Azeem Azhar's Exponential View

Azeem Azhar's Exponential View

By Azeem Azhar

How will the future unfold? What is the impact of AI and other exponential technologies on business & society? Join Azeem Azhar, founder of Exponential View, on his quest to demistify the era of exponential change.


The Science of Making Truthful AI

Artificial Intelligence is on every business leader’s agenda. How do we make sense of the fast-moving new developments in AI over the past year? Azeem Azhar returns to bring clarity to leaders who face a complicated information landscape. This week, Azeem speaks with Richard Socher, CEO and founder of, an AI chatbot search engine at the forefront of truthful and verifiable AI. They explore approaches to building AI systems that are both truthful and verifiable. The conversation sheds light on the critical breakthroughs in AI, the technical challenges of ensuring AI’s reliability, and Socher’s vision for the future of search. They also discuss: How AI’s future is tied to advancements in natural language processing. The role of scientific rigor in large language models’ current and future developments. The founding of and its mission to revolutionize search. Predictions for the next big breakthroughs in AI. @azeem @RichardSocher Further resources: Why AI is humanity’s mirror — and what we can learn from it (Richard Socher, TED, 2023) The Promise of AI with Fei-Fei Li (Azeem Azhar, Exponential View, 2020) AI is the real web3 (Azeem Azhar, Exponential View, 2023)
07/02/2443m 47s

Azeem’s 2024 Trends: AI, Energy, and Decentralization

As 2024 begins, leaders are facing increasing uncertainty and a host of difficult decisions. Azeem Azhar returns to bring clarity amid a complicated information landscape, with his analysis of 12 core themes that will shape the year ahead, including AI adoption, geopolitics, decentralization, the energy transition, and more. The discussion specifically touches on: What will drive widespread corporate adoption of AI. How to think about the emergence of new business models around AI. What you need to know about the new wave of decentralization technologies. How leaders should think about an electrified world of stable and declining power prices. @azeem Further resources: The Horizon for 2024: The Biggest Questions on the Horizon (Azeem Azhar, 2024) Notes from a Ski Resort, 2024 Edition (Azeem Azhar, 2024)
31/01/2420m 52s

The Challenges and Benefits of Generative AI in Health Care

Artificial Intelligence is on every business leader’s agenda. How do we make sense of the fast-moving new developments in AI over the past year? Azeem Azhar returns to bring clarity to leaders who face a complicated information landscape. Generative AI has a lot to offer health care professionals and medical scientists. This week, Azeem speaks with renowned cardiologist, scientist, and author Eric Topol about the change he’s observed among his colleagues in the last two years, as generative AI developments have accelerated in medicine. They discuss: The challenges and benefits of AI in health care. The pros and cons of different open-source and closed-source models for health care use. The medical technology that has been even more transformative than AI in the past year. @azeem @erictopol Further resources: When AI Meets Medicine (Exponential View Podcast, 2019) Can AI Catch What Doctors Miss? (Eric Topol, TED, 2023)
17/01/2435m 18s

Managing AI’s Carbon Footprint

Artificial Intelligence is on every business leader’s agenda. How do we make sense of the fast-moving new developments in AI over the past year? Azeem Azhar returns to bring clarity to leaders who face a complicated information landscape. This week, Azeem joins Sasha Luccioni, an AI researcher and climate lead at Hugging Face, to shed light on the environmental footprint and other immediate impacts of AI, and how they compare to more long-term challenges. They cover: The energy consumption and carbon impact of AI models — and how researchers have gone about measuring it. The tangible economic and social impacts of AI, and how focusing on existential risks now hurt our chances of addressing the immediate risks of AI deployment. How regulation and governance could evolve to address the most pressing questions of the industry. @azeem @SashaMTL Further resources: Power Hungry Processing: Watt’s Driving the Cost of AI Deployment (Alexandra Sasha Luccioni et al, 2023) The Open-Source Future of Artificial Intelligence (Exponential View, 2023) AI is Dangerous, But Not For the Reasons You Think (TED, Sasha Luccioni, 2023)
10/01/2434m 4s

AI Takes the Wheel: New Advances in Autonomous Driving

Artificial Intelligence is on every business leader’s agenda. How do we make sense of the fast-moving new developments in AI over the past year? Azeem Azhar returns to bring clarity to leaders who face a complicated information landscape. This week, Azeem joins Alex Kendall, co-founder and CEO of autonomous driving start-up Wayve, to uncover how the AI revolution is enabling new strides in self-driving. They delve into the implications of these advancements for urban mobility and the transformation of cities in the future. They discuss: How business models in the automotive industry are shifting towards AI integration and subscription-based services. The role “embodied AI” is playing in shaping everyday assistance, beyond just digital interactions, in the future. The challenges and breakthroughs of applying AI in complex, unpredictable environments, like road traffic. @azeem @alexgkendall Further resources: Ride the Wayve: Azeem Azhar Goes for an Autonomous Drive on London’s Toughest Roads (Wayve, 2023) UK Start-up Wayve Unveils Self-Driving System that Explains Its Actions (Financial Times, 2023)
27/12/2332m 37s

AI Is Transforming Businesses (with Andrew Ng)

Artificial Intelligence is on every business leader’s agenda. How do we make sense of the fast-moving new developments in AI over the past year? Azeem Azhar returns to bring clarity to leaders who face a complicated information landscape. Organizations across the world have been grappling with the opportunities and challenges of generative AI. This week, Azeem joins AI pioneer and entrepreneur Andrew Ng to discuss the intricacies of this moment and debate whether we’re at an inflection point in the AI revolution. They consider: What have organizations learned about AI, and what common mistakes have they made implementing it? What does it mean to be at an inflection point in the AI revolution? How can regulation support the development of AI? @azeem @AndrewYNg Further resources: Andrew Ng: How to Be an Innovator (MIT Technology Review, 2023) An Update on the Latest Research on Generative AI and Work (Exponential View, 2023) Creating an AI-First Business, with Andrew Ng (Exponential View Podcast, 2019)
20/12/2328m 19s

A.I. Is Driving an Information Revolution

Artificial Intelligence is on every business leader’s agenda. How do we make sense of the fast-moving new developments in AI over the past year? In new episodes released throughout December and January, Azeem Azhar returns to bring clarity to leaders who face a complicated information landscape. This week, Azeem speaks with Aravind Srinivas, the co-founder and CEO of, about the looming challenges in AI research and product development, such as user-centric design and the importance of open-source models. They discuss: AI as a tool for democratizing information access. The “innovator’s dilemma” for Google Search. Whether or not conversational interfaces will become the norm for how we interact with AI. The array of interests shaping the AI regulation debate. @azeem @AravSrinivas Further resources: How Is Pioneering The Future Of Search (Forbes, 2023) AI’s First Flight: An Early Milestone in Generalised Intelligence? (Exponential View, 2023)
13/12/2333m 26s

Understanding the Schism at OpenAI

Artificial Intelligence is on every business leader’s agenda. How do we make sense of the fast-moving new developments in AI over the past year? Azeem Azhar returns to bring clarity to leaders who face a complicated information landscape. In new episodes released throughout December and January, Azeem and other AI experts will address questions like: What really matters when it comes to AI? How do you ensure the AI systems you deploy are harmless and trustworthy? How can we find the signal amidst so much noise? The upheaval at OpenAI sent shockwaves through the tech world. Karen Hao, a contributing writer who covers AI at The Atlantic, joins Azeem Azhar to break down the ideologies and power struggles within OpenAI and their implications for the development of artificial intelligence. She also explains how these internal conflicts reflect broader challenges in AI development and governance. They discuss: The ideological schism within OpenAI and the deep-rooted divides that have influenced the organization’s approach to AI safety and development. How OpenAI’s mission and its execution reflect broader power dynamics in the tech industry. The potential impact of this event on the future of AI and regulatory considerations. @azeem @_karenhao Further resources: Inside the Chaos at OpenAI (The Atlantic, 2023) Sam Altman and the Board of Secrets (Exponential View, 2023)
06/12/2345m 47s

Azeem’s Picks: The Promise of AI with Fei-Fei Li

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is on every business leader’s agenda. How do you ensure the AI systems you deploy are harmless and trustworthy? This month, Azeem picks some of his favorite conversations with leading AI safety experts to help you break through the noise. Today’s pick is Azeem’s 2020 conversation with the pioneering AI scientist Fei-Fei Li, professor of computer science at Stanford University and the founding co-director of Stanford’s Human-Centered AI Institute. They discuss: How Fei-Fei Li’s work on computer vision led to the transformation of AI development. Why we should rethink human and machine value systems. How the road to artificial general intelligence (AGI) could help us learn more about human cognition.
29/11/2336m 7s

Azeem’s Picks: Grading AI’s Hits and Misses

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is on every business leader’s agenda. How do you ensure the AI systems you deploy are harmless and trustworthy? This month, Azeem picks some of his favorite conversations with leading AI safety experts to help you break through the noise. Today’s pick is Azeem’s 2021 conversation with veteran AI scientist Murray Shanahan, professor of cognitive robotics at Imperial College London and principal scientist at DeepMind. They discuss: Why some aspects of AI progress depend on embodied interaction. Understanding from where the major breakthroughs in the field may come. Why the salary inflation for commercial AI engineers might hinder research. Further resources: Role Play with Large Language Models (Murray Shanahan et al., 2023) Demis Hassabis on DeepMind’s Journey from Games to Fundamental Science (Exponential View, 2019)
22/11/2347m 57s

Azeem’s Picks: Creating AI Responsibly with Joanna Bryson

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is on every business leader’s agenda. How do you ensure the AI systems you deploy are harmless and trustworthy? This month, Azeem picks some of his favorite conversations with leading AI safety experts to help you break through the noise. Today’s pick is Azeem’s conversation with Joanna Bryson, a leading expert on the questions of AI governance and the impact of technology on human cooperation. They discuss: The concept of intelligence and AI as a “cognitive prosthetic.” The scale of development and the benefits of developing AI. The problem of explainability in AI systems. Further resources: A Very Short Primer on AI & IP, including Copyright (Joanna Bryson Blog, 2023) Inside the Loop: AI May Launch a Race No-one Can Afford to Lose (Azeem Azhar, 2023)
15/11/2331m 40s

Azeem’s Picks: AI, Accountability, and Power with Meredith Whittaker

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is on every business leader’s agenda. How do you ensure the AI systems you deploy are harmless and trustworthy? This month, Azeem picks some of his favorite conversations with leading AI safety experts to help you break through the noise. Today’s pick is Azeem’s conversation with Meredith Whittaker, president of the Signal Foundation. Meredith is a co-founder and chief advisor of the AI Now Institute, an independent research group looking at the social impact of artificial intelligence. They discuss: How discriminatory culture influences the values embedded in AI. Whether ethics officers can actually influence firms and their products. Why responsible AI design must include recognition of the shadow workforce helping to create it.
08/11/2331m 17s

Azeem’s Picks: How to Practice Responsible AI with Dr. Rumman Chowdhury

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is on every business leader’s agenda. How do you ensure the AI systems you deploy are harmless and trustworthy? This month, Azeem picks some of his favorite conversations with leading AI safety experts to help you break through the noise. Today’s pick is Azeem’s conversation with Dr. Rumman Chowdhury, a pioneer in the field of applied algorithmic ethics. She runs Parity Consulting, the Parity Responsible Innovation Fund, and she’s a Responsible AI Fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. They discuss: How you can assess and diagnose bias in unexplainable “black box” algorithms. Why responsible AI demands top-down organizational change, implementing new metrics, and systems of redress. More details on the emerging field of “Responsible Machine Learning Operations”. Further resources: TIME100AI: Rumman Chowdhury Building an AI We Can Trust with Anthropic’s Dario Amodei (Exponential View, 2023) “‘I do not think ethical surveillance can exist’: Rumman Chowdhury on accountability in AI” (The Guardian, May 2023)
01/11/2348m 54s

Introducing Exponentially with Azeem Azhar

Never before has it been harder for leaders to make sense of what’s going on in the world. As exponential technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) march on, the ability to make future-proof decisions is all the more important for leaders. Azeem Azhar’s new TV show and podcast, Exponentially with Azeem Azhar (created in partnership with Bloomberg Originals), goes beyond mainstream conversations about technology to explore new ways of thinking about our collective future. In eight episodes, released weekly starting September 6, Azeem speaks with OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, co-founder and CEO of Anthropic Dario Amodei, and legendary Silicon Valley investor Vinod Khosla, among others. They discuss questions such as: What does it mean to legally own your thoughts, and why may we want that to happen soon? Could AI reduce global inequality by boosting productivity in the Global South? What assumptions do we need to change about conflict to avoid a second Cold War? @azeem @exponentialview
07/09/231m 50s

Azeem on AI: What Can the Copernican Revolution Teach Us about the Future of AI?

In his brief commentary, Azeem Azhar discusses the increasing complexity and capabilities of large language models (LLMs) and the transformative potential they hold. Just as the Copernican Revolution forced us to reassess our understanding of the universe and led to numerous societal and scientific changes, Azeem proposes that rapid advancements in AI could lead to a similar paradigm shift that challenges established norms and systems. @azeem @exponentialview Further resources: Exponential LLMs and the Copernican Moment, Azeem Azhar, 2023
26/05/2310m 8s

Azeem on AI: Are Large Language Models the Future of the Web?

In his brief commentary, Azeem Azhar lays out why the future of the Web is underpinned by AI, and what this means for the traditional business model of the internet. He considers whether there will be a single dominant player, like Google in Web 2.0, or a more fragmented landscape, as in social media? @azeem @exponentialview Further resources: AI is the Real Web3, Azeem Azhar, 2023
24/05/238m 55s

Azeem on AI: Where Will the Jobs Come from After AI?

In his brief commentary, Azeem Azhar shares his outlook on how artificial intelligence could change the labor market, drawing on research published by Goldman Sachs, titled “The Potentially Large Effect of Artificial Intelligence on Economic Growth.” The paper suggests a positive impact on economic growth, alongside a shift to automation that could affect two-thirds of US occupations. Twitter: @azeem @exponentialview Further resources: The Potentially Large Effect of Artificial Intelligence on Economic Growth, Goldman Sachs, March 2023 After AI, Where Will the Jobs Come From? Azeem Azhar 2023 The Future of AI in the Workplace: A Survey of American Managers, 2023
19/05/238m 42s

Azeem on AI: Will Large Language Models Reshape Our Economies?

