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March 6, 2023

E4: The AI Moment w/ Amjad Masad, Flo Crivello, Antonio Gracia Martinez and Dan Romero

E4: The AI Moment w/ Amjad Masad, Flo Crivello, Antonio Gracia Martinez and Dan Romero

Hey Cogs, 

The Cognitive Revolution is a weekly podcast about AI where Erik Torenberg and Nathan Labenz interview the builders on the edge of AI and explore the dramatic shift it will unlock in the coming years.
There is tremendous progress happening within AI, across many different modalities at the same time. Text generation and large language models get the most attention today, but there’s a lot coming down the pike and our AI future is just starting to take shape.
In this newsletter, you’ll read highlights from our interviews with AI pioneers, receive special show notes, and hear from Nathan and Erik directly. We are here to help make sense of what's happening in the here and now, while also zooming out for the audience to explain why AI matters on a broader level. We are committed to surfacing different opinions in the space and track them as they evolve.

You can subscribe to The Cognitive Revolution on Apple PodcastsSpotifyYoutube, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Today we’ll discuss:

  • Our co-host Nathan Labenz’s AI-obsessive mega thread on what to expect in 2023

  • Notable quotes from Episode 4

  • A look ahead and homework for Episode 5

Listen on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Youtube

OpenAI's Foundry leaked pricing says a lot – if you know how to read it

Our co-host Nathan Labenz (@labenz) goes deep on GPT4, the start of The Great Implementation, a move from Generative to Productive AI, OpenAI's safety & growth strategies, and the future of work.

It’s a fascinating long-form commentary on OpenAI's leaked "Foundry" platform which seems to suggest that OpenAI has made an algorithmic breakthrough with respect to LLM context scaling!

Read the full article here.

A Twitter user asked for a TLDR, so Nathan tries to condense it to 280 characters below, although it doesn’t do the thread justice so go read it - it’s worth it :)

Notable Quotes from Episode 4 with Amjad Masad, Flo Crivello, Antonio Gracia Martinez and Dan Romero

  1. “I think we're gonna see a great convergence of a lot of different AI advances that suddenly all come together and really make a tremendous impact on modern lives. And so, [I’m] calling it the Cognitive Revolution because I think the changes that we'll see are gonna be every bit as transformative as what we saw in the Agricultural Revolution and of course the Industrial Revolution.” - Nathan Labenz on the next coming Cognitive Revolution

  2. The level of exponential improvement is so tight that like you could go to lunch and come back and the world has changed, right? So that's a singularity because you can't know what's next. - Amjad Masad on the singularity

  3. The Eliezer [Yudkowksky] branch’s view is that the most likely outcome of AI is the death of humanity. And the reason that's the most likely outcome is because it is impossible to align an enormous computing force that at the same time that is sort of dumb and doesn't understand human preferences. Therefore, any goal that you give it is not gonna be specific enough. And there’s a lot of potential or explanation of that goal that gets you in trouble. - Amjad on the potential outcomes of AI (Antonio called BS on this)

  4. And most people are consumers of software as opposed to the creators. I think the idea of software creation will come back. I think there's going to be a lot more people wanting to create personal software and software for their business use case, and there's gonna be a lot of end-user programming. - Amjad on the software creation

  5. “AI, crypto, and the future of the internet would support this sort of world where people are less full-time employed. They're more like freelancers — they're able to jump from work to work — they're able to construct companies on the fly and kind of dissolve them right after the work is done. I think for the first time it's really possible. All these technologies that are maturing allow this new crop of entrepreneurs to be able to be hyper-productive and be able to get things done super quickly and super cheaply.” - Amjad on the future of work (Antonio called BS on this too)

  6. “Younger programmers, almost without fail, are ambitious and no longer want to join Microsoft or Facebook. They want to build businesses and they want to make money. They want to go into freelancing. They want to be like this free spirit. They want to build a career that is freedom maximizing.” - Amjad on young programmers

  7. “AI gives even more leverage to the individual. And I think the same way code let companies like WhatsApp sell for like $20 billion with 40 or 50 people. I think we're going to see $1 billion, $10 billion, maybe even a $1 trillion company in a decade or so with one or two people.” - Flo Crivello on the leverage AI provides

  8. “The reason why Google is as good as it is is not because AI is so amazing, it's because they literally have the entire world typing what they want. It was always the data side and never the actual algorithm. Algorithms aren't particularly defensible. At the end of the day, AI isn't a product any more than linear regression is. You actually have to apply it to something to create something that someone will pay you for. And that's where I kind of don't quite get a little bit of the AI hype. Like, where is the actual product? If Google can't actually find a way to turn that into actual cash, and a lot of these companies are actually basically thinly veiled prompt UIs on chatGPT then what is the actual product?” - Antonio exercising his skepticism of AI

  9. “Notion adding AI is much more interesting than a new knowledge management that's AI first. So I’m bearish on AI first and usually bullish on AI infrastructure — so, OpenAI or anyone building dev tools around prompts, prompt IDEs, or fine-tuning technology. Similar to the cloud, every company will integrate this kind of technology.” - Amjad on AI companies

Thank you Omneky for sponsoring The Cognitive Revolution. Omneky is an omnichannel creative generation platform that lets you launch hundreds of thousands of ad iterations that actually work, customized across all platforms, with a click of a button. Omneky combines generative AI and real-time advertising data, to generate personalized experiences at scale.

On the next episode of The Cognitive Revolution, we have Chroma Founder Anton Troynikov. The episode will drop tomorrow Thursday, March 2nd.

If you want to open a few browser tabs in advance of our next episode to prepare:

Until next time.