• Podcast: 80,000 Hours Podcast
    Episode: #189 – Rachel Glennerster on how “market shaping” could help solve climate change, pandemics, and other global problems
    Release date: 2024-05-29

    "You can’t charge what something is worth during a pandemic. So we estimated that the value of one course of COVID vaccine in January 2021 was over $5,000. They were selling for between $6 and $40. So nothing like their social value. Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t think that they should have charged $5,000 or $6,000. That’s not ethical. It’s also not economically efficient, because they didn’t cost $5,000 at the marginal cost. So you actually want low price, getting out to lots of people.

    "But it shows you that the market is not going to reward people who do the investment in preparation for a pandemic — because when a pandemic hits, they’re not going to get the reward in line with the social value. They may even have to charge less than they would in a non-pandemic time. So prepping for a pandemic is not an efficient market strategy if I’m a firm, but it’s a very efficient strategy for society, and so we’ve got to bridge that gap." —Rachel Glennerster

    In today’s episode, host Luisa Rodriguez speaks to Rachel Glennerster — associate professor of economics at the University of Chicago and a pioneer in the field of development economics — about how her team’s new Market Shaping Accelerator aims to leverage market forces to drive innovations that can solve pressing world problems.

    Links to learn more, highlights, and full transcript.

    They cover:

    How market failures and misaligned incentives stifle critical innovations for social goods like pandemic preparedness, climate change interventions, and vaccine development.How “pull mechanisms” like advance market commitments (AMCs) can help overcome these challenges — including concrete examples like how one AMC led to speeding up the development of three vaccines which saved around 700,000 lives in low-income countries.The challenges in designing effective pull mechanisms, from design to implementation.Why it’s important to tie innovation incentives to real-world impact and uptake, not just the invention of a new technology.The massive benefits of accelerating vaccine development, in some cases, even if it’s only by a few days or weeks.The case for a $6 billion advance market commitment to spur work on a universal COVID-19 vaccine.The shortlist of ideas from the Market Shaping Accelerator’s recent Innovation Challenge that use pull mechanisms to address market failures around improving indoor air quality, repurposing generic drugs for alternative uses, and developing eco-friendly air conditioners for a warming planet.“Best Buys” and “Bad Buys” for improving education systems in low- and middle-income countries, based on evidence from over 400 studies.Lessons from Rachel’s career at the forefront of global development, and how insights from economics can drive transformative change.And much more.


    The Market Shaping Accelerator (00:03:33)Pull mechanisms for innovation (00:13:10)Accelerating the pneumococcal and COVID vaccines (00:19:05)Advance market commitments (00:41:46)Is this uncertainty hard for funders to plan around? (00:49:17)The story of the malaria vaccine that wasn’t (00:57:15)Challenges with designing and implementing AMCs and other pull mechanisms (01:01:40)Universal COVID vaccine (01:18:14)Climate-resilient crops (01:34:09)The Market Shaping Accelerator’s Innovation Challenge (01:45:40)Indoor air quality to reduce respiratory infections (01:49:09)Repurposing generic drugs (01:55:50)Clean air conditioning units (02:02:41)Broad-spectrum antivirals for pandemic prevention (02:09:11)Improving education in low- and middle-income countries (02:15:53)What’s still weird for Rachel about living in the US? (02:45:06)

    Producer and editor: Keiran Harris
    Audio Engineering Lead: Ben Cordell
    Technical editing: Simon Monsour, Milo McGuire, and Dominic Armstrong
    Additional content editing: Katy Moore and Luisa Rodriguez
    Transcriptions: Katy Moore

  • Podcast: The Ezra Klein Show
    Episode: Salman Rushdie Is Not Who You Think He Is
    Release date: 2024-04-26

    Salman Rushdie’s 1988 novel, “The Satanic Verses,” made him the target of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who denounced the book as blasphemous and issued a fatwa calling for his assassination. Rushdie spent years trying to escape the shadow the fatwa cast on him, and for some time, he thought he succeeded. But in 2022, an assailant attacked him onstage at a speaking engagement in western New York and nearly killed him.

    “I think now I’ll never be able to escape it. No matter what I’ve already written or may now write, I’ll always be the guy who got knifed,” he writes in his new memoir, “Knife: Meditations After an Attempted Murder.”