Drawing on Carlota Perez’s framework, Azeem Azhar considers whether large language models (LLMs), such as OpenAI’s GPT-4, will drive a paradigm shift across our economies. His discussion touches on LLMs’ wide applications, their reliance on affordable computation and digital data, and their compatibility with existing and potential future digital infrastructures. Twitter: @azeem @exponentialview Further resources: LLMs and Technological Revolutions, Azeem Azhar 2023 Technological Revolutions and Techno-Economic Paradigms, Carlota Perez, 2010
17/05/237m 57s

Azeem’s Picks: AI’s Near Future with Jürgen Schmidhuber

Artificial intelligence (AI) is dominating the headlines, but it’s not a new topic here on Exponential View. This week and next, Azeem Azhar shares his favorite conversations with AI pioneers. Their work and insights are more relevant than ever. For Jürgen Schmidhuber, a recognized pioneer in AI, artificial intelligence is much more than another technological revolution. He sees it as the opportunity to transcend humanity and biology. In this conversation, taped in 2019, Jürgen and Azeem Azhar discuss what the next thirty years of AI will look like. They also discussed: The role of Long Short-Term Memory architecture in recent AI breakthroughs. Why the next AI wave will see machines actively shaping the data that they perceive. The second- and third-order consequences of bringing these more sophisticated artificial neural networks into our world. Jürgen Schmidhuber @Azeem Exponential View
12/05/2330m 21s

Azeem’s Picks: Beyond Deep Learning (with Gary Marcus)

Artificial intelligence (AI) is dominating the headlines, but it’s not a new topic here on Exponential View. Azeem Azhar shares his favorite conversations with AI experts. Their work and insights are more relevant than ever. Gary Marcus is well known as a deep learning critic. A neuroscientist, founder, and the author of Rebooting AI: Building Artificial Intelligence We Can Trust, Marcus believes that researchers need to move past deep learning in order to make true advances in machine intelligence. In 2019, he joined Azeem Azhar to discuss why, how, and when we can expect progress. They also discussed: What newborn ibexes can teach us about intelligence and learning. How deep learning promulgates the gap between big companies and startups. What we need for a breakthrough in AI. Further reading: How to Build Artificial Intelligence We Can Trust, Gary Marcus, September 6, 2019 Deep Learning: A Critical Appraisal, Gary Marcus, January 2, 2018 @garymarcus @azeem Exponential View
10/05/2335m 43s

Azeem’s Picks: Demis Hassabis on DeepMind’s Journey from Games to Fundamental Science

Artificial intelligence (AI) is dominating the headlines, but it’s not a new topic here on Exponential View. This week and next, Azeem Azhar shares his favorite conversations with AI pioneers. Their work and insights are more relevant than ever.  Demis Hassabis, CEO and co-founder of DeepMind, dreams of using AI to solve fundamental problems in science. In 2020, he joined Azeem to explore his own journey from world champion gamer to neuroscientist to building AI systems that can train themselves to solve real-world engineering challenges and, eventually, make Nobel-prize winning discoveries. In 2023, DeepMind’s parent company Alphabet announced consolidation of its biggest research units, DeepMind and Google Brain, into a new division led by Demis. They also discuss: Why games are the perfect training ground for AI algorithms. How DeepMind combines the dynamism of a startup with the “blue sky” creativity of a lab. Why “deep reinforcement learning” is the basis for artificial intelligence systems. @demishassabis @azeem @exponentialview
05/05/2343m 4s

Azeem’s Picks: Sam Altman on How GPTs Are Shaping Our AI Future

Artificial intelligence (AI) is dominating the headlines, but it’s not a new topic here on Exponential View. This week and next, Azeem Azhar shares his favorite conversations with AI pioneers. Their work and insights are more relevant than ever. OpenAI has stunned the world with the release of its language-generating AI, ChatGPT-4. In 2020, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman joined Azeem Azhar to reflect on the huge attention generated by the precursor to GPT-4 and what that could mean for the future research and development toward the creation of artificial general intelligence (AGI). They also explored: How AGI could be used both to reduce and exacerbate inequality How governance models need to change to address the growing power of technology companies How Altman’s experience leading YCombinator informed his leadership of OpenAI Further reading: “The messy, secretive reality behind OpenAI’s bid to save the world“ (Wired, 2020) “Sam Altman’s Manifest Destiny“ (New Yorker, 2016) “Governance in the Age of AI“ (Exponential View Podcast, 2019) @sama @azeem @exponenialview
03/05/2344m 59s

Upcoming Hiatus: What to Listen to While We’re Away

After producing more than 160 episodes of Exponential View over the last six years, we’re taking a break to reflect on what we’ve learned and how the conversations we’ve hosted with leaders are changing our perspective on the future. While we percolate on the future of our podcast, we have a challenge for you: find all the phenomenal conversations we’ve hosted that you haven’t heard yet – and take a listen. (And please let us know which episodes helped you understand the world and your future!) @azeem @exponentialviews Azeem’s listening recommendations: Bubbles, Golden Ages, and Tech Revolutions with Professor Carlota Perez (Exponential View Podcast, 2019) AI and the Future of Warfare with General Sir Richard Barrons (Exponential View Podcast, 2019) DeepMind’s Journey from Games to Fundamental Science with Demis Hassabis (Exponential View Podcast, 2020) The New Science of Aging with Professor David Sinclair (Exponential View Podcast, 2020)
22/06/225m 25s

Can Entrepreneurs and Governments Team Up to Solve Big Problems? (from Cold Call)

Shield AI’s autonomous combat robots are intended to help protect civilians and service members. As a startup, barely two years past founding, how should Shield AI engage with the legacy bureaucratic institutions that are its customers? How should those partnerships be structured and what are the business incentives? This episode is a special introduction to Cold Call, another podcast from Harvard Business Review. Cold Call distills Harvard Business School’s legendary case studies into podcast form, with help from HBS faculty authors and the entrepreneurs and business leaders at the center of the action. In this episode, host Brian Kenny explores Shield AI’s work with the U.S. government to develop autonomous combat robots. Harvard Business School professor Mitch Weiss and Brandon Tseng, Shield AI’s CGO and co-founder, join Brian to discuss the challenges start-ups face in working with the public sector, and how investing in new ideas can enable entrepreneurs and governments to join forces to solve big problems. You can listen to Cold Call at or wherever you get your podcasts.
15/06/2224m 45s

The Co-Creator of the iPod and iPhone on Radical Innovation (with Tony Fadell)

How do you talk about a product before anything like it exists? How do you guide the engineers building it and the marketing department who has to sell it? As co-creator of the iPod and iPhone, founder of the learning thermostat Nest, and with over 300 patents to his name, Tony Fadell is a serial entrepreneur who now focuses on investing. He tells Azeem Azhar how he uses opinion-based decision-making in his work, and why thinking like a product manager helps drive radical innovation. They also discuss: What a “parent CEO” is and why they are crucial to an innovating company. How focusing on profits and loss (“P&L”) can stifle innovation in large companies. Why no one has been able to design the perfect TV remote. Why Tony believes the metaverse, as a social experience, is doomed to fail. @azeem @exponentialview @tfadell Further resources: General Magic (Documentary Film 2018)
08/06/2245m 53s

The Science and Economics of Carbon Recycling (with LanzaTech’s Jennifer Holmgren)

Carbon recycling takes our polluting carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide and, with the help of bacteria, turns them into ethanol. This can replace oil as the basis for carbon-based chemicals industries (e.g., fertilizers, plastics, clothing, health and beauty products, etc.), as well as offering sustainable fuel and animal feed. Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech, joins Azeem Azhar to share her vision of the future where greenhouse gases provide a core contribution to our sustainable life. Jennifer and Azeem dig deep into the science of fermentation and how to manage, at scale, the bacteria that are at the heart of their process. They also discuss: How regulators can help innovate in climate tech. Creating sustainable aviation fuels. How carbon recycling could empower local communities. @azeem @exponentialview @TodaDogs Further resources: Hydrogen’s Role in Decarbonization (Exponential View Podcast, 2022) Venture Capital and Deep Decarbonization (Exponential View Podcast, 2022) Phenomenal News from ClimateTech Unicorn, LanzaTech (Forbes, 2022)
01/06/2243m 18s

Can Collective Intelligence Beat the Market? (with Numerai’s Richard Craib)

Quantitative hedge funds (or “quant funds”), which rely on the work of employed mathematicians to develop complex trading strategies, are nothing new. But what if the mathematical work is outsourced to anyone, via a contest where the best predictions are rewarded with cryptocurrency? Richard Craib, founder of Numerai, explains to Azeem Azhar why his $70 million fund uses collective intelligence to perform well, despite the turmoil in the markets. They also discuss: The history and theory of quantitative investing. When collective minds can work better than brilliant individuals. How Richard found himself accidentally explaining how “quant funds” work to Howard Morgan, the co-founder of one of the most successful “quant funds” in the world. @azeem @exponentialview @richardcraib   Further resources: Money in the Metaverse (Exponential View Podcast 2022) Superminds Bridging the Innovation Chasm (Exponential View, 2022) Alien Stock Market Intelligence (Richard Craib, 2022)
25/05/2242m 37s

Hydrogen’s Role in Decarbonization (with Electric Hydrogen CEO Raffi Garabedian)

Hydrogen has long been hyped as a fuel of the future. It’s abundant and its waste product is water. But it’s only recently that the availability of cheap renewable energy has allowed hydrogen to be produced competitively without the use of fossil fuels. Azeem Azhar speaks with Raffi Garabedian, co-founder and CEO of Electric Hydrogen, to explore the market opportunity and roadmap to wide adoption of “green hydrogen.” They also discuss: What the hydrogen industry can learn from scaling renewables like solar and wind. Why hydrogen will be most effective in helping to decarbonize heavy industries. The potential of using hydrogen to store and transport huge amounts of renewable energy between continents. @azeem @exponentialview @garabedian Further resources: Venture Capital and Deep Decarbonisation with Shayle Kann (Exponential View Podcast 2022) Could Europe replace Russian gas with green hydrogen? Let’s look at the numbers (Recharge 2022) The Future of Hydrogen (International Energy Agency 2020)
18/05/2239m 58s

Flying Taxis Are Coming (with Volocopter’s Florian Reuter)

Volocopter’s CEO Florian Reuter joins Azeem Azhar to explore how this radical new transport could transform our cities. They also break down the steps required to fulfill Volocopter’s vision of creating a door-to-door taxi service to rival Uber, via autonomous electric helicopter. In addition, they discuss: Why Volocopter expects to have their service running in Paris in two years. How data have led them to conclude that the optimum taxi capacity is two people. Why they’re opting to build and operate both their vehicles and the necessary infrastructure. @Azeem @exponentialview @volocopter Further resources: Micromobility Will Change Our Cities (Exponential View Podcast with Horace Dediu, 2022) The Future of the Car (Exponential View Podcast with Ford’s Hau Thai-Tang, 2021) Bubbles, Golden Ages and Tech Revolutions (Exponential View Podcast with Carlota Perez, 2019)
11/05/2253m 46s

How Web3 Is Changing Commerce and Governance (with Not Boring’s Packy McCormick)

Web3’s ability to attach value and incentives to almost every part of human activity has radical implications not only for how businesses engage with their customers, but also for how people can self-organize to drive social change. Web3 investor and analyst Packy McCormick makes the case, in conversation with Azeem Azhar, that an optimistic outlook rooted in market-dynamics can enable new sustainable businesses that operate for the public good. They also discuss: Why framing human behavior in terms of a game helps explain why crypto has seen such explosive growth. Why blockchain allows us to imagine new systems of governance that can empower novel organizations. How early we are in the blockchain revolution. @Azeem @exponentialview @packyM @notboringco Further resources: Gaming’s Web3 Future (Exponential View Podcast, 2022) Money in the Metaverse (Exponential View Podcast, 2022) Why the Past 10 Years of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupid (The Atlantic, 2022) Primer: Ambitious Homes for Ambitious Kids (Not Boring, 2022)
04/05/2244m 4s

Money in the Metaverse (with Citi’s Ronit Ghose)

What is the metaverse, how will we use it and why might the financial innovations of Web3 and blockchain technology be crucial to its success? Citi’s Ronit Ghose, one of the world’s foremost analysts of technology’s influence on financial innovation, returns to the podcast to discuss how money will function in the metaverse with Azeem Azhar. Ghose argues that we shouldn’t think of the metaverse as replacing our real world with a virtual world, but instead imagine how real and virtual experiences could be combined to create an entirely new experience that will touch every aspect of our lives – from commerce to health, industry, and education. They also discuss: The importance of differentiating between the centralized and decentralized metaverse to understand how the experience could be widely adopted. What “Web 2.5” is and why it might allow centralized gatekeepers of the metaverse (e.g., Meta, Apple, Tencent, etc.) to offer the benefits of blockchain technologies without a befuddling user experience. Why corporate excitement remains, even as consumer interest in the metaverse has waned. @Azeem @exponentialview @RonitA380 Further resources: Metaverse and Money: Decrypting the Future (Citi Global Perspective & Solutions, 2022) Crypto and the Future of Money (Exponential View Podcast with Do Kwon, 2022) Bubbles, Golden Ages & Tech Revolutions (Exponential View Podcast with Carlota Perez, 2019)
20/04/2239m 27s

Venture Capital and Deep Decarbonization (with Energy Impact Partners’ Shayle Kann)

Venture capitalists offer their investors outsized financial returns in exchange for taking on considerable risk. But what if that risk includes backing products where the economics of the end market aren’t clear? Moreover, what if the companies being supported have the non-financial goal of tackling climate change? As more money than ever pours into climate tech, Azeem Azhar speaks with Shayle Kann, a partner at Energy Impact Partners, about the challenges of investing in the net zero economy and why his framing of the problem as “deep decarbonization” may offer a way forward. They also discuss: Five challenges and opportunities facing “deep decarbonization.” To what extent net zero electricity is the solution to climate change. What metrics VCs should consider when investing in climate tech. @Azeem @exponentialview @shaylekann Further resources: Five Frontier Challenges to Deep Decarbonization (Climate Tech VC, 2022) Decarbonization by the Numbers (Exponential View Podcast, 2021) Why Energy Storage is the Future of the Grid (Exponential View Podcast, 2021)
13/04/2247m 25s

AI and Cancer: Unlocking the Immune System (with Immunai’s Luis Voloch)

Today’s cancer therapies are difficult, expensive, and slow to create. But the combination of new computing and new biological technologies is leading to a better understanding of the human immune system, with the goal of offering a better class of cancer therapies. Azeem Azhar speaks with Immunai co-founder and chief technology officer Luis Voloch about how AI is unlocking the secrets of the immune system and opening new avenues for novel cancer treatments. They also discuss: Why Luis and his co-founder, two machine learning engineers, decided to start a bio startup. How Immunai uses single-cell genomics to map out the immune system. The trajectory of Immunai’s experiments from the lab to the patient. @Azeem @exponentialview @Immunaitech Further resources: Scaling Synthetic Biology (with Gingko’s Reshma Shetty), Exponential View Podcast, 2022 The Future of Healthcare: Personalization and AI (with ZOE’s Jonathan Wolf), Exponential View Podcast, 2022
06/04/2247m 6s

How To Make Nuclear Energy Safe (with Seaborg’s Troels Schönfeldt)

Meeting rising energy requirements in a safe and climate-friendly way is one of the key challenges humanity needs to solve. Danish start-up Seaborg Technologies has a blueprint for the future of power that uses a new type of nuclear reactor that is safe, can be manufactured quickly, and deployed on barges to any location worldwide. Seaborg CEO Troels Schönfeldt talks to Azeem Azhar about how the future of power stations could be sailing to your town soon. They also discuss: How the anti-nuclear movement influenced their thinking about the future of energy. What it takes to create and scale safe nuclear power. The learning rates that are driving the optimization of new energy systems. @Azeem @exponentialview @SeaborgTech Further resources: Nuclear Fusion’s Time is Coming, Exponential View Podcast, 2022 Why Energy Storage is the Future of the Grid, Exponential View Podcast, 2022
30/03/2237m 52s

