI/ML. He has worked at Google for nearly a decade in search and ad roles before focusing on the development and marketing of AI tools.
Startups aren't the only companies racing to build the new world of AI. This week, Sarah Guo talks with Brian Halligan, the co-founder, longtime CEO and now executive chairperson of HubSpot, the fastest growing CRM. He talks about category creation, coining the term ‘inbound marketing,’ lessons in scaling from an app to a suite to a platform, staying innovative at scale, and how they're navigating the AI disruption. Brian also describes the life-threatening moment he decided to step back from the CEO role. Plus, what he’s up to at Propeller Ventures and why he’s banking on the ocean to save us from climate change.
Brian coined the term "inbound marketing" and together with Dharmesh Shah built a movement around the concept, which included organizing the industry-leading INBOUND event and co-authoring the book Inbound Marketing. Now, as the founder of Propeller Ventures, Brian directs a $100 million climate tech venture fund, specializing in ocean investments. He also serves on the boards of Navier and Aquatic Labs. Brian developed MIT’s popular Scaling Entrepreneurial Ventures class, which he’s taught for over a decade.
What Does it Take to Improve by 10x or 100x? This week is another host-only episode. Sarah and Elad talk about the path to better model quality, the potential for fine tuning to different use cases, retrieval systems (RAG), feedback systems (RLHF, RLAIF) and Meta’s sponsorship of the open source model ecosystem. Plus Sarah and Elad ask if we’re finally at the beginning of a new set of consumer applications and social networks.
Ginkgo Bioworks is using DNA as code to digitize the cell programming revolution. Ginkgo is using AI and synthetic biology to keep the next pandemic at bay, and accelerate our production capabilities for medicine, food, and agriculture. Ginkgo’s co-founder and CEO Jason Kelly joins hosts Sarah Guo and Elad Gil to discuss bioengineering protein as a foundational model, specialized data learning from an evolutionary perspective, what we need to prepare for a future pandemic, and more.
Jason has served as a member of our board of directors since Ginkgo’s founding in 2008. He has also served as a director of CM Life Sciences II Inc. (Nasdaq: CMII), a special purpose acquisition company with a focus on the life sciences sector, since its initial public offering in February 2021. Jason holds a Ph.D. in Biological Engineering and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Replit’s seamless end to end platform and new AI tool, Ghostwriter, are breaking down the barrier of entry for beginner programmers while fundamentally improving expert workflows. Replit’s CEO, co-founder, and head engineer Amjad Masad joins hosts Sarah Guo and Elad Gil to discuss the potential of collaborative software development, what needs improvement in our AI infrastructure, the potential of a more agentic world, and why open-source software and a user-first approach make for the best tech.
Before co-founding Replit, Amjad Masad worked at Facebook as a software engineer, where he built many of the infrastructure tools still used today. He was a founding engineer at Coding Academy, and has held other engineering positions at tech companies including Yahoo! Throughout his career, Masad has been an advocate for open-source software and has contributed to various open-source projects.
More than 25 million users are reaping the benefits of NEAR Protocol’s blockchain operating system, and according to NEAR’S Co-founder, Illia Polosukhin, it might just be the key to a democratized Web3. Hosts Sarah Guo and Elad Gil speak to Illia about the powerful crossroads between NEAR’s OS and AI technology, what we should expect from AI agents, why AI’s alignment problem is really a human problem, and more. NEAR allows users to effortlessly create and distribute innovative decentralized apps across any blockchain, while helping build a more open web. Before co-founding NEAR, Illia researched AI at Google and co-authored the landmark paper, "Attention Is All You Need.
The GPU Crunch is challenging tech companies who want to compete in the AI space. Cerebras Systems has the answer, and it’s a chip the size of a dinner plate. Andrew Feldman, CEO and Co-founder of Cerebras, joins Sarah Guo and Elad Gil this week on No Priors. They discuss why Cerebras is the go-to system for quick and effortless AI training and how Cerebras WSE-2 is the largest and most effective chip on the market.
As the CEO of Cerebras, Andrew is building a new class of computer to accelerate AI work beyond the current state of the art. He is an entrepreneur dedicated to pushing boundaries in the computer space, and his passion is building teams that solve hard problems.
Everything digital is increasingly intermediated through web user experiences, and now AI development can be frontend-first, too. Just ask Guillermo Rauch, the founder and CEO of Vercel, the company behind Next.js. In this episode of No Priors, hosts Sarah Guo and Elad Gil speak to Guillermo about their AI SDK and AI templates, and why Vercel is focused on making it easy for every frontend engineer to build with AI. They also discuss what applications Guillermo's most excited about, how to prepare for the world of bots, whether the winds are changing in web architectures, and why he believes in the AI-fueled 100X engineer.
Biological Software" is the future of medicine. Jakob Uszkoreit, CEO and Co-founder of Inceptive, joins Sarah Guo and Elad Gil this week on No Priors, to discuss how deep learning is expanding the horizons of RNA and mRNA therapeutics.