    In this conversation, I asked Rushdie to reflect on his desire to escape the fatwa; the gap between the reputation of his novels and their actual merits; how his “shadow selves” became more real to millions than he was; how many of us in the internet age also have to contend with our many shadow selves; what Rushdie lives for now; and more.


    Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie

    Book Recommendations:

    Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes, translated by Edith Grossman

    One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

    The Trial by Franz Kafka

    The Castle by Franz Kafka

    Thoughts? Guest suggestions? Email us at [email protected].

    You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more episodes of “The Ezra Klein Show” at nytimes.com/ezra-klein-podcast. Book recommendations from all our guests are listed at https://www.nytimes.com/article/ezra-klein-show-book-recs.

    This episode of “The Ezra Klein Show” was produced by Annie Galvin. Fact-checking by Michelle Harris. Our senior engineer is Jeff Geld, with additional mixing by Isaac Jones. Our senior editor is Claire Gordon. The show’s production team also includes Rollin Hu, Kristin Lin and Aman Sahota. Original music by Isaac Jones. Audience strategy by Kristina Samulewski and Shannon Busta. The executive producer of New York Times Opinion Audio is Annie-Rose Strasser. And special thanks to Sonia Herrero and Mrinalini Chakravorty.

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  • Podcast: Political Philosophy Podcast
    Episode: THE POLITICAL RIGHT & EQUALITY With MattMcManus
    Release date: 2024-04-28

    What defines the modern American right? Matt McManus argues we should understand the movement as fundementally about hierarchy, we then get into a general conversation about the Biden administration and the direction of the US Left.

  • Podcast: The Gradient: Perspectives on AI
    Episode: David Thorstad: Bounded Rationality and the Case Against Longtermism
    Release date: 2024-05-02

    Episode 122

    I spoke with Professor David Thorstad about:

    * The practical difficulties of doing interdisciplinary work

    * Why theories of human rationality should account for boundedness, heuristics, and other cognitive limitations

    * why EA epistemics suck (ok, it’s a little more nuanced than that)

    Professor Thorstad is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University, a Senior Research Affiliate at the Global Priorities Institute at Oxford, and a Research Affiliate at the MINT Lab at Australian National University. One strand of his research asks how cognitively limited agents should decide what to do and believe. A second strand asks how altruists should use limited funds to do good effectively.

    Reach me at [email protected] for feedback, ideas, guest suggestions.

    Subscribe to The Gradient Podcast: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Pocket Casts | RSSFollow The Gradient on Twitter


    * (00:00) Intro

    * (01:15) David’s interest in rationality

    * (02:45) David’s crisis of confidence, models abstracted from psychology

    * (05:00) Blending formal models with studies of the mind

    * (06:25) Interaction between academic communities

    * (08:24) Recognition of and incentives for interdisciplinary work

    * (09:40) Movement towards interdisciplinary work

    * (12:10) The Standard Picture of rationality

    * (14:11) Why the Standard Picture was attractive

    * (16:30) Violations of and rebellion against the Standard Picture

    * (19:32) Mistakes made by critics of the Standard Picture

    * (22:35) Other competing programs vs Standard Picture

    * (26:27) Characterizing Bounded Rationality

    * (27:00) A worry: faculties criticizing themselves

    * (29:28) Self-improving critique and longtermism

    * (30:25) Central claims in bounded rationality and controversies

    * (32:33) Heuristics and formal theorizing

    * (35:02) Violations of Standard Picture, vindicatory epistemology

    * (37:03) The Reason Responsive Consequentialist View (RRCV)

    * (38:30) Objective and subjective pictures

    * (41:35) Reason responsiveness

    * (43:37) There are no epistemic norms for inquiry

    * (44:00) Norms vs reasons

    * (45:15) Arguments against epistemic nihilism for belief

    * (47:30) Norms and self-delusion

    * (49:55) Difficulty of holding beliefs for pragmatic reasons

    * (50:50) The Gibbardian picture, inquiry as an action

    * (52:15) Thinking how to act and thinking how to live — the power of inquiry

    * (53:55) Overthinking and conducting inquiry

    * (56:30) Is thinking how to inquire as an all-things-considered matter?