The Meaning of Life in the Metaverse (with David Chalmers)

We could soon be living more of our lives in immersive virtual worlds, but what will that look like and how will it affect us? New York University professor of philosophy and neural science David Chalmers joins Azeem Azhar to discuss what the metaverse might offer us, the moral quandaries it could pose, and what our rights there might look like. They also address: What the consequences of wrongdoing in the metaverse might be. How governance and society could develop in virtual worlds. The philosophical precedents for virtual worlds. @Azeem @exponentialview David Chalmers Further resources: Azeem’s 2022 Trends: Web 3.0, Sci-Fi Tech, and the Metaverse – Exponential View podcast, 2022 What Studying Consciousness Can Reveal about AI and the Metaverse (with Anil Seth) – Exponential View podcast, 2022 Reality+, by David Chalmers
23/03/2250m 45s

The Future of Warfare Is Here (with General Sir Richard Barrons)

General Sir Richard Barrons, the former commander of the UK’s Joint Forces Command — whose remit included military intelligence, special forces, and cyber, joins Azeem Azhar to discuss how technology is changing the definition of warfare and why our society’s resilience in the face of threats to peace must be founded on education. As war returns to Europe, General Barrons’ warning about how technology is transforming conflict is more prescient than ever. They also address: The nature of Russia’s offensive capabilities and how they have previously deployed cyber and disinformation strategies. What societal resilience is and how it can ensure democracy’s survival. What better leadership looks like in the exponential age. This episode was originally broadcast on October 23, 2019. @Azeem @exponentialview Further resources: When the Pieces Land (Exponential View 2022) How The Russia-Ukraine Conflict Will Change Cyber War (Exponential View Podcast 2022) How to Stay Informed on the Future of War  (Tim Fernholz, 2019) The Future of War is Already Here  (P. W. Singer, 2019)
16/03/2238m 45s

How the Russia-Ukraine Conflict Will Change Cyberwar (with Robert Hannigan)

Many experts expected Russia’s war with Ukraine to be accompanied by a large-scale cyberattack, but that hasn’t yet materialized. Azeem Azhar speaks to Robert Hannigan, the former director of the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) – the UK’s equivalent to America’s NSA, to find out how the conflict is playing out in cyberspace and what might happen next. @Azeem @exponentialview Blue Voyant Further resources: ‘AI and the Future of Warfare’ – Exponential View Podcast, 2019 ‘Cybersecurity in the Age of AI’ – Exponential View Podcast, 2019 ‘AI, Warfare and Global Security’ – Exponential View Podcast, 2018
09/03/2244m 38s

Vertical Farming and the Future of Food (with ZERO Farms’ Daniele Modesto)

Technology is making traditional agriculture more efficient, but farming still has its problems. It takes a huge amount of land and can be energy- and water-intensive. In addition, produce needs to be transported to customers, often over great distances. Daniele Modesto, CEO of ZERO Farms, tells Azeem Azhar how building upward will be part of the solution for the future of farming and why his technology could be used to produce more than just food. @Azeem @exponentialview Further resources: How AI and Genomics are Reshaping Farming – Exponential View Podcast, 2020 Zero Farms
02/03/2248m 46s

Scaling Synthetic Biology (with Ginkgo’s Reshma Shetty)

Science is getting better at re-engineering micro-organisms for all kinds of uses, from better medical treatments to more durable materials. But there are still hurdles to overcome, including scaling the process. Boston-based Ginkgo Bioworks was one of the first billion-dollar companies in the synthetic biology space. The NYSE-listed company uses machine learning and automation to coax biology to work at industrial scale. COO Reshma Shetty talks to Azeem Azhar about the company’s technology, business model, and how big she thinks synthetic biology could become. @Azeem @exponentialview @reshmapshetty Further resources: The Bio Revolution: Innovations transforming economies, societies, and our lives – McKinsey, May 2020 Engineering Biology: The Next Frontier – Exponential View Podcast ft. Vijay Pande, June 2020 The Next Trillion-Dollar Market – Exponential View Podcast ft. Deep Nishar, April 2020
23/02/2247m 50s

Micromobility Will Change Our Cities (with Horace Dediu)

Eighty percent of urban trips are less than two miles long. So why do so many of us make them in big, inefficient, and expensive vehicles? Tech analyst Horace Dediu, who coined the term “micromobility,” joins Azeem Azhar to discuss why the future of cities lies in “looking up,” rather than “looking down,” and what that tells us about a new era of consumer behavior both on- and offline. They also discuss how the micromobility industry has grown so fast, how an urbanizing population will further boost the market, and how big tech firms like Apple and Alphabet might claim a piece of the pie. @Azeem @exponentialview @asymco Further resources: ‘The Impermanence of Modes,’ Horace Dediu, ‘The 10 Micromobility Commandments,’ Micromobility Industries/Horace Dediu Free EV briefing today: Micromobility with Horace Dediu
16/02/2248m 48s

How Venture Capital Made the Modern World (with Sebastian Mallaby)

Seventy-five percent of the total value of US companies that have floated since 1995 has been created by venture-backed firms, including Alphabet, Facebook, and countless others. But how did an obscure investment strategy become the engine of modern innovation and where might it go next? Sebastian Mallaby, author of an excellent new book, The Power Law: Venture Capital and the Making of the New Future, joins Azeem Azhar to discuss the history (and future) of venture capital. They also discuss: What sets the most successful VCs apart from the pack. How an unknown Russian investing in Facebook changed the VC game forever. Why venture capital is here to stay. @Azeem @exponentialview @scmallaby Related resource: The Power Law: Venture Capital and the Making of the New Future – Sebastian Mallaby
09/02/2257m 18s

The Future of Healthcare: Personalization and AI (with ZOE’s Jonathan Wolf)

Nutritional science has long been one-size-fits-all. Advice on a healthier diet has been generic, failing to consider the huge variance of our bodies. ZOE is trying to change that by combining new research about our microbiomes with AI and machine learning. The healthtech startup offers dietary advice tailored to an individual’s microbiomes – the unique makeup of microorganisms present in  our human gut – to change the way we  eat for the better. ZOE co-founder and CEO Jonathan Wolf joins Azeem Azhar to discuss what the ZOE process looks like, the growth of the company, and the importance of the microbiome to our health. They also discuss: How ZOE has been able to speed up health research. What an individual’s genome cannot account for when it comes to health. Whether eating doughnuts can ever improve your health outcomes. @Azeem @exponentialview @jwolf @join_zoe Further resources: ‘Human postprandial responses to food and potential for precision nutrition’ – Berry et al., Nature Medicine, 2020 ‘Microbiome connections with host metabolism and habitual diet from 1,098 deeply phenotyped individuals’ – F. Asnicar, S. Berry, N. Segata, Nature Medicine, 2021
02/02/2243m 52s

What Studying Consciousness Can Reveal about AI and the Metaverse (with Anil Seth)

The workings of the brain have long puzzled scientists and philosophers, but the last twenty years have been a golden age for consciousness research. Cognitive and computational neuroscience professor Anil Seth is at the cutting edge of that work. He and Azeem Azhar discuss theories on how and why our brains work the way they do and explore how learning more about those questions could lead to new discoveries in medicine, AI, and virtual reality. They also address: How is it possible to scientifically study a subjective experience? What is the difference between consciousness and intelligence, and can you have one without the other? If a computer becomes conscious, but it doesn’t want to share its self-awareness, would we ever know? @Azeem @exponentialview @anilkseth Further resources: ‘What Is It Like to Be a Bat?’ – Thomas Nagel (1974) Being You, Anil Seth – Penguin Random House
26/01/2244m 22s

Supercritical’s Mission to Help Tech Reach Net Zero (with Michelle You)

Companies of all sizes and sectors have committed to net-zero emissions targets, but getting there is not straightforward. Measuring carbon dioxide output is tricky, carbon markets are fragmented, and the quality of offsets varies hugely. Michelle You, co-founder and CEO of Supercritical, is on a mission to help companies better measure, reduce, and remove carbon emissions – and her first target is the tech sector. Tech doesn’t attract as much criticism regarding emissions as some other sectors, but Michelle argues that tech companies emit more than the airline industry. She and Azeem Azhar discuss Supercritical’s approach and methods. They also explore: What product specialists, like Michelle, can add to the climate fight. Why carbon removal is the only viable path to net-zero. Why early-adopters of carbon removal technology are especially crucial to saving the planet. @Azeem @exponentialview @wreckingball37 Further resources: Decarbonization by the Numbers (with Michele Della Vigna)  – Exponential View Podcast, 2021 Funding Innovation to Fight Climate Change – Exponential View Podcast, 2021 Building a Trustworthy Market for Carbon Offsets (PART 1) — Exponential View Podcast, 2021
19/01/2248m 16s

Azeem’s 2022 Trends: Web 3.0, Sci-Fi Tech, and the Metaverse

Azeem Azhar sets out his vision for 2022 and shares the trends he thinks will change our world this year. Some changes are hurtling down the pike, like the growth of Web 3.0 and the metaverse, while others are rumbling along more slowly: the continued dominance of Big Tech, and the tireless march of artificial intelligence. Azeem’s discussion touches on: Why we should differentiate between “tech crypto” and “money crypto.” Why the metaverse is so much more than Meta. Why the “climate tech” tag might become obsolete. @Azeem @exponentialview Further resources Exponential View Newsletter Is Three the Magic Number: My Take on Web3 (Exponential View Newsletter, 2021)
05/01/2224m 9s

Learning from 2021: Azeem’s Takeaways

As 2021 draws to a close and Covid cases spike, it’s easy to think not much has changed. But in between pandemic waves, we’ve made major progress in science and technology. And that progress gives us clues about how the future might play out. Host Azeem Azhar reflects on the tech trends we’ve seen this year and key shifts in industry and society that are changing cities, the labor market, and the semiconductor business. He also discusses: Why semiconductor chips were hot property (and will only get hotter). What people got wrong about the “death of the city.” New media, the creator economy, and the “great resignation.” @Azeem @exponentialview Further resources: Exponential View Newsletter Learning From 2020: Azeem’s Takeaways
29/12/2126m 44s

From Tech Investor to Author (with a16z’s Andrew Chen)

Andreessen Horowitz general partner Andrew Chen and host Azeem Azhar have something in common: they were both tech company insiders and early-stage investors before becoming authors. They explore why they decided to write their books, how writing intersects with their day jobs, and whether they’d do it all again. They also discuss: What selling a book online has taught them about e-commerce. How the future for factual books has changed as publishing has decentralized. What books can communicate that other media can’t. @Azeem @AndrewChen @ExponentialView Further resources: Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends 1995-2019 Status as a Service (Eugene Wei, 2019) The Cold Start Problem (Andrew Chen, 2021) The Exponential Age (Azeem Azhar, 2021)
22/12/2144m 1s

How Quantum Computing Will Change Everything (with Chad Rigetti)

Quantum computing won’t be an incremental improvement – it will be a step-change in the power of the technology that underpins a huge part of our economy. Exponentially faster computing won’t just help us solve problems more quickly, but it will also allow us to tackle problems that have been impossible to answer and find answers to questions we did not know to ask. Chad Rigetti, founder and CEO of Rigetti Computing, speaks to Azeem Azhar about just how revolutionary quantum computing will be. They also discuss: How quantum could usher in a new computing revolution. Why having the lead in quantum computing is turning into the contemporary equivalent of the “space race.” How quantum computing could change how we do science. @Azeem @ChadRigetti Further resources ‘Building A Quantum Computer with Light’, (Exponential View Podcast, 2021) ‘Making Quantum Computers a Commercial Reality’, (Exponential View Podcast, 2021)
15/12/2147m 57s

Nuclear Fusion’s Time is (Finally) Coming

Nuclear fusion seems to have been “twenty years away” forever, but recent advances could mean fusion is finally on its way to becoming part of our energy mix. Azeem Azhar speaks to Nick Hawker, co-founder and CEO of First Light Fusion, a UK-based company that uses an approach it calls “projectile fusion” to generate energy. That method uses an electromagnetic launcher to fire material towards fuel at high speeds. Nick explains why it’s one of the most promising approaches to a problem that has puzzled physicists for decades. He breaks down the challenges, both extraordinary and mundane, that fusion experiments involve. They also discuss: Why First Light Fusion’s system could generate power more efficiently than the sun. When the first fusion reactor could plug into an electrical grid. How many lasers it takes to turn on a light bulb. @Azeem @FLF_Nick Further resources Investing in Deep Tech for an Abundant Future (Exponential View Podcast, 2021)
08/12/2144m 10s

Grading AI: The Hits and Misses

Murray Shanahan, professor of cognitive robotics at Imperial College London and a senior research scientist at DeepMind, joins Azeem Azhar to discuss AI: where developments have exceeded expectations, where they have fallen short, and what the next steps are towards an artificial general intelligence (AGI). They explore the hurdles that stand in the way of truly intelligent computer programs: why an AGI might need to exist in a body that can sense the world around it to reach its full potential, whether we can teach computers common sense, and what it means for a self-driving car to “think.” They also discuss: What the future of AI may have in common with the aeronautical ingenuity of the Wright brothers. The pros and cons of the various approaches to AI from symbolic models to convoluted neural networks, transformers, and generative models. Why huge salaries for commercial deep learning engineers might actually hinder research. @mpshanahan @exponentialview @Azeem Further resources: AI’s Competitive Advantage (Exponential View podcast, 2021) How To Practice Responsible AI (Exponential View podcast, 2021) ‘Conscious exotica’ (Murray Shanahan, Aeon, 2016) State of AI Report 2021 (Nathan Benaich and Ian Hogarth)
01/12/2148m 2s

Technology and Redistribution of Power (with Yanis Varoufakis)

Former Greek Finance Minister, economist, and bestselling author Yanis Varoufakis joins Azeem Azhar to discuss his speculative novel Another Now. In that book, he presents a world where mass organization, technological progress, and an overhaul of companies and markets have made society more equitable. Like all great science fiction, the book is as much about the present as the future. Yanis is an advocate of blockchain technology and “one person, one vote” structures, as measures to redistribute power. He and Azeem discuss how tech could change our world for the better – if we use it judiciously.They also discuss: How Yanis’s proposals for a Greek digital currency ran aground. Where COP26 fell short. How equitable technological progress could lead us to a “Star Trek”-like utopia. Further resources: How Taiwan is Using Technology to Foster Democracy – Exponential View Podcast, 2020 ‘A Central Bank Cryptocurrency to Democratize Money’ – Yanis Varoufakis, Project Syndicate, Jul. 2021 ‘Cop26 is doomed, and the hollow promise of ‘net zero’ is to blame’ – Yanis Varoufakis, The Guardian, Nov. 2021
24/11/2152m 34s

The AI Revolution is Just Beginning (with Nathan Benaich and Ian Hogarth)

Artificial intelligence had a breakout year, with major new developments in disparate fields, from medical biology to defense. AI investors Nathan Benaich and Ian Hogarth, who co-author the annual “State of AI” report, join Azeem Azhar to explore why AI is thriving in those sectors. In addition, they offer their take on the flood of new investments in AI and how we can best keep this technology safe for humanity. They also discuss: Why AI is fundamentally changing how we research medical science. How an AI system developed to learn the English language can be adapted to understand gene sequences. How the bottlenecks in AI deployment are being exploited by states for competitive advantage. @azeem @exponentialview @nathanbenaich @soundboy Further resources: State of AI Report 2021 (Nathan Benaich and Ian Hogarth) AI’s Competitive Advantage (Exponential View podcast, 2021) How To Practice Responsible AI (Exponential View podcast, 2021)
17/11/2146m 29s