Jakob co-authored the revolutionary paper Attention is All You Need while at Google, and led early Google Translate and Google Assistant teams. Now at Inceptive, he's applying these same architectures and ideas to biological design, optimizing vaccine production, and magnitude-more efficient drug discovery. We also discuss Jakob's perspective on promising research directions, and his point of view that model architectures will actually get simpler from here, and be driven by hardware.
The future of education is right at your children’s fingertips. Sal Khan, CEO and Founder of Khan Academy, joins Sarah Guo and Elad Gil this week on No Priors. For over a decade, Sal Khan has been trying to reform education, beginning with tutoring his cousins in math. He's the father of the YouTube "chalk talk" format, and has now served tens of millions of students through Khan Academy.
He guides us through how Khan Academy is using AI to personalize a student's educational experience, transporting students into immersive learning experiences that allow them to debate historical figures, to assisting teachers with lesson plans that address the learning gaps keeping students from reaching their full potential, to a Khanmigo, a tutor for every child.
Prior to founding Khan Academy, Sal worked as a hedge fund analyst. He holds an MS in business from Harvard University, as well as an MS in Engineering and a BS in Computer Science from MIT.
This week on the podcast, Sarah Guo and Elad Gil answer listener questions on the state of technology and artificial intelligence. Sarah and Elad also talk about the 2024 tech market, what type of companies may reach their highest valuation ever and the (former) unicorns that may go bust. Plus, how do Sarah and Elad define happiness? Hint: it’s a use case for a specialized AI agent.
How are the best in class ML developer tools continuing to push our capabilities to new heights? Lukas Biewald, CEO of Weights & Biases, joins Sarah Guo and Elad Gil this week on No Priors. Lukas explores the impact of ML in various industries like gaming, AgTech, and fintech through his insightful perspective. He discusses open source models and their adoption, the potential hidden costs of running your own model, and the challenges of finding companies that have LLMs in production. He gives advice for aspiring AI company founders, placing emphasis on customer feedback and using insecurities for better customer discovery.
Prior to founding Weights & Biases, Lukas conquered the problem of data collection for model training as the Founder of Figure Eight, which he sold in 2019. He holds an MS in Computer Science and a BS in Mathematics from Stanford University.
Can frontiers as high-stakes as next-generation, AI-enabled defense depend on something as mundane as data integration? Can "large language models" work in such mission critical applications? In this episode of No Priors, hosts Sarah Guo and Elad Gil are joined by Shyam Sankar, the Chief Technical Officer of Palantir Technologies and inventor of their famous Forward Deployed Engineering force.
Early employee and longtime leader Shyam explains the evolution of technology at Palantir, from ontology and data integration to process visualization and now AI. He describes how a company of Palantir's scale has adopted foundation models and shares customer stories. They discuss the case for open source AI models fine-tuned on private, domain-specific data, and the challenges of anchoring AI models in reality.
Video dominates modern media consumption, but video creation is still expensive and difficult. AI-generated and edited video is a holy grail of democratized creative expression. This week on No Priors, Sarah Guo and Elad Gil sit down with Devi Parikh. She is a Research Director in Generative AI at Meta and an Associate Professor in the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech. Her work focuses on multimodality and AI for images, audio and video. Recently, she worked on Make a Video 3D, also called MAV3D, which creates animations from text prompts. She is also a talented AI-generated and analog artist herself.
Elad, Sarah and Devi talk about what’s exciting in computer vision, what’s blocking researchers from fully immersive Generative 4-D, and AI controllability.
Frank Slootman, CEO of Snowflake Computing, joins Sarah Guo and Elad Gil this week on No Priors. Before scaling Snowflake to its blockbuster IPO and beyond, Frank was also the CEO from early to scale for landmark enterprise companies ServiceNow and Data Domain. Frank grew up in the Netherlands and is also the author of three books: Amp It Up, Rise of the Data Cloud, and Tape Sucks.
In this episode, our hosts talk with Frank about the opportunity for generative AI in the enterprise, why Snowflake isn't really a data warehousing company, their acquisitions of Neeva and Streamlit, apps within Snowflake, and how AI relates to traditional analytics and BI. He also talks about his personal journey, why it's always a good time to do performance management, and why most leaders struggle to raise the bar for performance.
Fidji Simo, the CEO of Instacart and co-founder of Metrodora Institute, a medical center and research institute for neuroimmune axis disorders, shares her personal journey from growing up in France, to leading the Facebook app, to becoming a wartime CEO. Fidji talks about the future of Instacart, their AI strategy, how the current era of AI is different from prior ML waves, and the impact of LLMs in commerce, robotics and healthcare. She also shares how she earns followership from her teams.
Olivier Pomel, co-founder and CEO of Datadog, the leading observability company, discusses the company’s founding story, early product sequencing, platform strategy, and acquisitions. Olivier also shares his thoughts on their more recent expansion into security, and why he’s bullish on the potential for AI in DevOps.