    * (58:00) Arguments for the RRCV

    * (1:00:40) Deciding on minimal criteria for the view, stereotyping

    * (1:02:15) Eliminating stereotypes from the theory

    * (1:04:20) Theory construction in epistemology and moral intuition

    * (1:08:20) Refusing theories for moral reasons and disciplinary boundaries

    * (1:10:30) The argument from minimal criteria, evaluating against competing views

    * (1:13:45) Comparing to other theories

    * (1:15:00) The explanatory argument

    * (1:17:53) Parfit and Railton, norms of friendship vs utility

    * (1:20:00) Should you call out your friend for being a womanizer

    * (1:22:00) Vindicatory Epistemology

    * (1:23:05) Panglossianism and meliorative epistemology

    * (1:24:42) Heuristics and recognition-driven investigation

    * (1:26:33) Rational inquiry leading to irrational beliefs — metacognitive processing

    * (1:29:08) Stakes of inquiry and costs of metacognitive processing

    * (1:30:00) When agents are incoherent, focuses on inquiry

    * (1:32:05) Indirect normative assessment and its consequences

    * (1:37:47) Against the Singularity Hypothesis

    * (1:39:00) Superintelligence and the ontological argument

    * (1:41:50) Hardware growth and general intelligence growth, AGI definitions

    * (1:43:55) Difficulties in arguing for hyperbolic growth

    * (1:46:07) Chalmers and the proportionality argument

    * (1:47:53) Arguments for/against diminishing growth, research productivity, Moore’s Law

    * (1:50:08) On progress studies

    * (1:52:40) Improving research productivity and technology growth

    * (1:54:00) Mistakes in the moral mathematics of existential risk, longtermist epistemics

    * (1:55:30) Cumulative and per-unit risk

    * (1:57:37) Back and forth with longtermists, time of perils

    * (1:59:05) Background risk — risks we can and can’t intervene on, total existential risk

    * (2:00:56) The case for longtermism is inflated

    * (2:01:40) Epistemic humility and longtermism

    * (2:03:15) Knowledge production — reliable sources, blog posts vs peer review

    * (2:04:50) Compounding potential errors in knowledge

    * (2:06:38) Group deliberation dynamics, academic consensus

    * (2:08:30) The scope of longtermism

    * (2:08:30) Money in effective altruism and processes of inquiry

    * (2:10:15) Swamping longtermist options

    * (2:12:00) Washing out arguments and justified belief

    * (2:13:50) The difficulty of long-term forecasting and interventions

    * (2:15:50) Theory of change in the bounded rationality program

    * (2:18:45) Outro


    * David’s homepage and Twitter and blog

    * Papers mentioned/read

    * Bounded rationality and inquiry

    * Why bounded rationality (in epistemology)?

    * Against the newer evidentialists

    * The accuracy-coherence tradeoff in cognition

    * There are no epistemic norms of inquiry

    * Permissive metaepistemology

    * Global priorities and effective altruism

    * What David likes about EA

    * Against the singularity hypothesis (+ blog posts

    * Three mistakes in the moral mathematics of existential risk (+ blog posts

    * The scope of longtermism

    * Epistemics

    Get full access to The Gradient at thegradientpub.substack.com/subscribe
  • Podcast: Conversations with Tyler
    Episode: Peter Thiel on Political Theology
    Release date: 2024-04-17

    In this conversation recorded live in Miami, Tyler and Peter Thiel dive deep into the complexities of political theology, including why it’s a concept we still need today, why Peter’s against Calvinism (and rationalism), whether the Old Testament should lead us to be woke, why Carl Schmitt is enjoying a resurgence, whether we’re entering a new age of millenarian thought, the one existential risk Peter thinks we’re overlooking, why everyone just muddling through leads to disaster, the role of the katechon, the political vision in Shakespeare, how AI will affect the influence of wordcels, Straussian messages in the Bible, what worries Peter about Miami, and more.

    Read a full transcript enhanced with helpful links, or watch the full video.

    Recorded February 21st, 2024.

    Other ways to connect

    Follow us on X and Instagram Follow Tyler on X Follow Peter on X Sign up for our newsletter Join our Discord Email us: [email protected] Learn more about Conversations with Tyler and other Mercatus Center podcasts here.
  • Podcast: Making Sense with Sam Harris
    Episode: #361 — Sam Bankman-Fried & Effective Altruism
    Release date: 2024-04-01

    Sam Harris speaks with William MacAskill about the implosion of FTX and the effect that it has had on the Effective Altruism movement. They discuss the logic of “earning to give,” the mind of SBF, his philanthropy, the character of the EA community, potential problems with focusing on long-term outcomes, AI risk, the effects of the FTX collapse on Will personally, and other topics.