Why Energy Storage Is the Future of the Grid (with Malta CEO Ramya Swaminathan)

Renewable energy is the future of power, but relying on solar, wind, etc. will require a more reliable and resilient grid. Effective energy storage would make it possible to smooth out discrepancies in supply and demand, and harness renewable power more efficiently. A range of technologies are being developed and refined with that mission in mind, including large-scale lithium-ion batteries and clean hydrogen storage. Former Alphabet X moonshot spinoff Malta Inc. uses established industrial processes and molten salt to store energy and pump it back into the grid as demand requires. Malta CEO Ramya Swaminathan joins Azeem Azhar to discuss why energy storage is so crucial to fighting climate change, how it could affect the economics of energy, and why the electric grid of the future will be more technologically diverse and complex than today’s. They also discuss: How progress in energy storage could hit an exponential inflection point. Working with established companies to revolutionize power distribution. The market mechanisms necessary to optimize the grids of the future. @azeem @exponentialview @maltaenergysto1 Further resources: “Energy Storage to Steal $277B From Power Grids by 2050” – BloombergNEF, Mar. 2021 “Energy Storage Grand Challenge: Energy Storage Market Report” – U.S. Department of Energy, Dec. 2020 Bloomberg New Energy Finance ARES Energy Vault
10/11/2150m 1s

Building a Multibillion-Dollar Company in 18 Months (with Hopin’s Johnny Boufarhat)

Hopin is one of the fastest-growing startups in history. Founder and CEO Johnny Boufarhat joins Azeem Azhar to talk about how he grew the virtual events company from six employees in February 2020, at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, to more than eight hundred, and a valuation of almost $8 billion, a year and a half later. Johnny explains how he seized the opportunity presented by the pandemic, what it was like learning to lead at one of the fastest-growing startups in history, and why he dreams of a future in which a founder’s location is no impediment to success. They also discuss: Hopin’s future, beyond the world of work. The promise of the metaverse, and the limits of VR. Barriers to entry for founders from developing countries, and how to lower them. @Johnnyboufarhat @Azeem Further resources Making Venture Capital Work for Entrepreneurs – Exponential View Podcast, 2020 ‘Scaling Innovation’ (with Elad Gil) – Exponential View Podcast, 2018 ‘The Challenging Political Economy of Silicon Valley’ (with Reid Hoffman) – Exponential View Podcast, 2018 Building Unicorns in Europe (with Reshma Sohoni) –  Exponential View Podcast, 2019  ‘Events scaleup Hopin raises at $7.75bn valuation’ – Sifted, August 2021 ‘CEO Secrets: “My billion-pound company has no office”’ – BBC, June 2021
03/11/2125m 10s

Decarbonization by the Numbers (with Michele Della Vigna)

The transition to a greener economy is absolutely essential for the future of life as we know it. Governments and companies have committed to net-zero emissions by 2050, but it’s not clear how they plan to get there – or how much it will cost. Today’s guest, though, has some idea. Michele Della Vigna runs the Carbonomics research program at Goldman Sachs, which looks at the economics behind a transition to net-zero emissions. On the eve of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), Michele joins Azeem Azhar to discuss the importance of carbon pricing, market pressure, and new technology in accelerating a shift to net-zero. They also discuss: Why the American consumer makes carbon taxes trickier. The role of oil majors in the shift to renewables. How corporate commitments to decarbonize could surprise at COP26. @azeem @exponentialview Further resources: Funding Innovation to Fight Climate Change (with Dawn Lippert, Elemental Excelerator), Exponential View Podcast, 2021 ‘Carbonomics: Five Themes of Progress for COP26’ – Goldman Sachs Research
27/10/2143m 35s

The Future of the Car (with Ford’s Hau Thai-Tang)

Ford has been making cars for 118 years — nearly all of them with internal combustion engines. It now faces the biggest challenge in its history. As the electric vehicle (EV) revolution accelerates and people rethink their relationships with cars, both automotive incumbents and upstarts are planning for a radically different world. Ford’s chief product platform and operations officer Hau Thai-Tang is ideally placed to discuss what that shift looks like. He and Azeem Azhar explore how EV uptake will transform what a car is and what it means to own and drive one, as well as what it will take to retool Ford to thrive in the technology age. They also discuss: How doing away with combustion engines will revolutionize car design. Why exponential uptake of EVs could happen within the next five years. Why carmakers will start to look more like Netflix and Apple. @azeem @exponentialview Further resources: ‘Ford, SK to invest $11.4 bln to add electric F-150 plant, three battery factories’ (Reuters) ‘Trends and developments in electric vehicle markets’ (IEA) ‘Levels of Autonomous Driving, Explained’ (J.D. Power)
20/10/2148m 20s

Funding Innovation to Fight Climate Change

The climate crisis is the defining issue of our age, and to fight it effectively, we’ll have to redesign our world. That requires money and technological innovation – but it also demands knowledge of local communities, and policymaking. Dawn Lippert works at the intersection of all of those issues. She’s the founder and CEO of Elemental Excelerator, a non-profit incubator that helps climate-focused startups deploy their technologies. In September 2021, Elemental spun out a $60m venture-capital fund that will help entrepreneurs tackling climate change to scale their solutions more rapidly. She joins Azeem Azhar to discuss how innovative climate tech companies can make it to market, and why workers at Silicon Valley’s biggest companies are flocking to the fight against climate change. They also discuss: The real-world challenges climate tech investors need to understand. What Silicon Valley investors need to learn to work in climate tech. Why climate impact investing is about more than reducing greenhouse gases. @elementalexcel @azeem @exponentialview Further resources: Elemental Excelerator: global non-profit at the intersection of climate, innovation and equity Ampaire: electric aircraft with real utility Dimensional Energy: transforming CO2 from waste to resource
13/10/2136m 4s

How Network Effects Rule the World (with James Currier)

Google, Facebook, Apple, and Uber are just some of the enormous companies that derive part of their value from network effects: The more users they have, the more value they provide. Network effects aren’t new. The basic principles that underpinned faxes and phone lines also underpin social media. But rapid technological change has made network effects more prevalent and more powerful than ever before. Serial entrepreneur and early-stage investor James Currier is one of the world’s foremost experts on networks, and on the companies that use them best. He joins Azeem Azhar to discuss how companies with network effects dominate markets, and why their influence will likely continue to grow. They also discuss: Why network-effects companies dominate global markets, and how they can recast the way we think about the world. Why networks can become harder to manage as they grow – and harder to do without. The problems globe-spanning networks can cause – especially when the motives of dominant corporate players don’t align with what’s best for our societies. How we should govern those networks in the coming decades. @JamesCurrier @azeem @exponentialview Further resources: NFX’s Network Effects Bible (NFX) “How to Regulate Facebook, with Nick Clegg” (Exponential View Podcast, 2021) “Messi joins crypto craze as gets part of PSG fee in fan tokens” (Reuters, 2021)
06/10/2149m 36s

Imagining Climate Futures with Kim Stanley Robinson

Kim Stanley Robinson, the legendary science-fiction novelist, has a private utopian hope: “to dodge a mass extinction event.” He joins Azeem Azhar to explore his recent novel, The Ministry For the Future, and what it would take for institutions, individuals, and emerging technologies to save millions of lives. They also discuss: When civil disobedience and direct climate action may become a moral necessity. Why central banks and a radical shift of economic incentives are vital to drive decarbonization. What climate restoration is and why it offers better prospects than climate engineering. @azeem @exponentialview Kim Stanley Robinson Further resources: “Applying the Pandemic Mindset to Climate Change with Cory Doctorow” (Exponential View podcast, 2020) “What can climate tech do for us?” (Exponential View newsletter, 2020) “The Ministry For the Future” (Hachette, 2020) “It’s Not Science Fiction” (The New York Review on The Ministry For the Future, 2020) “Top central banks identify nine ways to make their policies greener” (Financial Times, 2021)
07/07/211h 1m

How to Regulate Facebook (with Nick Clegg)

Facebook serves 34 percent of the world’s population and decides who to block and what to censor. How should governments regulate this startling power? Nick Clegg, the UK’s former deputy prime minister and now vice president of Global Affairs and Communications at Facebook, joins Azeem Azhar to explore how governments might reassert control in the exponential age. They also discuss: The major regulatory legislation coming down the pike in the U.S., the EU, and India. Why allowing data portability between networks could be good for competition but a challenge for privacy. Whether Facebook’s Oversight Board could be used to regulate other tech companies. Why Clegg is pushing Facebook for increased transparency of its algorithms. @nickclegg @azeem @exponentialview Further resources: “Fixing the Social Media Crisis” (Exponential View podcast with Sinan Aral, 2021) “A bipartisan approach to break the deadlock on internet regulation” (Nick Clegg, Medium, 2021) “Facebook must not be allowed to dictate how it gets regulated” (Wired, 2020) “Battle commences A formidable alliance takes on Facebook” (The Economist, 2020)
30/06/2144m 37s

The Future of Digital Payments

Visa processes more than 500 million transactions every day. How is the world’s largest digital payment platform adapting to new technologies and fresh competition? Charlotte Hogg, executive vice president and CEO of its European operations, joins Azeem Azhar to explore the evolving ecosystem of digital payments. They also discuss: Why Visa should be seen as a platform-based technology company like Google, despite being an established financial institution. Why the Visa’s “open network” model demands a level playing field for all participants. Why an increasingly cashless world is pushing central banks towards digital currencies. How the payment platform is now enabling settlement in the USDC stablecoin – a cryptocurrency pegged to the U.S. dollar. @azeem @exponentialview Further resources: “Visa launches suite of AI tools to enable smarter payments” (TechRadar, 2021) “Central banks get serious on digital currencies” (Financial Times, 2021) “Bitcoin and the Future of Decentralized Finance” (Exponential View podcast, 2021)
23/06/2136m 57s

How to Practice Responsible AI

From predictive policing to automated credit scoring, algorithms applied on a massive scale, gone unchecked, represent a serious threat to our society. Dr. Rumman Chowdhury, director of Machine Learning Ethics, Transparency and Accountability at Twitter, joins Azeem Azhar to explore how businesses can practice responsible AI to minimize unintended bias and the risk of harm. They also discuss: How you can assess and diagnose bias in unexplainable “black box” algorithms. Why responsible AI demands top-down organizational change, implementing new metrics and systems of redress. How Twitter led an audit of its own image-cropping algorithm that was alleged to bias white faces over people of color. The emerging field of “Responsible Machine Learning Operations” (MLOps). @ruchowdh @azeem @exponentialview Further resources: “Sharing learnings about our image cropping algorithm” (Twitter Blog, 2021) “As AI develops, so does the debate over profits and ethics” (Financial Times, 2021) “It’s time for AI ethics to grow up” (Wired, 2020) “Auditing Algorithms for Bias” (Harvard Business Review, 2018)
16/06/2149m 15s

The Coming AI Hackers

AI hackers are coming, and it’s not just our computer networks at risk – our laws and regulations are also vulnerable. Bruce Schneier, internationally renowned security technologist and fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, joins Azeem Azhar to explore how humans have always exploited loopholes in rule-based systems, and how that will change as AIs become more powerful. They also discuss: Why making AI systems easier to monitor and regulate also makes them less powerful. Why we need mechanisms for agile policy response when legislation and regulation get hacked. Why AI hackers might end up benefiting system designers and cyber-defenses in the long run. @schneierblog @azeem @exponentialview Further resources: “Cybersecurity in the Age of AI” (Exponential View podcast, 2019) “The Coming AI Hackers” (Belfer Centre report by Bruce Schneier, 2021) “Why Was SolarWinds So Vulnerable to a Hack?” (New York Times, 2021)
09/06/2137m 47s

Banking without Banks: Decentralized Finance is Coming

Could we have a financial industry without banks or brokers? That’s the vision of decentralized finance – or DeFi – in which financial products are built from tamper-proof digital smart contracts interacting with blockchains. Sergey Nazarov, co-founder of Chainlink, joins Azeem Azhar to explore the promise of this emerging sector to bring greater transparency, control, and yield for both customers and businesses. They also discuss: How blockchains and smart contracts work together to reconfigure the fundamentals of finance, as we currently experience it. Why the outrage felt by Robinhood users (when trading in GameStop was paused) reveals an underlying weakness in traditional finance. What blockchain oracles are, and how Chainlink is using them to build the decentralized infrastructure that will enable the widespread adoption of DeFi products and cryptocurrencies. @SergeyNazarov @azeem @exponentialview “Bitcoin and the Future of Decentralized Finance” (Exponential View podcast with Meltem Demirors, 2021) “DeFi Can ‘Transform Global Finance’” (Decrypt, 2021) “What Is Chainlink and Why Is It Important in the World of Cryptocurrency?” (Yahoo Finance, 2021)
02/06/2148m 56s

AI’s Competitive Advantage

AI can offer a new type of competitive advantage, but entrepreneurs need to know what it is and how to unlock it. Ash Fontana, author of The AI First Company and managing director at Zetta Venture Partners – a firm that exclusively invests in early-stage AI startups, joins Azeem Azhar to explore the risks and rewards of applying AI to business problems. They also discuss: Why the high up-front cost of developing AI models favors multi-sector businesses. Which is more important for an AI-focused company: domain expertise or AI expertise? How AI startups should assess the risk of being usurped by Big Tech. Why Amazon’s sophisticated AI regularly offers nonsensical recommendations. @ashfontana @azeem @exponentialview “Creating an AI-First Business with Andrew Ng” (Exponential View podcast, 2019) “Businesses are finding AI hard to adopt” (The Economist, 2020) “Competing in the Age of AI” (Harvard Business Review, 2020) The AI First Company: How to Compete and Win With Artificial Intelligence (Ash Fontana, 2021)
26/05/2157m 34s

Building a Trustworthy Market for Carbon Offsets: Part 2

Using forests to offset a company’s carbon emissions has been dismissed as “greenwashing.” But Diego Saez Gil argues that a verifiable and transparent global market in carbon credits is a vital tool to mitigate climate change. In part 2 of their discussion, he joins Azeem Azhar to explore how his company, Pachama, uses technology to connect farmers and ecologists with climate-conscious corporations in an effort to evolve the global carbon marketplace. They also discuss: Why companies need offsets to achieve their climate goals. Why carbon offsets should be used only after emission-reducing changes have been maximized. How properly calibrated carbon pricing can incentivize climate-conscious economic activity. @dsaezgil @azeem @ExponentialView Further resources: “IKEA: Making a $40 Billion Company Climate Positive” (Exponential View podcast, 2020) “The merits of a global carbon offset market” (Financial Times, 2020) “Do Carbon Offsets Really Work? It Depends on the Details” (Wired, 2020) “The Economics of Biodiversity: The Dasgupta Review” (HM Treasury, UK Government, 2021)
20/05/2133m 12s

