108 episodes

Ahead of the 2nd Cerebral Valley AI Summit on Nov. 15, hosts Eric Newcomer, Max Child, and James Wilsterman bring you a six-part podcast series on the rise of generative artificial intelligence.

www.newcomer.co

Newcomer | Cerebral Valley Podcast Eric Newcomer | newcomer.co

    • News
    • 4.4 • 31 Ratings

Ahead of the 2nd Cerebral Valley AI Summit on Nov. 15, hosts Eric Newcomer, Max Child, and James Wilsterman bring you a six-part podcast series on the rise of generative artificial intelligence.

www.newcomer.co

    Two Titans on the Future of AI (with Reid Hoffman & Vinod Khosla)

    Two Titans on the Future of AI (with Reid Hoffman & Vinod Khosla)

    Today, we have a double episode for you — two conversations from the Cerebral Valley AI Summit.
    Reid Hoffman was fresh off a meeting with President Joe Biden when Hoffman and I sat down on stage at the Cerebral Valley AI Summit Nov. 15. On stage, he told us that working to get Biden elected next year is one of his top priorities.
    Then, I sat down with the ever-feisty Vinod Khosla. The investor called for a TikTok ban and more welcoming immigration policies while warning against open-source artificial intelligence projects.
    Thousands of enterprises around the world rely on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) to power applications that drive their businesses. OCI customers include leaders across industries, such as healthcare, scientific research, financial services, telecommunications, and more.
    NVIDIA DGX Cloud on OCI is an AI training-as-a-service platform for customers to train complex AI models like generative AI applications. Included with DGX Cloud, NVIDIA AI Enterprise brings the software layer of the NVIDIA AI platform to OCI.
    Talk with Oracle about accelerating your GPU workloads.
    Hoffman Plans to Go Big for Biden
    Hoffman, fresh off a meeting with President Biden, kicked off the afternoon with a strong endorsement of the President’s record. Hoffman praised Biden for his recent executive order on artificial intelligence.
    Reid called himself “a 95%-98% supporter” of the executive order, endorsing provisions on reporting and monitoring, “red team” testing, and voluntary commitments by companies that might eventually be enforced via the Defense Production Act. But he pushed back on the idea that the FTC should be monitoring the AI industry for anti-competitive conduct.
    “Startups are not being impeded right now,” he asserted, despite the apparent dominance of OpenAI and the mega-cap tech companies. Reid sits on the board of Microsoft, and offered that he was in fact “first money in” on OpenAI, through his personal foundation, but he’s not concerned about, er, his own companies having too much power. “I don’t think it constrains competition on any level.”
    Hoffman is always happy to engage on policy, and I asked him what he thought about Marc Andreessen’s recent “techno-optimist” manifesto, which denigrates the very idea of government oversight. Reid said he was a techno-optimist too, and half-joked that Andreessen “quoted kind of liberally from things I’ve written and said” without any attribution. But Hoffman said that he’s not on board with Andreessen’s approach. “It’s kind of dumb to think that when you have major technologies there can’t be negative side effects,” he said, noting that all his AI projects have safety teams. “Tech can be amazing. Let’s be intentional about building.”
    Khosla Wins Cheers from the Cerebral Valley Audience
    Venture capitalist Vinod Khosla confirmed that his firm, boosted by an early stake in OpenAI, was about to close on $3 billion in commitments for a new fund. Valuations are high, he said, “but just because valuations are high doesn’t mean it isn’t a good time to invest.”
    He’s not buying existential risk, calling it “nonsensical” talk from academics who had nothing better to do. But he’s long on China risk, saying the U.S. is in a “techno-economic war” with China and needs to fight hard. “I would ban TikTok in a nano-second,” he said, unlike his predecessor on stage, Hoffman, who Khosla said he very much admired. Khosla is firmly against open-source AI models as well due to the China risk.
    Bio-risk and cyber risk are real concerns too, he noted.
    But if China or rogue viruses don’t kill us, Khosla thinks the near-future is very bright: “I do think in 10 years we’ll have free doctors, free tutors, free lawyers” all powered by AI. 
    Khosla also gave a grudging endorsement of the Biden Executive Order, saying it was “okay.” 
    But like most Silicon Valley moguls, he has no time for antitrust issues

    • 44 min
    Databricks CEO Ali Ghodsi & MosaicML Founder Naveen Rao Speak at Cerebral Valley