    If the Making Sense podcast logo in your player is BLACK, you can SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all full-length episodes at samharris.org/subscribe.

    Learning how to train your mind is the single greatest investment you can make in life. That’s why Sam Harris created the Waking Up app. From rational mindfulness practice to lessons on some of life’s most important topics, join Sam as he demystifies the practice of meditation and explores the theory behind it.

  • Podcast: Dwarkesh Podcast
    Episode: Sholto Douglas & Trenton Bricken - How to Build & Understand GPT-7's Mind
    Release date: 2024-03-28

    Had so much fun chatting with my good friends Trenton Bricken and Sholto Douglas on the podcast.

    No way to summarize it, except:

    This is the best context dump out there on how LLMs are trained, what capabilities they're likely to soon have, and what exactly is going on inside them.

    You would be shocked how much of what I know about this field, I've learned just from talking with them.

    To the extent that you've enjoyed my other AI interviews, now you know why.

    So excited to put this out. Enjoy! I certainly did :)

    Watch on YouTube. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or any other podcast platform.

    There's a transcript with links to all the papers the boys were throwing down - may help you follow along.

    Follow Trenton and Sholto on Twitter.


    (00:00:00) - Long contexts

    (00:16:12) - Intelligence is just associations

    (00:32:35) - Intelligence explosion & great researchers

    (01:06:52) - Superposition & secret communication

    (01:22:34) - Agents & true reasoning

    (01:34:40) - How Sholto & Trenton got into AI research

    (02:07:16) - Are feature spaces the wrong way to think about intelligence?

    (02:21:12) - Will interp actually work on superhuman models

    (02:45:05) - Sholto’s technical challenge for the audience

    (03:03:57) - Rapid fire

    Get full access to Dwarkesh Podcast at www.dwarkeshpatel.com/subscribe
  • Podcast: Joe Carlsmith Audio
    Episode: An even deeper atheism
    Release date: 2024-01-11

    Who isn't a paperclipper?

    Text version here: https://joecarlsmith.com/2024/01/11/an-even-deeper-atheism

    This essay is part of a series I'm calling "Otherness and control in the age of AGI." I'm hoping that individual essays can be read fairly well on their own, but see here for brief summaries of the essays that have been released thus far: https://joecarlsmith.com/2024/01/02/otherness-and-control-in-the-age-of-agi

  • Podcast: a16z Podcast
    Episode: Drones, Data, and Deterrence: Technology's Role in Public Safety
    Release date: 2024-01-10

    Flock is a public safety technology platform that operates in over 4,000 cities across the United States, and solves about 2,200 crimes daily. That’s 10 percent of reported crimes nationwide.

    Taken from a16z’s recent LP Summit, a16z General Partner David Ulevitch joins forces with Flock Safety’s founder, Garrett Langley and Sheriff Kevin McMahill of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Together, they cover the delicate balance between using technology to combat crime and respecting individual privacy, and explore the use of drones and facial recognition, building trust within communities, and the essence of objective policing.


    Find Garret on Twitter: https://twitter.com/glangley

    Find Sheriff McMahill on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Sheriff_LVMPD

    Find David on Twitter:https://twitter.com/davidu

    Learn more about Flock Safety: https://www.flocksafety.com

    Stay Updated:

    Find a16z on Twitter: https://twitter.com/a16z

    Find a16z on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/a16z

    Subscribe on your favorite podcast app: https://a16z.simplecast.com/

    Follow our host: https://twitter.com/stephsmithio

    Please note that the content here is for informational purposes only; should NOT be taken as legal, business, tax, or investment advice or be used to evaluate any investment or security; and is not directed at any investors or potential investors in any a16z fund. a16z and its affiliates may maintain investments in the companies discussed. For more details please see a16z.com/disclosures.

  • Podcast: "The Cognitive Revolution" | AI Builders, Researchers, and Live Player Analysis
    Episode: Biden's Executive Order and AI Safety with Flo Crivello, Founder of Lindy AI
    Release date: 2023-11-03

    In this episode, Flo Crivello, founder of Lindy AI, joins Nathan to chat about Biden’s executive order, and the state of AI safety. They discuss Flo’s thoughts on the executive order, building AGI kill switches, self driving cars, and more. If you need an ERP platform, check out our sponsor NetSuite: https://netsuite.com/cognitive.