Building a Trustworthy Market for Carbon Offsets: Part 1

How do we build a market for carbon offsets that is both trustworthy and effective? Diego Saez Gil, co-founder and CEO of Pachama, believes he has the answer. In part 1 of the conversation, Diego joins Azeem Azhar to explore how AI, satellites, and LiDAR can be leveraged to verify the conservation efforts of farmers, NGOs, and governments and help lay the foundation for sustainable work against climate change. They also discuss: How the rapid cycles of a tech startup interact with the slower rhythms of forest ecology. Why the tropics should be the focus of forest regeneration efforts. Why the priority should be to achieve a “deep” carbon offset market, which is both a platform of exchange and an assurance of quality. @dsaezgil @azeem @ExponentialView Further resources: “How Data Helps Companies Honor Their Climate Goals” (Exponential View podcast, 2021) “As concerns rise over forest carbon offsets, Pachama’s verified offset marketplace gets $15 million” (TechCrunch, 2021) “Applying AI To Mitigate The Effects Of Climate Change” (Forbes, 2020) “The merits of a global carbon offset market” (Financial Times, 2020)
19/05/2132m 50s

The Power of Mental Modeling and the Limits of AI

Kenneth Cukier, senior editor at the Economist, and Viktor Mayer-Schoenberger, professor of Internet Governance and Regulation at the University of Oxford, argue that because AI systems have no causal model of the world, they lack the human capacity for imagination and decision-making. Azeem Azhar explores their contention that we should not rely on AI to provide solutions to our problems. Rather we should systematically challenge how we frame our problems in order to produce breakthrough insights and innovations — then use AI to help enact those solutions. They also discuss: How “reframing” old technologies unleashed advances for SpaceX, Apple, Spotify and others. How proper framing empowered New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to battle Covid-19 in her country. Why you should not think “outside the box,” but instead “switch boxes.” @kncukier @Viktor_MS @azeem @ExponentialView Further resources: “You Can Make Better Decisions by Placing Problems in a New Frame” (Bloomberg, 2021) “11 Myths About Decision-Making” (Harvard Business Review, 2021) “Beyond Deep Learning with Gary Marcus” (Exponential View podcast, 2019)
12/05/2146m 30s

Startups and the State: Growing French Tech

In less than a decade France has gone from tech backwater to the startup engine of the EU. It recently celebrated its 12th company to achieve a $1 billion valuation and is well on the way to President Macron’s goal of “25 unicorns by 2025.” Kat Borlongan, director of La French Tech, joins Azeem Azhar to explore how her government taskforce has been working to effectively drive growth in the French startup scene. They also discuss: Why achieving tech sovereignty has become a key motivator for governments. How France’s visa scheme is part of their offensive strategy to attract top tech talent. Why the French government is directly investing in startups via public investment bank Bpifrance. @katborlongan @azeem @ExponentialView Further resources: “Building Unicorns in Europe” (Exponential View podcast with Reshma Sohoni, 2019) “The State of European Tech 2020″ (Atomico, 2021) “Paris overtakes Berlin for tech start-ups after boost from Macron“ (Financial Times, 2019) “La French Tech ecosystem map“ (Interactive dashboard on France’s tech startups)
05/05/2142m 7s

How Data Helps Companies Honor Their Climate Goals

Turning a corporate climate pledge into reality is a complex endeavor. Watershed, a software startup co-founded by Christian Anderson, is committed to using data to cut corporate emissions fast. In conversation with Azeem Azhar, Christian shares the challenges of putting this dream into practice. They also discuss: The role of network effects in the net-zero transition. How Watershed’s data business compares to social media. Why carbon removal decisions in companies should reside within the CFO’s office. @chranderson @azeem @ExponentialView Further Reading “IKEA: Making a $40 billion company climate positive” (Exponential View podcast, 2020) “How Measuring and Reducing Emissions Has Become Its Own Business” (Bloomberg, 2021)
28/04/2147m 19s

The Future of Meat

Livestock is responsible for 15 percent of global greenhouse emissions. Could meat grown in labs offer a sustainable – and palatable – future? Didier Toubia, CEO and co-founder of cultured meat start-up Aleph Farms, joins Azeem Azhar to explore the biotech, ethics, and economics of making beef without cows. They also discuss: Why food security and public health are driving the development of alternative protein sources. Why cultivated meat may achieve price parity with normal beef within five years. How cultivated meat might integrate within the existing food supply chains. @AlephFarms @azeem @ExponentialView Further Reading: “How AI and Genomics Are Reshaping Farming” (Exponential View podcast with Mike Zelkind, 2020) “Israel is a fake meat powerhouse” (Wired, 2021) “Investing in a slice of the non-meat future” (Financial Times, 2021) “Edible insects and lab-grown meat are on the menu” (Economist, 2020)
21/04/2137m 11s

Mapping AI’s Societal Impact

AI is not just code and algorithms. It’s an industry built on a global network of resource extraction, human labor, and data collection. Kate Crawford, senior principal researcher at Microsoft Research and research professor of communication and science and technology studies at USC Annenberg, joins Azeem Azhar to explore the far-reaching impacts of AI and to consider the urgent case for proper governance and regulation of the industry. They also discuss: Why we need to observe hardware supply chains to understand AI’s impact. Why the AI industry, like aviation and pharma, should be subject to strict regulation. Why tech leaders should take a much greater responsibility for the social and environmental effects of technical systems. @katecrawford @azeem @ExponentialView Further Reading: “Anatomy of an AI System” (Kate Crawford and Vladan Joler, 2018) “AI, Accountability, and Power” (Exponential View with Mereditch Whitaker, 2019) “Atlas of AI: Power, Politics, and the Planetary Costs of Artificial Intelligence” (Kate Crawford, Yale University Press 2021) “How AI is exploiting people and the planet” (New Scientist, 2021) “Time to regulate AI that interprets human emotions” (Nature, 2021)
14/04/211h 2m

Making Quantum Computers a Commercial Reality

IonQ is the first company solely focused on quantum computing to go public, with its quantum computers accessible via the cloud today. The company’s co-founder/chief scientist Chris Monroe and president/CEO Peter Chapman join Azeem Azhar to explore how they turned cutting-edge research into a scalable product. They also discuss the engineering challenges that remain before quantum systems not only surpass the fastest supercomputers, but also become widely available. In addition, they address: Why IonQ, unlike Google and IBM, have bet on the “trapped ion” approach to building quantum computers. How major software innovation could move quantum computing forward. Why quantum computers excel at optimization problems involving more variables than classical computers can accommodate. @IonQ_Inc @azeem @ExponentialView Further Reading: “Building A Quantum Computer with Light” (Exponential View podcast featuring Jeremy O’Brien, 2021) “Quantum computing’s next trick? The power of networked clusters” (Peter Chapman in Wired, 2021) “Commercialising quantum computers” (The Economist, 2020)
07/04/2149m 17s

Bitcoin and the Future of Decentralized Finance

Meltem Demirors, Chief Strategy Officer at CoinShares, joins Azeem Azhar to explore the potential and politics of cryptocurrencies: from the ideological origins of Bitcoin to the new wave of decentralized financial products that could disrupt traditional finance. They also discuss: Why the values of the Cypherpunk community are enshrined in Bitcoin’s design. How the Decentralized Finance movement is re-imagining existing products on blockchain networks. If Bitcoin will ever break out of its niche to become a widely used currency. @Melt_Dem @azeem @ExponentialView Further resources: “Is the financial establishment coming round to bitcoin?” (The Economist, 2021) “Get ready for self-driving banks” (Financial Times, 2021) “The Redecentralized Web” (Exponential View podcast, 2020) “Politics, Power & Protocols” (Meltem Demirors, CoinShares 2019)
31/03/2150m 24s

The Evolution of Teamwork (with Atlassian CEO Scott Farquhar)

Atlassian, the enterprise software innovator, is helping to drive disruption across the world of work. Co-founder and co-CEO, Scott Farquhar, joins Azeem Azhar to explain how, during a global pandemic, they nearly doubled the size of their workforce, why the workplace will never be the same after Covid-19, and what the implications are for companies and employees who increasingly operate remotely, asynchronously, and in flatter hierarchies. They also discuss: Why Farquhar believes that most companies are becoming like software companies, where the CEO and CIO are in strategic lock-step and ready to disrupt their business before they are disrupted by competitors. Why companies are shifting their team structures from being project-based to product-based. Why Farquhar believes his approach to company-building is akin to gardening. @scottfarkas @azeem @ExponentialView Further resources: “Empowering Workers in the Digital Future” (Exponential View podcast, 2020) “WFH Doesn’t Have to Dilute Your Corporate Culture” (Harvard Business Review, 2021) “Picking the Right Approach to Digital Collaboration” (MIT Sloan, 2021)
24/03/2148m 2s

The Architects of AI

Cade Metz, technology correspondent at The New York Times, joins Azeem Azhar to discuss his new book Genius Makers. In it, he tells the story of the pioneers who brought AI out of academic labs, sparking a Big Tech arms race and transforming our everyday lives.  They also discuss: How deep learning went from an unworkable concept to fueling the AI boom. Why bias and prejudice “baked in” to an AI system are almost impossible to remove. Which early signals tech giants followed to develop AI even before deep learning went mainstream. @CadeMetz @azeem @ExponentialView Further resources Genius Makers (Cade Metz, 2021) “DeepMind’s Journey from Games to Fundamental Science” (Exponential View podcast with Demis Hassabis, 2020) “How GPT-3 Is Shaping Our AI Future” (Exponential View podcast with Sam Altman, 2020) “An AI Pioneer Explains the Evolution of Neural Networks” (Wired, 2019)
17/03/2141m 38s

Universities and the Innovation Landscape

What are universities for? Are they an elite pipeline for elite jobs, or can they meet the needs of societies transforming amid technological advances? Azeem Azhar explores the role of higher education in research, innovation, and progress with Geraint Rees, Dean of Faculty of Life Sciences at University College London and a leader of their AI strategy. They also discuss: How University College London researchers drove the design, approval, and production of a breathing aid for COVID-19 patients in just 6 weeks. Why liberal, diverse universities can survive alongside more focused, skills-based institutions. Why universities are essential to a healthy startup ecosystem. @azeem @ExponentialView @profgeraintrees Further resources: “Understanding the Enduring Consequences of Covid-19” (Exponential View podcast, 2020) “What will education look like in 20 years? Here are 4 scenarios” (World Economic Forum, 2021)
10/03/2138m 24s

Engineering a Driverless Future

Chris Urmson, co-founder and CEO of the self-driving technology startup Aurora, joins Azeem Azhar to explore the state-of-play of self-driving technology, the criticisms the tech must address, and the huge challenges to be overcome before we trust a computer to drive our kids to school. They also discuss: How Aurora’s founders built their “no jerks,” team-oriented culture. The importance of new LIDAR sensors (light-radar) for achieving faster speeds with bigger vehicles. Why Aurora is skipping the baby steps and heading straight for the prize of fully autonomous driving (in specified locations and conditions). @azeem @ExponentialView @chris_urmson @aurora_inno Further resources: “The Truth About Autonomy” (Exponential View podcast, 2019) “Uber ATG And Aurora Merge To Staggering $10B Valuation” (Forbes, 2020) “The Rumored Apple Car Is Bad News for Elon” (Wired, 2021) “Meet K.I.T.T.” (Youtube, 1980s TV series Knight Rider)
03/03/2145m 32s

Fixing the Social Media Crisis

Social networks polarize communities and spread misinformation. Professor Sinan Aral, director of MIT’s Initiative on the Digital Economy and author of The Hype Machine, joins Azeem Azhar to explore what makes these networks so powerful and how we can engineer our way to a healthier online ecosystem. They also discuss: Why powerful “network effects” lead to social media monopolies. Why forcing interoperability and “identity porting” is the key to healthy competition. Why repealing Section 230 of the (U.S.) Communications Decency Act of 1996 would be a disaster for free expression on the internet. @sinanaral @azeem @ExponentialView Further resources: “Can We Amplify the Good and Contain the Bad of Social Media?” (MIT Sloan Management Review, 2020) “Humans, not bots, are to blame for spreading false news on Twitter” (Wired, 2018) “How We Can Protect Truth in the Age of Misinformation” (TEDxCERN, 2018)
24/02/2151m 28s

Investing in Deep Tech for an Abundant Future

Could deep tech companies bring about an age of abundance? Matt Ocko, co-founder and managing partner of Data Collective Venture Capital, joins Azeem Azhar to explore the art of investing in startups that aim to transform entire industries with radically cheaper, cleaner products. They also discuss: Why establishing “computational advantage” is key to a successful deep tech approach. How AbCellera, one of Matt’s portfolio companies, used machine learning and extensive automation to swiftly develop an antibody therapy for Covid-19. How investors should judge the right time to invest in a new technology. @mattocko @azeem @ExponentialView Further resources: “Materials Built by Microbes: A Revolution in Materials Science” (Exponential View, Podcast 2020) “This College Professor Became An Overnight Billionaire Fighting Covid” (Forbes, 2021) “With fresh support from its billionaire backers Pivot Bio is ushering in a farming revolution” (TechCrunch, 2020)
17/02/2143m 54s

From Insurance Giant to Tech Platform: The Story of Ping An

From an insurance giant to an incubator of cutting-edge tech companies, Ping An’s evolution is impressive and unique. Chief Innovation Officer Jonathan Larsen joins Azeem Azhar to explore how the China-based holding conglomerate has managed such agility at immense scale. They also discuss: Why being founder-led has enabled bold movement into new markets. How Ping An created the world’s largest telemedicine platform from scratch. Why innovation must come from the company’s core culture and leadership. Why Ping An’s success is linked to pivoting the entire group to a self-built cloud platform. @PingAnTech @azeem @ExponentialView Further resources: “How Ping An, an insurer, became a fintech super-app” (The Economist, 2020) “Ping-An, the tech giant masquerading as a finance company” (FinTech Brain Food, 2020) “Ping An on building a fintech ecosystem in China” (McKinsey, 2019)
10/02/2151m 37s

Building A Quantum Computer with Light

“Quantum computing is to conventional computing what a warp drive is to a bicycle,” says Jeremy O’Brien, CEO of PsiQuantum. He joins Azeem Azhar to explore the exponential advantage quantum computing will bring to problems across science and industry, and how he’s using photonics to build the first productive quantum computer. They also discuss: Why only quantum computers can help solve our most intractable problems. Why VCs are not rushing to fund this transformative technology. How existing silicon chip techniques can be adapted to build components for photonic quantum computing. @azeem @ExponentialView PsiQuantum Further resources: “Quantum computing and quantum supremacy, explained” (Wired, 2020) “Quantum for quants – Wall Street’s latest shiny new thing” (The Economist, 2020) “The future is quantum: solution to the world’s critical problems” (Financial Times, 2017)
03/02/2150m 59s

Bringing DARPA’s Innovation to Health

Regina Dugan, CEO of new biomedical non-profit Wellcome Leap and former director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in the U.S., joins Azeem Azhar to explore how she approaches delivering breakthrough technologies, and why she has now set her sights on global health. They also discuss: The thinking behind DARPA’s early support of Moderna’s mRNA vaccine technology. How the DARPA model of innovation can apply to advancing medical technologies. How the lessons from her experience of childhood cancer have guided Dugan’s career. Further resources “Understanding the Enduring Consequences of Covid-19” (Exponential View podcast with Professor Nicholas Christakis, 2020) “The Covid-19 Pandemic May Be a ‘Sputnik Moment’” (Bloomberg New Economy, 2020) “The Health Age” (Wellcome Leap, 2020) @azeem @ExponentialView @WellcomeLeap
27/01/2148m 40s