    Databricks CEO Ali Ghodsi & MosaicML Founder Naveen Rao Speak at Cerebral Valley

    We were delighted to kick off the 2nd Cerebral Valley AI Summit with Ali Ghodsi, CEO of Databricks, and Naveen Rao, co-founder of MosaicML.
    Their encounter at our debut event in March led to Ghodsi buying Rao’s company, which had little revenue, for $1.3 billion. At our event on Nov. 15, the two discussed how the deal came together quickly after meeting at the conference dinner.
    Thousands of enterprises around the world rely on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) to power applications that drive their businesses. OCI customers include leaders across industries, such as healthcare, scientific research, financial services, telecommunications, and more.
    NVIDIA DGX Cloud on OCI is an AI training-as-a-service platform for customers to train complex AI models like generative AI applications. Included with DGX Cloud, NVIDIA AI Enterprise brings the software layer of the NVIDIA AI platform to OCI.
    Talk with Oracle about accelerating your GPU workloads.
    Ghodsi recounted how he started spending some time with Rao and thought, “these guys are pretty good,” and then by chance noticed an employee he respected poking around with MosaicML and offering a strong endorsement. Soon Ghodsi was on the phone with the head of his deals team, who told him “if you want to buy these guys you have to do it this weekend.” Rao said by that point “you kind of know he’s going to pop the question,” and once they worked out the money, the deal was done.
    The two executives certainly seemed to be in harmony as they touted the potential benefits from their combination, which in simple terms will bring MosaicML’s expertise in building specialized generative AI models to Databricks’ corporate data platform products, essentially super-charging Databricks for the generative AI era.
    They were eager to defend the idea of open-source foundation models that are specific to certain tasks, rejecting the notion that general-purpose models like ChatGPT-4 will eventually swallow everything. (This conversation took place before OpenAI was thrown into chaos by its board of directors.)
    Ghodsi said calls to limit open-source models on the grounds that they’ll be too easily exploited by bad actors a “horrible, horrendous” idea that would “put a stop to all innovation.” 
    “It’s essential that we have an open-source ecosystem,” he said, noting that even now it’s unclear how a lot of AI models work, and open-source research will be critical to answering those questions.
    Rao added that many of the people making predictions about how AI would develop are “full of s**t.” On the safety question, he noted that cost alone would stand in the way of any existential risks for a long time, and in the meantime the focus should be on real threats like disinformation and robot safety.
    Give it a listen



    Get full access to Newcomer at www.newcomer.co/subscribe

    • 22 min
    The Artificial Intelligence Startup Draft

    The Artificial Intelligence Startup Draft

    If you could amass any five artificial intelligence startup bets right now, which companies would you pick?
    My Cerebral Valley co-hosts and I took a stab at answering that question with an artificial intelligence startup draft.
    Our startup draft starts at 27:35 after a discussion of some of the biggest themes going into this week’s Cerebral Valley AI Summit.
    The draft gave us a chance to dissect some of the most promising startups in artificial intelligence right now.
    The goal was to amass five companies with the biggest valuation five years from now. We restricted ourselves to AI startups that had raised more than $100 million.
    I encourage you to make your own prediction in the comments.
    Give it a listen


    Get full access to Newcomer at www.newcomer.co/subscribe

    • 1 hr 4 min
    Chip War (with Chris Miller)

    Chip War (with Chris Miller)

    For this week’s episode, I spoke with Chris Miller, the author of Chip War, about the rise of Nvidia.
    While OpenAI gets the lion’s share of the public adulation for the sudden excitement about generative intelligence, Nvidia’s H100 chips are powering much of the generative AI frenzy. Nvidia’s stock has climbed over 200% over the past 12 months. And the company has become a key investor in generative AI startups.
    Miller (who comes on the show around the 41-minute mark) talks through Nvidia’s history and the geopolitical war raging over the production of chips.
    In the first part of the episode, Cerebral Valley AI Summit co-hosts Max Child, James Wilsterman, and I discuss how big technology companies are working to fend off this new generation of AI startups.
    Give it a listen


    Get full access to Newcomer at www.newcomer.co/subscribe

    • 1 hr 32 min
    The AI Personal Stack (with Joshua Browder)

    The AI Personal Stack (with Joshua Browder)