    SPONSORS: Netsuite | Omneky

    Shopify is the global commerce platform that helps you sell at every stage of your business. Shopify powers 10% of ALL eCommerce in the US. And Shopify's the global force behind Allbirds, Rothy's, and Brooklinen, and 1,000,000s of other entrepreneurs across 175 countries.From their all-in-one e-commerce platform, to their in-person POS system – wherever and whatever you're selling, Shopify's got you covered. With free Shopify Magic, sell more with less effort by whipping up captivating content that converts – from blog posts to product descriptions using AI. Sign up for $1/month trial period: https://shopify.com/cognitive

    NetSuite has 25 years of providing financial software for all your business needs. More than 36,000 businesses have already upgraded to NetSuite by Oracle, gaining visibility and control over their financials, inventory, HR, eCommerce, and more. If you're looking for an ERP platform ✅ head to NetSuite: https://netsuite.com/cognitive and download your own customized KPI checklist.

    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. Mention "Cog Rev" for 10% off.


    Every week investor and writer of the popular newsletter The Diff, Byrne Hobart, and co-host Erik Torenberg discuss today’s major inflection points in technology, business, and markets – and help listeners build a diversified portfolio of trends and ideas for the future. Subscribe to “The Riff” with Byrne Hobart and Erik Torenberg: https://link.chtbl.com/theriff


    (00:00) Episode Preview

    (00:06:42) The natural order of technological progress

    (00:07:00) Self driving cars

    (00:10:57) Where is Flo accelerationist?

    (00:12:34) Artificial intelligence as a new form of life

    (00:17:08) - Sponsors: Oracle | Omneky

    (00:18:05) Silicon-based intelligence vs carbon-based intelligence

    (00:24:36) Executive Order

    (00:29:32) How would a GPU kill switch work?

    (00:31:24) “Let’s not regulate model development, but applications”

    (00:32:08) - Sponsor: Netsuite

    (00:36:00) GPT-4 is the most critical component for AGI

    (00:38:00) AGI in 2-8 years

    (00:39:26) Eureka moment from a general system

    (00:48:00) AI research with China

    (00:52:00) Does AI have subjective experience? The Mu response

    This show is produced by Turpentine: a network of podcasts, newsletters, and more, covering technology, business, and culture — all from the perspective of industry insiders and experts. We’re launching new shows every week, and we’re looking for industry-leading sponsors — if you think that might be you and your company, email us at [email protected].

    Producer: Vivian Meng

    Executive Producers: Amelia Salyers, and Erik Torenberg

    Editor: Graham Bessellieu

  • Podcast: Dwarkesh Podcast
    Episode: Paul Christiano - Preventing an AI Takeover
    Release date: 2023-10-31

    Paul Christiano is the world’s leading AI safety researcher. My full episode with him is out!

    We discuss:

    - Does he regret inventing RLHF, and is alignment necessarily dual-use?

    - Why he has relatively modest timelines (40% by 2040, 15% by 2030),

    - What do we want post-AGI world to look like (do we want to keep gods enslaved forever)?

    - Why he’s leading the push to get to labs develop responsible scaling policies, and what it would take to prevent an AI coup or bioweapon,

    - His current research into a new proof system, and how this could solve alignment by explaining model's behavior

    - and much more.

    Watch on YouTube. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or any other podcast platform. Read the full transcript here. Follow me on Twitter for updates on future episodes.

    Open Philanthropy

    Open Philanthropy is currently hiring for twenty-two different roles to reduce catastrophic risks from fast-moving advances in AI and biotechnology, including grantmaking, research, and operations.

    For more information and to apply, please see the application: https://www.openphilanthropy.org/research/new-roles-on-our-gcr-team/

    The deadline to apply is November 9th; make sure to check out those roles before they close.


    (00:00:00) - What do we want post-AGI world to look like?

    (00:24:25) - Timelines

    (00:45:28) - Evolution vs gradient descent

    (00:54:53) - Misalignment and takeover

    (01:17:23) - Is alignment dual-use?

    (01:31:38) - Responsible scaling policies

    (01:58:25) - Paul’s alignment research

    (02:35:01) - Will this revolutionize theoretical CS and math?