Big Tech and a Decade of Antitrust with Cory Doctorow

Cory Doctorow, award-winning author, technologist, and founder, joins Azeem Azhar to explore the power of big tech monopolies and how a future wave of antitrust lawsuits could unleash innovation across the sector. They also discuss: How antitrust litigation, even if it fails, has a powerful effect on corporate behavior. Why interoperability is key to a competitive marketplace. How software patents have been weaponized to protect monopolies. Further resources: “Regulating Big Tech makes them stronger, they need competition instead” (The Economist, 2019) “Google lawsuit: the opening salvo in a battle to restrain Big Tech” (Financial Times, 2020) “How to Destroy Surveillance Capitalism” (Online book by Cory Doctorow 2020) “How US Lawmakers Plan to Tackle Big Tech” (Exponential View – subscribers only, 2020) @doctorow @azeem @ExponentialView
06/01/2129m 3s

Learning from 2020: Azeem’s Takeaways

In his reflection on this tumultuous year, Azeem Azhar finds hope in our reaction to the pandemic. The achievements made through collective action and the latest technologies have been life-saving. Azeem also explores: What businesses will need in order to thrive in 2021. How new multi-stakeholder institutions will emerge to meet the challenges in the coming period of friction and fragmentation. Questions sent in by subscribers to the Exponential View Newsletter. Further reading: IKEA: Making a $40 Billion Company Climate Positive (Exponential View Podcast, 2020) What if Every Day Was Pandemic Day (Exponential View, 2020) Your Technologies of the 2020s (Exponential View, 2020) @azeem @ExponentialView
30/12/2028m 20s

Applying the Pandemic Mindset to Climate Change with Cory Doctorow

Cory Doctorow, award winning author, technologist, and founder, joins Azeem Azhar to examine how the pandemic mindset around harnessing massive collective action and exponential technologies for the good of humanity could also help us mitigate climate change. They also discuss: How Covid-19 exposed the need to reset the relationship between market and state. Why the predicted 20-30 percent unemployment rate will force dramatic government action in 2021. Further resources: What can climate tech do for us? (Exponential View 2020) Cory Doctorow: Full Employment (Locus Magazine 2020) How to Destroy Surveillance Capitalism (Online book by Cory Doctorow 2020) @doctorow @azeem @ExponentialView
23/12/2030m 18s

Making Venture Capital Work for Entrepreneurs

Leila Rastegar Zegna, co-founder and general partner of Kindred Capital, joins Azeem Azhar for a deep dive into venture capital: how it really works, what’s broken, and how to fix it. They also explore a new model for venture capital, where founders become partners in the fund. This new approach aims to align incentives for both entrepreneurs and investors, in order to build a healthier innovation community. They also discuss: Why venture capital is a “people business,” not a finance business. Why obsessiveness is a more important than expertise for founders. Why not all startups should seek funding. Further resources: “How Venture Capitalists Are Deforming Capitalism” (The New Yorker, 2020) “What Is Equitable Venture?” (Kindred Capital, 2017) “Silicon Valley Needs a Shakedown with Chamath Palihapitiya” (Exponential View podcast, 2020) @lrastegar @azeem @ExponentialView
16/12/2049m 26s

IKEA: Making a $40 Billion Company Climate Positive

IKEA generates 0.1 percent of the world’s annual greenhouse gas emissions. Can this $40 billion multinational company become climate positive by 2030? Jesper Brodin, CEO of Ingka Group, joins Azeem Azhar to discuss how to grow a business while investing in renewable energy, sourcing sustainable materials, and building a circular economy. They also discuss: How being a leader in the “green revolution” is a business opportunity. How mass production could actually expedite progress towards sustainability. Why supporting customers in their efforts to re-use and recycle is part of IKEA’s plan. Further resources: “The Drive to Decarbonize with Ramez Naam” (Exponential View podcast, 2020) “Ikea says it’s easier being green if you are private” (Financial Times, 2020) “Ikea Will Buy Back Used Furniture” (New York Times, 2020) @azeem @ExponentialView
09/12/2044m 0s

China’s Technology Transformation with Kai-Fu Lee

“China is no longer a copycat. It’s an innovator,” says Kai-Fu Lee, CEO of Sinovation Ventures and former president of Google China. He joins Azeem Azhar to explore China’s rapidly evolving tech scene, their embrace of automation, and their journey to AI dominance. They also explore: How Covid has dramatically accelerated the use of consumer-facing robots. Why office workers are most vulnerable to replacement by AI. Why China is so attractive for tech investors. Further resources: “China, an AI Superpower” (Exponential View podcast, 2018) “Kai-Fu Lee on how covid spurs China’s great robotic leap forward” (The Economist, 2020) “China Has Caught Up To US In AI, Says AI Expert Kai-Fu Lee” (Forbes, 2020) @kaifulee @azeem @ExponentialView
02/12/2044m 44s

How AI and Genomics Are Reshaping Farming

As the world population grows and climate change intensifies, how can we transform the food supply chain to be more sustainable and resilient? Mike Zelkind, co-founder and CEO of 80 Acres Farms, is building a network of hyper-efficient, high-tech, indoor farms to provide local communities with fresh, nutritious produce. He joins Azeem Azhar to discuss the challenges of disrupting the farming industry to innovate the future of food. They also discuss: Why fruits and vegetables are now bred for logistics, not for flavor and nutrition. How robotics and AI are being used to optimize yield, taste, and growing time. Why “stressing” plants is key to making them healthy. Further resources: “Robots are changing the future of farming” (CNET, 2020) “Growing higher – New ways to make vertical farming stack up” (The Economist, 2019) “Reinventing food: The coming disruption” (Exponential View report, 2020) @80AcresFarms @azeem @exponentialview Exponential View newsletter
11/11/2032m 52s

Understanding the Enduring Consequences of Covid-19

Azeem Azhar speaks with Yale Professor of Social and Natural Science, Internal Medicine & Biomedical Engineering, Nicholas Christakis, whose latest book “Apollo’s Arrow,” lays out the three phases of the world’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. Christakis argues that each phase will be fraught with risk and will leave an enduring impact on our society, economy, and politics. They also discuss: How a successful vaccine will influence global geopolitics as a soft power. How to deal with the pandemic on individual and community levels. How the “Swiss Cheese model” of accident causation can help policymakers build resilient prevention and response systems. Further resources: “Apollo’s Arrow: The Profound and Enduring Impact of Coronavirus on the Way We Live” (Christakis, 2020) “Building Better Cities After Covid-19” (Exponential View podcast, 2020) “Navigating Covid-19 as a Digital Republic” (Exponential View podcast, 2020) “A Swiss Cheese Approach to Pandemic Safety” (The Verge, 2020) @NAChristakis @azeem @exponentialview Exponential View newsletter
09/11/2039m 8s

Should We End the Data Economy?

Google and Facebook became multibillion-dollar juggernauts by stockpiling data and using it to sell advertising. Governments can now track their citizens en masse. Where will this “surveillance capitalism” lead? Dr. Carissa Véliz from the Institute for Ethics in AI at the University of Oxford joins Azeem Azhar to consider what’s wrong with the data economy, and to explore her bold proposals for ending it. They also discuss: Why Google’s founders were initially opposed to selling ads. Why privacy legislation stalled after 9/11. How personalized content fractures the public sphere. How the Nazis used population data to identify victims. Why we should ban trading in personal data. Further reading: “Surveillance Capitalism with Shoshana Zuboff” (Exponential View podcast, 2019) “Privacy matters because it empowers us all” (Aeon, 2020) “Digital privacy — can we reclaim it?” (Financial Times, 2020) “You’ve heard of tax havens. After Brexit, the UK could become a ‘data haven’” (The Guardian, 2020) @carissaveliz @azeem @exponentialview Exponential View newsletter
04/11/2036m 9s

Facebook’s Tech Chief: How We Built It and Where We’re Going

When Facebook’s Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer joined the company in 2008, it was about to hit 100 million users – today they serve 2.7 billion. He joins Azeem Azhar to explore how they planned for infrastructure resilience to cope with such explosive growth, and why Facebook has invested so deeply in AI and virtual reality. They also discuss: How Facebook increasingly uses AI systems to moderate content, including hate speech. What Facebook is doing to address the need for greater diversity in its workforce and culture. Why Facebook has committed to open source platforms such as PyTorch and React. Further reading: “Facebook’s A.I. Whiz Now Faces the Task of Cleaning It Up. Sometimes That Brings Him to Tears.” (New York Times, 2019) “Facebook AI can translate directly between any of 100 languages” (New Scientist, 2020) “Who controls the conversation – How to deal with free speech on social media” (The Economist 2020) @schrep @Azeem @exponentialview Exponential View newsletter
28/10/2044m 32s

DeepMind’s Journey from Games to Fundamental Science

Demis Hassabis, CEO and co-founder of DeepMind, dreams of using AI to solve fundamental problems in science. He joins Azeem Azhar to explore his own journey from world champion gamer to neuroscientist to building AI systems that can train themselves to solve real-world engineering challenges and, eventually, make Nobel-prize winning discoveries. They also discuss: Why games are the perfect training ground for AI algorithms. How DeepMind combines the dynamism of a startup with the “blue sky” creativity of a lab. Why “deep reinforcement learning” is the basis for artificial intelligence systems. Further reading: “How GPT-3 Is Shaping Our AI Future” (Exponential View podcast, 2020) “Inside DeepMind’s epic mission to solve science’s trickiest problem” (Wired, 2019) “Artificial general intelligence: Are we close, and does it even make sense to try?” (MIT Technology Review, 2020) @demishassabis @Azeem @exponentialview Exponential View newsletter
21/10/2044m 36s

How Taiwan is Using Technology to Foster Democracy (with Digital Minister Audrey Tang)

“Democracy is a technology. Like any […] technology, it gets better when more people strive to improve it,” says Audrey Tang, Taiwan’s first digital minister. Minister Tang joins Azeem Azhar to discuss how the Taiwanese Government is using the Internet as a space for civic participation, dialogue, and consensus building. They also discuss: How the open Internet helped Taiwan proactively tackle the Covid-19 outbreak at the beginning of the pandemic. Algorithmic co-governance, and how it can keep social media platforms in check. How the values of radical transparency and digital openness shape new forms of decision-making. Further reading: “How Taiwan’s Unlikely Digital Minister Hacked the Pandemic” (Wired, 2020) “How Taiwan’s ‘Civic Hackers’ Helped Find A New Way to Run a Country” (The Guardian, 2020) “The simple but ingenious system Taiwan uses to crowdsource its laws” (Technology Review, 2018) @audreyt @Azeem @exponentialview Exponential View newsletter
14/10/2041m 11s

How GPT-3 Is Shaping Our AI Future

OpenAI stunned the world with the release of Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3 (GPT-3), the world’s most impressive language-generating AI. OpenAI CEO Sam Altman joins Azeem Azhar to reflect on the huge attention generated by GPT-3 and what it heralds for the future research and development toward the creation of a true artificial general intelligence (AGI). They also explore: How AGI could be used both to reduce and exacerbate inequality. How governance models need to change to address the growing power of technology companies. How Altman’s experience leading Y Combinator informed his leadership of OpenAI. Further reading: “The messy, secretive reality behind OpenAI’s bid to save the world” (Wired, 2020) “Sam Altman’s Manifest Destiny” (New Yorker, 2016) “Governance in the Age of AI” (Exponential View Podcast, 2019) “Trillions of Words Analyzed, OpenAI Sets Loose AI Language Colossus” (Bloomberg, 2020) “OpenAI’s Text Generator Is Going Commercial” (WIRED, 2020) @Sama @Azeem @exponentialview Exponential View newsletter
07/10/2045m 8s

Season 4 Finale: Azeem’s Favorite Episodes and Trends to Watch

As we wrap up the season and head off to a short summer break, Azeem Azhar reflects on what he learned from his conversations with technology and business leaders like Microsoft’s Brad Smith, social activist Hilary Cottam, and historian David Runciman. Plus, he shares the trends he will keep his eye on across the summer. We’ll be back with Season 5 this fall. Further reading: “The Three Cleavages: Shaping the Post-Pandemic Order” (Exponential View, 2020) “Preparing for 2020” (Exponential View, 2020) @Azeem @exponentialview Exponential View newsletter
01/07/204m 52s

Reimagining Capitalism for a Broken World

More than half of the world’s population believe capitalism is doing more harm than good. But is it beyond repair, or can it be fixed from within? Harvard Business School professor Rebecca Henderson joins Azeem Azhar to share her vision of purpose-driven capitalism, where companies can make good profits by doing the right thing. They also explore: Why strong government and civil society are fundamental for healthy capitalism. Why highly-rated ESG companies have proved to be more profitable and resilient. The flaw in relying on a few philanthropists to fund public services. Further reading: “The Business Case for Saving Democracy” (Harvard Business Review, 2020) “ESG Passes the Covid Challenge” (Financial Times, 2020) “Reimagining Capitalism” (Rebecca Henderson, 2020) “The Innovation Economy” (Exponential View podcast, 2019) @RebeccaReCap @Azeem @exponentialview Exponential View newsletter SUPPORT US! If you love what we do, please take a moment to vote for us: British Podcast Awards, Listener’s Choice.
24/06/2039m 36s

Engineering Biology: The Next Frontier

The increasing capabilities of computing have changed biology from a realm dominated by scientific discovery to one that intersects with engineering and innovation. Vijay Pande, a General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz, joins Azeem Azhar to discuss the emergence of this novel industry at the interface of technology and biology. They also discuss: The most promising technologies to combat Covid-19 that are being tested. Why next-gen biotech companies look increasingly like tech startups. Why our long-term health depends on regulators and society engaging with this tech. Further reading: “The Next Trillion Dollar Market” (Exponential View podcast, 2020) “Drug Discovery in the Age of Coronavirus” (Vijay Pande, 2020) @VijayPande @Azeem @exponentialview Exponential View newsletter SUPPORT US! If you love what we do, please take a moment to vote for us: British Podcast Awards, Listener’s Choice.
17/06/2038m 49s

Rethinking the Innovation Ecosystem

Starting a company with a stranger is not the traditional path for many entrepreneurs, but this is one of the basic principles of Entrepreneur First (EF), the world’s leading talent investor. Matt Clifford, EF’s CEO and co-founder, joins Azeem Azhar to explain why he invests in founders before they have a business idea and other novel approaches to venture capital and innovation. They also discuss: The idea of the “venture customer” as a key player in the innovation ecosystem. Why Europe might have the edge when it comes to the next generation of startups. The example of Singapore’s government as an active driver of innovation. Further reading: “Coronavirus might spell the end of tech hubs. That’s a good thing” (Wired, 2020) “The psychology of Silicon Valley” (Exponential View, 2020) “Building Unicorns in Europe” (Exponential View podcast, 2019) @MatthewClifford @azeem @exponentialview Exponential View newsletter SUPPORT US! If you love what we do, please take a moment to vote for us: British Podcast Awards, Listener’s Choice.
10/06/2042m 7s