    I’m back from my honeymoon in Japan. Thanks for sticking with the newsletter as I celebrated my wedding this year. Expect more of my newsletter writing soon.
    If you have tips or story ideas for me, you can always reach out at eric@newcomer.co.
    I hope you’ve been enjoying the Cerebral Valley podcast series while I’ve been gone. If you missed the first three episodes, you can check them out in the links below:
    * The Cerebral Valley Podcast: Artificial Intelligence Becomes Reality
    * AI Kills Us All (with Daniel H. Wilson)
    * Someday That NPC Could Be More Alive Than You Are (w/ Amy Wu & Keith Kawahata)
    On this week’s episode of our Cerebral Valley podcast, co-hosts Max Child, James Wilsterman, and I talk about how artificial intelligence is actually affecting our lives today.
    Then at the 34:40 mark, I talk with DoNotPay CEO Joshua Browder. His company is helping consumers cancel their gym memberships, dispute charges, and otherwise stand up to big corporations.
    Browder got some heat for planning to have an artificial intelligence-powered lawyer argue in court. Ultimately, he reversed course under pressure from the legal world.
    Browder envisions a world where AI is fighting other AIs. Companies use artificial intelligence to power their chatbots and to handle customer support. Consumers need to be armed with similarly powerful AI-powered tools to resist those companies.
    Give it a listen


    Get full access to Newcomer at www.newcomer.co/subscribe

    • 1 hr 23 min
    Someday That NPC Could Be More Alive Than You Are (w/ Amy Wu & Keith Kawahata)

    Someday That NPC Could Be More Alive Than You Are (w/ Amy Wu & Keith Kawahata)

    Video games often represent the frontier of any new technology. Many of the most popular applications in the initial iPhone app store were games. Today’s virtual reality devices are dominated by video games.
    Artificial intelligence seems poised to upend the video game business and entertainment more broadly.
    On the third episode of our six-part Cerebral Valley podcast series, Max Child, James Wilsterman, and I game out how artificial intelligence could reshape the media we consume.
    It helps that Max and James are the co-founders of Volley, which builds AI-enabled games. They develop many of the most popular voice games on the Amazon Alexa and smart TV platforms like Roku.
    Max and James have been deep in the trenches of conversational-style gaming and have spent a lot of time thinking about how humans interact with ever smarter computers.
    In the second half of the episode, I talk with Menlo Ventures partner Amy Wu, who focuses on gaming and consumer investments, and Keith Kawahata, a former executive at Wargaming, AppLovin, and Kabam, who now has a stealth artificial intelligence gaming startup.
    Wu helps to articulate a three-part thesis on how artificial intelligence might change the gaming business. (1) artificial intelligence will help with the creation of the game art and graphics, (2) AI can create more sophisticated non-player characters, and (3) AI can help write the code of the game itself.
    One of the things that I was struck by from the conversation is that games may have a big leg up in implementing artificial intelligence over movies — because people interact so much more with a gaming, giving it tons of data to react to. While TikToks can learn what small populations of people like and what an individual likes over a long time, a game could learn a lot about a user in a single play session.
    Of course, there are real hurdles left standing. Most notably, text-to-image generation so far is mostly two-dimensional. Despite everything that’s happened, image generation models aren’t just whipping out 3-D levels that are ready to play.
    And it could be a while until non-player characters are as smart as humans. But imagine playing a game of Grand Theft Auto or Red Dead Redemption and the characters roaming around the game are self-aware agents with their own thoughts and drives.
    Give it a listen
    P.S. I’m on my honeymoon right now in Japan. I was working frantically to record these episodes before I left. My chief of staff Riley Konsella is sending the episodes out for me while I’m gone. If you need anything while I’m away, you should email Riley.
    Thanks in advance for being understanding that this newsletter is slowing down for my honeymoon. I’m going to dedicate myself to relaxing over the next two weeks so that I come back hungrier than ever.


    Get full access to Newcomer at www.newcomer.co/subscribe

    • 1 hr 34 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
31 Ratings

31 Ratings

Jimmy ,

Fun and entertaining discussion

Enjoying the new Cerebral Valley miniseries on artificial intelligence and Silicon Valley! Great work to Eric and the Volley team.

The holder ,

Cerebral Valley edition is better than ever

I love this podcast more than Sam Altman loves GPUs

lmonocle ,

Cerebral Valley

This AI series is exactly what I was looking for right now. Thank you for helping me understand what’s going on!

Top Podcasts In News

The New York Times
NPR
SiriusXM
The Daily Wire
Crooked Media
Cumulus Podcast Network | Dan Bongino

You Might Also Like

Harry Stebbings
Jason Calacanis
Jason Calacanis
The Morins and The Lessins
Colossus | Investing & Business Podcasts
BG2Pod