    (02:46:11) - How Paul invented RLHF

    (02:55:10) - Disagreements with Carl Shulman

    (03:01:53) - Long TSMC but not NVIDIA

    Get full access to Dwarkesh Podcast at www.dwarkeshpatel.com/subscribe
  • Podcast: Tetragrammaton with Rick Rubin
    Episode: Tyler Cowen: From Avant-Garde to Pop (Bonus DJ Episode)
    Release date: 2023-10-18

    Tyler Cowen has long nurtured an obsession with music. It’s one of the few addictions Tyler believes is actually conducive to a fulfilling intellectual life.

    In this bonus episode, an addendum to Rick’s conversation with Tyler, Rick sits with Tyler as he plays and talks through the music that moves him: from the outer bounds of the avant-garde to contemporary pop music and all points in between.

  • Podcast: Sean Carroll's Mindscape: Science, Society, Philosophy, Culture, Arts, and Ideas
    Episode: 233 | Hugo Mercier on Reasoning and Skepticism
    Release date: 2023-04-17

    Here at the Mindscape Podcast, we are firmly pro-reason. But what does that mean, fundamentally and in practice? How did humanity come into the idea of not just doing things, but doing things for reasons? In this episode we talk with cognitive scientist Hugo Mercier about these issues. He is the co-author (with Dan Sperber) of The Enigma of Reason, about how the notion of reason came to be, and more recently author of Not Born Yesterday, about who we trust and what we believe. He argues that our main shortcoming is not being insufficiently skeptical of radical claims, but of being too skeptical of claims that don't fit our views.

    Support Mindscape on Patreon.

    Hugo Mercier received a Ph.D. in cognitive sciences from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales. He is currently a Permanent CNRS Research Scientist at the Institut Jean Nicod, Paris. Among his awards are the Prime d’excellence from the CNRS.

    Web siteGoogle Scholar publicationsAmazon author pageTwitter

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

  • Podcast: The Book Club
    Episode: Tom Holland: Dominion
    Release date: 2019-12-04

    In this week's Book Club, Sam's guest is the historian Tom Holland, author of the new book Dominion: The Making of the Western Mind. The book, though as Tom remarks, you might not know it from the cover, is essentially a history of Christianity -- and an account of the myriad ways, many of them invisible to us, that it has shaped and continues to shape Western culture. It's a book and an argument that takes us from Ancient Babylon to Harvey Weinstein's hotel room, draws in the Beatles and the Nazis, and orbits around two giant figures: St Paul and Nietzsche. Is there a single discernible, distinctive Christian way of thinking? Is secularism Christianity by other means? And are our modern-day culture wars between alt-righters and woke progressives a post-Christian phenomenon or, as Tom argues, essentially a civil war between two Christian sects?

    Presented by Sam Leith.

  • Podcast: Clearer Thinking with Spencer Greenberg
    Episode: How quickly is AI advancing? And should you be working in the field? (with Danny Hernandez)
    Release date: 2023-08-23

    Read the full transcript here.

    Along what axes and at what rates is the AI industry growing? What algorithmic developments have yielded the greatest efficiency boosts? When, if ever, will we hit the upper limits of the amount of computing power, data, money, etc., we can throw at AI development? Why do some people seemingly become fixated on particular tasks that particular AI models can't perform and draw the conclusion that AIs are still pretty dumb and won't be taking our jobs any time soon? What kinds of tasks are more or less easily automatable? Should more people work on AI? What does it mean to "take ownership" of our friendships? What sorts of thinking patterns employed by AI engineers can be beneficial in other areas of life? How can we make better decisions, especially about large things like careers and relationships?

    Danny Hernandez was an early AI researcher at OpenAI and Anthropic. He's best known for measuring macro progress in AI. For example, he helped show that the compute of the largest training runs was growing at 10x per year between 2012 and 2017. He also helped show an algorithmic equivalent of Moore's Law that was faster, and he's done work on scaling laws and mechanistic interpretability of learning from repeated data. He is currently focused on alignment research.