Using AI to Decentralize Organizations

Operating a company with no managers, where everyone chooses their work, salary, and holiday entitlement may sound like chaos. But Daniel Hulme, CEO of Satalia, and his team of 250 people are making it productive. Daniel joins Azeem Azhar to discuss what a company that runs as a decentralize swarm looks like in practice. They discuss: The role of artificial intelligence and open innovation in a swarm organization. How a decentralized business creates accountability to ensure strong output. The potential for the model to scale to larger organizations, and even countries. Further reading: “Swarm Intelligence: How Can We Harness Collective Human Intelligence?” (Exponential View, 2019) “Making the Decision to Decentralize” (Harvard Business School, 2004) “Idea: Decentralisation” (The Economist, 2019) @TheSolveEngine @azeem @exponentialview Exponential View newsletter
03/06/2037m 43s

Empowering Workers in the Digital Future

Companies increasingly use digital systems to hire, fire, and monitor their employees. But who is keeping employers in check? Former director at the service workers union, UNI Global, and one of the most influential thinkers in the ethics of AI, Dr. Christina Colclough joins Azeem Azhar to explore how to ensure that the increasingly digital workplace of the near future protects workers. They also discuss: How Covid-19 has affected the most vulnerable members of the global workforce. How management by algorithm erodes trust in the workplace. Why trade unions should employ data analysts and digital experts. Further reading: “When algorithms hire and fire” (Equal Times, 2018) “Welcome Back to the Office. Your Every Move Will Be Watched.” (Wall Street Journal, 2020) “Time to Deliver Justice to Delivery Workers” (New York Review of Books, 2020) Related EV discussions mentioned in this episode: Laetitia Vitaud, Mariana Mazzucato, Meredith Whittaker, Binyamin Applebaum. @CjColclough @azeem @exponentialview Exponential View newsletter
27/05/2041m 28s

Building Better Cities After Covid-19

Cities drive prosperity. But during the Covid-19 pandemic, they also have become crucibles of disease. Sameh Wahba, the World Bank’s Global Director of Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience, and Land, joins Azeem Azhar to discuss how the World Bank partners with technologists to help cities on the frontline of the pandemic, and how the dynamism of urban density can be harnessed to build livable and inclusive cities of the future. They also address: Why the inexorable trend towards urbanization will not be stopped by Covid-19. Why more densely populated cities are not necessarily the worst affected. How satellite imagery, 3D maps, and AI are helping cities manage transmission hotspots. Further reading: “Now Is the Time to Embrace Density” (New York Times, 2020) “Cities are on the front lines of COVID-19” (World Bank Blog, 2020) “Competitive Cities for Jobs and Growth: What, Who and How” (Global Urban Lecture, 2017) @SamehNWahba @azeem @exponentialview Exponential View newsletter Note: We updated one sentence in this interview for clarity.
20/05/2041m 25s

Fei-Fei Li’s Mission to Transform Healthcare AI

After ImageNet transformed AI vision, superstar Stanford computer science professor Fei-Fei Li has turned her attention to advancing healthcare. Fei-Fei Li, co-director of Stanford’s Human-Centered AI Institute, is leading the next generation of interdisciplinary technologists. She joins Azeem Azhar to explore her journey from pioneering AI vision to her current focus on healthcare, and to discuss the need to craft AI systems that enhance human flourishing. They also discuss: How AI technologies could support the isolated and elderly during the pandemic. Why machine values must mirror human values, and how to embed that connection. What allowed Li’s — and the industry’s — early naivete to the dangers of facial recognition. Why Li’s health technologists must work with doctors and patients, not just medical data. Further reading: “Fei-Fei Li’s Quest to Make AI Better for Humanity” (Wired, 2018) “AI Pioneer Fei-Fei Li on Building Benevolent Machines” (Wall Street Journal, 2019) “AI, Accountability, and Power” (Exponential View podcast with Meredith Whitaker, 2019) @drfeifei @azeem @exponentialview Exponential View newsletter
13/05/2035m 40s

How Nasdaq is Growing the World’s Digital Marketplace

Nasdaq has evolved from being the world’s first digital marketplace to a global technology company. CEO Adena Friedman joins Azeem Azhar to discuss how their digital operation has become the model for markets around the world, the surprising importance of regulation as a driver of innovation, and how Nasdaq prepared to keep functioning during the pandemic lockdown. They also discuss: The infrastructure that allows Nasdaq to reliably maintain data rates thousands of times faster than the internet and traffic volumes many times higher than Google searches. How smart regulation played a vital role in the evolution of Nasdaq’s resilience. Why the Nordic states exemplify a healthy balance between government and business. Further reading: “What’s the Future of Capitalism?” (TED Talk, 2019) “Interview with Adena Friedman on COVID-19” (The Economic Club of Washington DC, 2020) “Technology Companies and the New Recession” (Exponential View podcast, 2020) @adenatfriedman @azeem @exponentialview Exponential View newsletter
06/05/2037m 39s

The Digital Future of the Supply Chain

Global supply chains are efficient, but fragile. How can we make them more robust, flexible, and sustainable? Pamela Mar, EVP for Knowledge and Applications at the Fung Group, joins Azeem Azhar to explore the technological and economic changes needed to improve these vital networks of production and distribution. They discuss: The lessons about mass production and specialization we’re learning with the Covid-19 crisis. How digitization can build trust along the supply chain. Why automation is an opportunity to move from mass production to mass customization. Further reading: “Reinventing Fashion” (Chatham House Panel Discussion, 2018) “Meet the Eco-Business A-Listers: Pamela Mar” (Eco-Business, 2020) “The State of Fashion – Coronavirus Update” (McKinsey and Business of Fashion, 2020) @azeem @exponentialview Exponential View newsletter
29/04/2033m 40s

Lessons for an Aging World

For the first time in history, there are more people on the planet over 65 years old, than under five. How do we adapt to this demographic transformation? Camilla Cavendish, award-winning journalist and former Director of Public Policy for UK Prime Minister David Cameron, joins Azeem Azhar to explore the immense cost and new potential of this brave old world. They discuss: The huge wealth gap opening up between older and younger people. What we can learn from the Okinawan concept of “ikigai” or “life purpose”. Why meaningful relationships are the single most important factor in long-term wellbeing. Further reading: “The New Science of Aging” (Exponential View podcast, 2020) “Extra Time: 10 Lessons for An Ageing World Camilla Cavendish” (2019) “We are prioritising the old and will have to make it up to the young” (Financial Times, 2020) “The Three Cleavages” (Azeem Azhar, 2020) @CamCavendish @azeem @exponentialview Exponential View newsletter
27/04/2034m 9s

The New Science of Aging

We have long assumed aging is inevitable, but is it? Professor David Sinclair, founder of the Sinclair Lab at Harvard’s Medical School and author of the bestselling “Lifespan: Why We Age — and Why We Don’t Have To,” joins Azeem Azhar to discuss emerging research that promises to radically slow down aging. Their conversation covers: What the Information Theory of Aging is and how it shifts the paradigm on biomarkers of aging. Why periodically stressing your body can promote health and longevity. Which supplements might arrest the three biochemical pathways implicated in aging. Further reading: “Why We Age and Why We Don’t Have To” (Talks at Google, 2019) “This is why we need to start treating ageing as a disease” (Wired, 2018) “Has Harvard’s David Sinclair Found the Fountain of Youth?” (Boston Magazine, 2017) @davidasinclair @azeem @exponentialview Exponential View newsletter
22/04/2047m 32s

Navigating Covid-19 in a Digital Republic (with President of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid)

In Estonia, the only public service not available online is marriage. Dubbed the “digital republic”, Estonia has the most advanced e-government in the world and nurtures a vibrant start-up community. Kersti Kaljulaid, President of Estonia, joins Azeem Azhar to explore how legal and technological innovations have helped to build e-Estonia, and how this digital republic is navigating the Covid-19 pandemic. They explore: How Covid-19 could accelerate technology development and implementation. How Estonia has achieved astonishing transparency and privacy in digital government. How Estonia combats constant cyber threats. Further reading: “Estonia, the Digital Republic” (New Yorker, 2017) “Why Estonia Was Poised to Handle How a Pandemic Would Change Everything” (New Yorker, 2020) “Can AI Be a Fair Judge in Court? Estonia Thinks So” (Wired, 2019) The Official Website for E-Estonia @KerstiKaljulaid @azeem @exponentialview Exponential View newsletter
20/04/2038m 20s

The Drive to Decarbonize

Clean energy is now cheaper than coal, and its uptake is accelerating. But can we get to zero emissions in time? Investor and technologist Ramez Naam joins Azeem Azhar to discuss how technological innovation and economies of scale are accelerating us towards a zero-carbon future, as well as the major challenges that remain. They also cover: The virtuous cycle that drove the falling price of clean energy. How the Covid-19 pandemic could be an opportunity for massive government investment in clean energy infrastructure. Three strategies to overcome the renewable energy storage problem. Why industrial production of steel, concrete, and plastics remains the biggest challenge. Further reading: “The Third Phase of Clean Energy Will Be the Most Disruptive Yet” (Rameez Naam, 2019) “Solar Power Is Sustainable for the Economy, Too” (Wired, 2020) “How Germany helped make renewable energy cheap for the rest of the world” (Vox, 2020) “How industry can move toward a low-carbon future” (McKinsey, 2018) @ramez @azeem @exponentialview Exponential View newsletter
15/04/2040m 8s

Inside Alphabet’s X: Nurturing Radical Creativity

X, Alphabet Inc.’s “moonshot factory,” dares to solve big problems with breakthrough technologies. Most of their projects fail. But some — like self-driving cars and the AI that powers Google — are already changing the world. CEO Astro Teller joins Azeem Azhar to explain how he built a culture of radical creativity, where employees are encouraged to dream — and to fail — big. In this episode they explore: Why allowing the right amount of chaos is vital for flourishing creativity. The five basic principles at the heart of X. Why innovation dies if only success is rewarded. What inspiration Astro takes from Willy Wonka. Further reading: “Inside X, Google’s top-secret moonshot factory” (Wired, 2020) “Astro Teller on How to Handle Failure” (Wired, 2019) “Astro Teller, ‘Captain of Moonshots’ at Alphabet’s X, Is on a Roll” (WSJ, 2018) @astroteller @Theteamatx @azeem @exponentialview Exponential View newsletter
08/04/2038m 5s

The Next Trillion-Dollar Market

Biotech is gathering pace: AI systems are simulating novel materials, new genomic technologies are enabling precision bioengineering, and automation is executing production on a massive scale. Softbank Vision Fund Senior Managing Partner, Deep Nishar tells Azeem Azhar why biotech is the next trillion-dollar market, and what breakthroughs to expect. In this episode they also discuss: Why emerging biotech and AI, together, would help control and stop coronavirus-like outbreaks in the future. What new materials and medicines are coming out of the “virtuous cycle” of research and funding that is now taking off. What the rest of the world should learn from China’s vigorous development of AI technologies. Further reading: “As Zymergen Buys EnEvolv, Biological Manufacturing Is Ready To Transform How Industry Makes Everything From Airplanes To Air Jordans” (Forbes, 2020) “AI just found a new type of antibiotics” (Vox, 2020) @deepnishar @azeem @exponentialview Exponential View newsletter
01/04/2038m 18s

Technology Companies and the New Recession

The world is facing an economic crisis never seen before, says equity analyst Pierre Ferragu. Consumer demand remains strong and supply infrastructure is still healthy, but both are in lockdown and unable to function. In this wide-ranging conversation with Azeem Azhar, Ferragu explains how the pandemic will affect the technology industry and its major players. They also discuss: How “partial insuring” and “China + n” strategies could make for more resilient supply chains. How the crisis is accelerating the next generation of technologies. The winners and the losers of the pandemic. Further reading: “Tesla has yet another biggest bull on Wall Street. Here’s why he thinks the stock could surge 57%. (TSLA)” (Markets Insider, 2020) “Tech Sectors and Stocks to Avoid in a Recession” (The Street, 2020) @p_ferragu @azeem @exponentialview Exponential View newsletter
30/03/2035m 24s

Science Fights the Coronavirus

The exponential growth of COVID-19 is threatening to bring down the world economy. To understand the pandemic, Azeem Azhar chats with professor Yaneer Bar-Yam, President of the New England Complex Systems Institute, who worked on the response to Ebola with pioneering complex-systems mathematics. In this conversation, they discuss: Why we need to crush, rather than flatten, the curve. What lessons the Ebola outbreak offers us for dealing with COVID-19. What complexity mathematics offers beyond traditional epidemiological modelling. Further reading: “A Better Way: Building Capacity, Adaptation and Resilience” (Exponential View, 2020) End Coronavirus: Map, Guidelines, Community (2020) “Coronavirus: The Hammer and the Dance” (Tomas Pueyo, 2020) “Transition to Extinction: Pandemics in a Connected World” (Yaneer Bar-Yam, 2016) @yaneerbaryam @azeem @exponentialview Exponential View newsletter Note: a previous version of this episode included an excerpted conversation with Dr. Adam Kucharski, author of “The Rules of Contagion: How Things Spread – and Why They Stop.” That excerpt has now been removed, and the full conversation with Dr. Kucharski can be found here:
24/03/2040m 35s

The Redecentralized Web

Data monopolies and abuses of privacy are only some of the flaws of Web 2.0. Muneeb Ali, co-founder and CEO of Blockstack, tells Azeem Azhar how the emerging Web 3.0 solves these challenges and gives users more control over their digital existence. In this conversation, they discuss: Why property rights and privacy are intimately linked. The emergence of a novel app ecosystem on the new internet. The role of the new crypto economy in the transformation of the internet. Further reading: “Tech Thinks It Has a Fix for the Problem it Created: Blockchain” (The New York Times, 2018) “The Emergence of Web 3.0” (Hackernoon, 2019) “Can’t Be Evil vs. Don’t Be Evil” (Exponential View newsletter, 2020) “Beyond Digital Gold” (Exponential View newsletter, 2020) @muneeb @azeem @exponentialview Exponential View newsletter
18/03/2034m 35s

Welfare in the Exponential Age

Existing social institutions are not adequate to meet the challenges of the exponential age. Social entrepreneur and author, Hilary Cottam, proposes a radical overhaul of the welfare system. In discussion with Azeem Azhar, she also argues that we must reject the old economic model for humanity, Homo econonomicus (guided by ration to maximize economic gains), and embrace Sapiens integra, a new theoretical human with stronger connections to nature and other humans. In this conversation, they discuss: The New Industrialists and their role in the social revolution. How a switch from the mindset of efficiency to the mindset of care can transform our institutions. The role of new technologies in this transformation. Further reading: “Radical Help” (Hilary Cottam, 2019) “Revolution 5.0: A Social Manifesto” (Hilary Cottam, 2019) “The Future of Public Service and Governance” (Exponential View podcast, 2018) @HilaryCottam @azeem @exponentialview Exponential View newsletter
11/03/2034m 3s

How Humans Judge Machines

“People judge humans by their intentions, and machines by the outcome,” says physicist and author Cesar Hidalgo. He is one of the creators of the field of Complexity Economics. Hidalgo joins Azeem Azhar to explain how he applies this complexity approach to understanding how we judge decision-making in machines. They also discuss: What the Shenzhen electronics market reveals about the economics of megacities. How we unconsciously ascribe morality to machines, and what this implies for innovation. Algorithmic aversion and how it will influence the implementation of AI. Further reading: “A Bold Idea to Replace Politicians” (TED, 2018) “The Autonomous Economy” (Exponential View podcast, 2019) @cesifoti @azeem @exponentialview Exponential View newsletter
04/03/2042m 3s

Can Airtable Democratize Software Development?