    Spencer Greenberg — Host / DirectorJosh Castle — ProducerRyan Kessler — Audio EngineerUri Bram — FactotumWeAmplify — TranscriptionistsMiles Kestran — Marketing


    Broke for FreeJosh WoodwardLee RosevereQuiet Music for Tiny Robotswowamusiczapsplat.com


    Clearer ThinkingGuidedTrackMind EasePositlyUpLift[Read more]
  • Podcast: Invest Like the Best with Patrick O'Shaughnessy
    Episode: Samo Burja - The Great Founder Theory of History - [Invest Like the Best, EP.339]
    Release date: 2023-08-01

    My guest today is Samo Burja. Samo is the founder of consulting firm, Bismark Analysis, and has dedicated his life’s work to understanding why there has never been an immortal society. His research focuses on institutions, the founders behind them, how they rise and why they always fall in the end. As you’ll hear, Samo has an encyclopedic grasp of history and his work has led him to some fascinating theories about human progress, the nature of exceptional founders, and the future of different societies across the world. Please enjoy my conversation with Samo Burja.

    Listen to Founders Podcast

    Founders Episode 311: James Cameron

    For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.


    This episode is brought to you by Tegus. Tegus is the modern research platform for leading investors. Tired of running your own expert calls to get up to speed on a company? Tegus lets you ramp faster and find answers to critical questions more efficiently than any alternative method. The gold standard for research, the Tegus platform delivers unmatched access to timely, qualitative insights through the largest and most differentiated expert call transcript database. With over 60,000 transcripts spanning 22,000 public and private companies, investors can accelerate their fundamental research process by discovering highly-differentiated and reliable insights that can’t be found anywhere else in the market. As a listener, drive your next investment thesis forward with Tegus for free at tegus.co/patrick.


    Invest Like the Best is a property of Colossus, LLC. For more episodes of Invest Like the Best, visit joincolossus.com/episodes.

    Past guests include Tobi Lutke, Kevin Systrom, Mike Krieger, John Collison, Kat Cole, Marc Andreessen, Matthew Ball, Bill Gurley, Anu Hariharan, Ben Thompson, and many more.

    Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.

    Follow us on Twitter: @patrick_oshag | @JoinColossus

    Show Notes

    (00:02:52) - (First question) - The core thesis behind the Great Founder Theory

    (00:06:40) - Great ideas inevitably being discovered at some point in history

    (00:08:45) - The historic implications of a global adoption of the Great Founder Theory

    (00:10:51) - The different possible directions of future trends

    (00:17:08) - Distinctions between great founders versus live players

    (00:22:15) - Common misconceptions about what qualifies one as a great founder

    (00:24:38) - Noteworthy great founders in the United States

    (00:28:34) - Recurring observable traits and common themes of great founders

    (00:31:29) - Using caution when projecting a mythic lens onto great founders

    (00:37:53) - Social technology as the upstream effects of prior material technology

    (00:43:32) - Whether or not institutions play a role in propagating the work of great founders

    (00:49:08) - The role of power and differences between owned and borrowed power

    (00:56:51) - Additional ideas that play an outsized role in shaping the world

    (01:01:09) - A differing worldview to his own that he finds interesting

    (01:04:53) - Whether or not capital allocators can benefit from the Great Founder Theory

    (01:07:37) - The kindest thing anyone has ever done for him

  • Podcast: The Joe Walker Podcast
    Episode: Stephen Wolfram — Constructing the Computational Paradigm
    Release date: 2023-08-16

    Stephen Wolfram is a physicist, computer scientist and businessman. He is the founder and CEO of Wolfram Research, the creator of Mathematica and Wolfram Alpha, and the author of A New Kind of Science.

    Full transcript available at: jnwpod.com.

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

  • Podcast: Dwarkesh Podcast
    Episode: Dario Amodei (Anthropic CEO) - Scaling, Alignment, & AI Progress
    Release date: 2023-08-08

    Here is my conversation with Dario Amodei, CEO of Anthropic.

    Dario is hilarious and has fascinating takes on what these models are doing, why they scale so well, and what it will take to align them.

    Watch on YouTube. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or any other podcast platform. Read the full transcript here. Follow me on Twitter for updates on future episodes.


    (00:00:00) - Introduction

    (00:01:00) - Scaling

    (00:15:46) - Language

    (00:22:58) - Economic Usefulness

    (00:38:05) - Bioterrorism

    (00:43:35) - Cybersecurity

    (00:47:19) - Alignment & mechanistic interpretability

    (00:57:43) - Does alignment research require scale?

    (01:05:30) - Misuse vs misalignment

    (01:09:06) - What if AI goes well?

    (01:11:05) - China

    (01:15:11) - How to think about alignment

    (01:31:31) - Is modern security good enough?

    (01:36:09) - Inefficiencies in training

    (01:45:53) - Anthropic’s Long Term Benefit Trust

    (01:51:18) - Is Claude conscious?

    (01:56:14) - Keeping a low profile

    Get full access to Dwarkesh Podcast at www.dwarkeshpatel.com/subscribe
  • Podcast: No Priors: Artificial Intelligence | Technology | Startups
    Episode: Will Everyone Have a Personal AI? With Mustafa Suleyman, Founder of DeepMind and Inflection
    Release date: 2023-05-11

    Mustafa Suleyman, co-founder of DeepMind and now co-founder and CEO of Inflection AI, joins Sarah and Elad to discuss how his interests in counseling, conflict resolution, and intelligence led him to start an AI lab that pioneered deep reinforcement learning, lead applied AI and policy efforts at Google, and more recently found Inflection and launch Pi.

    Mustafa offers insights on the changing structure of the web, the pressure Google faces in the age of AI personalization, predictions for model architectures, how to measure emotional intelligence in AIs, and the thinking behind Pi: the AI companion that knows you, is aligned to your interests, and provides companionship.

    Sarah and Elad also discuss Mustafa’s upcoming book, The Coming Wave (release September 12, 2023), which examines the political ramifications of AI and digital biology revolutions.

    No Priors is now on YouTube! Subscribe to the channel on YouTube and like this episode.

    Show Links:

    Forbes - Startup From Reid Hoffman and Mustafa Suleyman Debuts ChatBotInflection.aiMustafa-Suleyman.ai

    Sign up for new podcasts every week. Email feedback to [email protected]

    Follow us on Twitter: @NoPriorsPod | @Saranormous | @EladGil | @mustafasuleymn

    Show Notes:

    [00:06] - From Conflict Resolution to AI Pioneering

    [10:36] - Defining Intelligence

    [15:32] - DeepMind's Journey and Breakthroughs

    [24:45] - The Future of Personal AI Companionship

    [33:22] - AI and the Future of Personalized Content

    [41:49] - The Launch of Pi

    [51:12] - Mustafa’s New Book The Coming Wave

  • Podcast: Dwarkesh Podcast
    Episode: Carl Shulman (Pt 2) - AI Takeover, Bio & Cyber Attacks, Detecting Deception, & Humanity's Far Future
    Release date: 2023-06-26

    The second half of my 7 hour conversation with Carl Shulman is out!

    My favorite part! And the one that had the biggest impact on my worldview.

    Here, Carl lays out how an AI takeover might happen:

    * AI can threaten mutually assured destruction from bioweapons,

    * use cyber attacks to take over physical infrastructure,

    * build mechanical armies,

    * spread seed AIs we can never exterminate,

    * offer tech and other advantages to collaborating countries, etc

    Plus we talk about a whole bunch of weird and interesting topics which Carl has thought about:

    * what is the far future best case scenario for humanity

    * what it would look like to have AI make thousands of years of intellectual progress in a month

    * how do we detect deception in superhuman models

    * does space warfare favor defense or offense

    * is a Malthusian state inevitable in the long run

    * why markets haven't priced in explosive economic growth

    * & much more

    Carl also explains how he developed such a rigorous, thoughtful, and interdisciplinary model of the biggest problems in the world.

    Watch on YouTube. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or any other podcast platform. Read the full transcript here. Follow me on Twitter for updates on future episodes.

    Catch part 1 here


    (0:00:00 - Intro

    (0:00:47 - AI takeover via cyber or bio

    (0:32:27 - Can we coordinate against AI?

    (0:53:49 - Human vs AI colonizers

    (1:04:55 - Probability of AI takeover

    (1:21:56 - Can we detect deception?

    (1:47:25 - Using AI to solve coordination problems

    (1:56:01 - Partial alignment

    (2:11:41 - AI far future

    (2:23:04 - Markets & other evidence

    (2:33:26 - Day in the life of Carl Shulman

    (2:47:05 - Space warfare, Malthusian long run, & other rapid fire

    Get full access to Dwarkesh Podcast at www.dwarkeshpatel.com/subscribe