Airtable, valued at $1.1 billion, is carving out a new product category that could compete with cloud computing in value. The founder of Airtable, Howie Liu, joins Azeem Azhar to discuss what creating a new market category looks like in practice. They also discuss: How Airtable is democratizing software development. Why investors were initially skeptical, and how Howie got them on board. How Airtable treats its competition, including the tech giants. Further reading: “Move Slow and Make Things: Airtable’s Howie Liu Built A $1B Software Giant Emphasizing Substance Over Speed” (Forbes, 2018) “No-one understood our idea, but now it’s worth over $1bn“ ” (BBC, Nov. 4, 2019) “100 People Transforming Business“ ” (Business Insider, 2019) @howietl @azeem @exponentialview Exponential View newsletter
26/02/2030m 18s

Geopolitics, Technology, and Risk

Some would argue that the world is more volatile today than it was during the Cold War, and technology is catalyzing a number of fundamental changes to the world order. Geopolitical expert Ian Bremmer joins Azeem Azhar to dissect the top risks for the decade ahead. They also discuss: How technology is influencing global decoupling. How the China-U.S. relationship will shape the world in the next decade. How we should think about global challenges in a multipolar world. Further reading: “Top Risks for 2020” (Eurasia Group, Jan. 6, 2020) “Preparing for 2030” (Exponential View, Jan. 5, 2020) “Predictions for 2030” (Talking Politics, January 2020) @ianbremmer @azeem @exponentialview Exponential View newsletter
19/02/2042m 0s

Surviving a Crisis During the Techlash

Crisis management is not only about cleaning up after a disaster, but also about establishing a healthy company culture. Judy Smith, renowned crisis management expert, joins Azeem Azhar to explore why large tech companies seem to stumble into crises as they mature, and what every founder can do to avoid catastrophic reputation damage. They also discuss: Why corporate culture is the most important element of good reputation management. How to navigate a crisis while focusing on growth. How to communicate controversial issues to different stakeholders. Further reading: “Managing High-Stakes Situations: 5 Lessons from the Pentagon” (HBR, July, 2019) “‘Scandal’ Finale: Judy Smith, the Inspiration for Olivia Pope” (NPR, April, 2018) @JudySmith_ @azeem @exponentialview Exponential View newsletter
12/02/2032m 29s

Leading a Technology Giant During the Techlash

Microsoft’s president, Brad Smith, argues for multilateral cooperation across borders and sectors in order to advance the regulatory framework for technology companies. In this conversation, he joins Azeem Azhar to discuss: Why regulation is necessary to advance innovation. How to maintain greater purpose at a company’s core while scaling. Why employees organizing is a positive force in every company. The case against the facial recognition ban. Further reading: “Tools and Weapons: The Promise and Peril of the Digital Age” (Brad Smith, 2019) “The Real Reason Tech Companies Want Regulation” (Exponential View newsletter, Jan. 26, 2020) “Thinking About Innovation” (Exponential View newsletter, Dec. 28, 2019) “Tech Firms Need More Regulation” (The Atlantic, Sept. 9, 2019) @bradsmi @azeem @exponentialview Exponential View newsletter
05/02/2035m 47s

Superintelligence Already Rules the World

Artificial decision-making machines have been with us for hundreds of years. We call them corporations and states, and they have hugely accelerated the development of our societies. That’s the argument David Runciman makes in conversation with Azeem Azhar in this week’s episode. Runciman is professor of politics at Cambridge University and host of the “Talking Politics” podcast. He and Azeem discuss what this reframing of artificial intelligence can teach us about navigating the hurdles it presents. In this podcast, they also discuss: How the current dynamics between private enterprises and states will shape the future of technology. Why the creators of artificial intelligence should account for politics when creating and implementing their technology. How generational politics will shape the 2020 U.S. elections. Further reading: “Preparing for 2030” (Exponential View, Jan. 5, 2020) “How Democracy Ends review — is people politics doomed?” (The Guardian, May 20, 2018) “Tony Blair: Governing in the Age of AI” (Exponential View podcast, Oct. 2, 2019) @TPpodcast @azeem @exponentialview Exponential View newsletter
22/01/2039m 11s

Building Unicorns in Europe

Seedcamp has backed close to 400 European startups at the seed stage. The fund’s co-founder and managing partner Reshma Sohoni joins Azeem Azhar to discuss what it takes to build a thriving startup ecosystem outside Silicon Valley, and how some of Europe’s most successful startups were created. In this episode, they also discuss: The “next big thing” from an investor’s perspective. How regulators use “sandboxes” to help entrepreneurs innovate. How the cultural diversity of Europe benefits both investors and founders. Further reading: “2020 Vision: predictions from 28 big-hitters in Europe’s startup scene” (Sifted, Dec. 16, 2019) “Why Silicon Valley Investors Are Bonkers For European Startups” (Forbes, Dec. 2, 2019) @rsohoni @azeem @exponentialview Exponential View newsletter
18/12/1934m 6s

The State of Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology has long been hailed as a means of eradicating diseases and delivering other healthcare solutions. University of Oxford professor Sonia Contera, a nanotechnology pioneer, joins Azeem Azhar to discuss how scientific and technological developments in her field are bringing about another tech revolution that will change our lives. In this podcast, they also discuss: Which nanotechnology applications are already available in healthcare and materials engineering. How machine learning and AI are crucial in the new era of nanotechnology. How advances in biological physics are reshaping our understanding of life. Further reading: “Structurally designed DNA star creates ultra-sensitive test for dengue virus” (, Nov. 25, 2019) “The ‘blob’: zoo showcases slime mold with 720 sexes that can heal itself in minutes” (The Guardian, Oct. 16, 2019) “Nano Comes to Life with Prof Sonia Contera” (Oxford Martin School, Dec. 4, 2019) @soniacontera @azeem @exponentialview Exponential View newsletter
11/12/1931m 47s

Cybersecurity in the Age of AI

AI is reshaping the landscape of cyber defense. As new security fissures open up, threat analysts deploy more powerful tools to prevent and respond to attacks. Nicole Eagan, CEO of Darktrace, joins Azeem Azhar to discuss the escalating arms race in this new cybersecurity landscape. In this podcast, they also discuss: What security experts can learn from the human immune system response. Why trust in automated decision-making technology is a crucial step in implementing AI-first security systems. How a parked Tesla in your company parking lot can be a security flaw for the entire organization. Further reading: “Louisiana Was Hit by Ryuk, Triggering Another Cyber Emergency” (ArsTechnica, Nov. 21, 2019) “AI is the Latest Weapon Cybercriminals are Exploiting” (World Economic Forum, Sept. 25, 2019) “Advancing AI in Health Care: It’s All About Trust” (STAT, Oct. 23, 2019) @darktrace @azeem @exponentialview Exponential View newsletter
04/12/1927m 13s

Growth and the Energy Transition with Vaclav Smil

For the first time in history, we have to tackle a truly global problem: climate breakdown. Energy transition away from fossil fuels is imperative, but there is no consensus on how to achieve this. The preeminent expert on energy history and development, Vaclav Smil, joins Azeem Azhar to explore the limits of renewables, the consequences of megacities, and why waste reduction is a game-changer. In this podcast, they also discuss: Whether the massive amounts of information we gather today has purpose. What possibilities Moore’s Law predicts for biology and chemistry. The limits of nuclear power. Further reading: “What I See When I See a Wind Turbine” (IEEE Spectrum, Vaclav Smil, March 2, 2016) “Thank Maxwell for Cellphones” (IEEE Spectrum, Vaclav Smil, Feb. 28, 2017) Inside Bill’s Brain (Netflix, 2019) @azeem @exponentialview Exponential View newsletter
27/11/1936m 7s

AI, Accountability, and Power

In November 2018 mass protests by Google workers drew attention to deep problems with bias and discrimination at some of the largest Silicon Valley companies. Meredith Whittaker, co-director of the AI Now Institute and one of the organizers of the Google Walkout, joins Azeem Azhar to discuss how technology workers can influence progress in culture and technology. In this podcast, they also discuss: How discriminatory culture influences the values embedded in AI. Whether ethics officers can actually influence firms and their products. Why responsible AI design must include recognition of the shadow workforce helping to create it. Further reading: “Discriminating Systems: Gender, Race, and Power in AI” (AI Now Institute, April 2019) “Exposing the Bias Embedded in Tech” (The New York Times, June 17, 2019) “’People Fix Things, Tech Doesn’t Fix Things’” (Tech Crunch, October 21, 2019) @mer__edith @azeem @exponentialview Exponential View newsletter
20/11/1930m 36s

Technology and the New World of Work

The nature of work is undergoing tremendous changes, influenced by aging populations, the digital revolution, and a paradigm shift away from Fordism. Laetitia Vitaud, author of “Du Labeur à l’ouvrage (From Labour to Work),” and Azeem Azhar discuss how the reinvention of craftsmanship is creating a new deal to ensure more equitable, sustainable, and fulfilling jobs. In this podcast, they also discuss: How Silicon Valley is bringing back the values of craftsmanship. What the single most important skill in the new world of work is. Why the jobs of tomorrow will largely be in proximity services. Further reading: “The future of work is in proximity services… But first we need to speak about work and gender” (Medium, Laetitia Vitaud, Oct. 24, 2019) “The Future of Work and Democracy in the Information Age” (Exponential View episode featuring Matthew Taylor, Nov. 7, 2018) “Bubbles, Golden Ages, and Tech Revolutions” (Exponential View episode featuring Carlota Perez, Oct. 16, 2019) @vitolae @azeem @exponentialview Exponential View newsletter
13/11/1935m 30s

How Free-Market Economists Got It Wrong

The late 1960s saw a revolution in public policy, as economists began to play an important role in shaping politics. On the wings of ideas popularized by Milton Friedman and other economists, the world was forever changed by free markets, dominant corporations, and stakeholder capitalism. Azeem Azhar discusses this with New York Times editorial writer and author Binyamin Appelbaum, whose recent book, “The Economists’ Hour,” is a deep dive into the history of ideas that formed capitalism, as we know it. In this podcast, they also discuss: Why supply-side economists were able to drive home their ideologies with such success. Why the theories that formed the foundation of free-market economic policies have failed in practice. What kinds of solutions economists can offer during this period of explosive technological change. Further reading: “Blame Economists for the Mess We’re In” (The New York Times, Binyamin Appelbaum, Aug. 24, 2019) “Milton Friedman Was Wrong” (The Atlantic, Eric Posner, Aug. 22, 2019) “The Economists’ Hour: False Prophets, Free Markets, and the Fracture of Society, Review” (Binyamin Appelbaum) @BCAppelbaum @azeem @exponentialview Exponential View newsletter
06/11/1936m 43s

Beyond Deep Learning with Gary Marcus

Gary Marcus is well known as a deep learning critic. A neuroscientist, entrepreneur, and the author of “Rebooting AI: Building Artificial Intelligence We Can Trust,” Marcus believes that researchers need to move past deep learning in order to make true advances in machine intelligence. Marcus and Azeem Azhar discuss why, how, and when we can expect progress. In this podcast, they also discuss: What newborn ibexes can teach us about intelligence and learning. How deep learning widens the gap between big companies and startups. What we need for a breakthrough in AI. Further reading: “How to Build Artificial Intelligence We Can Trust” (The New York Times, Gary Marcus and Ernest Davis, Sep. 6, 2019) “Deep Learning: A Critical Appraisal” (Cornell University, Gary Marcus, Jan. 2, 2018) @garymarcus @azeem @exponentialview Exponential View newsletter
30/10/1936m 11s

AI and the Future of Warfare

In our rapidly changing world, peace is increasingly fragile. The only way to ensure we keep it and foster it around the world is to educate citizens to become its resilient stewards. General Sir Richard Barrons is the former Commander of the UK’s Joint Forces Command, and he joins Azeem Azhar to discuss why the definition of warfare is changing with the development of technology and why our society’s resilience in the face of threats to peace must be founded on education. In this episode, they also discuss: What societal resilience is, and how it can ensure our survival. What better leadership looks like in the exponential age. The common denominator between conflict and quinoa. Further reading: “How to Stay Informed on the Future of War” (Quartz, Tim Fernholz) “The Future of War is Already Here” (New York Times, P. W. Singer, Sep. 18, 2019) @azeem @exponentialview Exponential View newsletter Wychwood Partners
23/10/1939m 4s

Bubbles, Golden Ages, and Tech Revolutions

How do we exploit the technological revolution for green growth and global development? Celebrated economist, author, and scholar, Carlota Perez joins Azeem Azhar to discuss the nature of techno-economic paradigm shifts and current progress in the cycle of technological revolution. Perez is the author of one of the most influential books on the subject, “Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital.” In this podcast, Carlota and Azeem also discuss: The new welfare state. How universal basic income could increase innovation. If we’re on the verge of a new Golden Age. Further reading: “Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital: The Dynamics of Bubbles and Golden Ages” (Carlota Perez, 2002) “A Smart Green ‘European Way of Life’: the Path for Growth, Jobs and Wellbeing” (Beyond The Technological Revolution, Carlota Perez and Tamsin Murray-Leach, March, 2018) “The Two Innovation Economies: Follower and Frontier” (Bill Janeway, Sept. 9, 2013) @carlotaprzperez @azeem @exponentialview
16/10/1939m 27s

Creating an AI-First Business with Andrew Ng

Artificial General Intelligence won’t be with us for at least another 100 years, but former Baidu chief scientist and Google Brain cofounder Andrew Ng argues that AI will radically alter most industries within the coming decades. Ng joins Azeem Azhar to discuss the progress of AI and how it’s altering businesses and the future of work. They also discuss: How billionaires decide to invest in overly ambitious and unrealistic ideas. What makes a company an AI-first business. Why you shouldn’t start with strategy first when implementing AI into your business. Further reading: “How to Choose Your First AI Project” (HBR, February 2019) “AI Guru Andrew Ng on the Job Market of Tomorrow” (Wall Street Journal, October 2018) @andrewyng @azeem @exponentialview
09/10/1934m 51s

Tony Blair: Governing in the Age of AI

If the UK’s former Prime Minister, Tony Blair, was in the government today, he says that he would mobilize his whole office around the technology revolution. Tony Blair and Azeem Azhar discuss why the tech leaders must collaborate with policy makers — whether they want to or not — and why regulating big technology is only a small part of the solution. In this podcast, Tony and Azeem also discuss: Why Silicon Valley needs to share societal responsibility with the public sector How the government needs to change to be at the forefront of the technology revolution How the power of the technology industry has become its greatest liability Further reading: “Tony Blair Foreword: Technology for the Many” (Institute for Global Change, November 2017) “Regulating Big Tech” (Exponential View, September 2019) “Majority Worldwide Say Their Society is Broken — An Increasing Feeling Among Britons” (IPSOS, September 2019) @InstituteGC @azeem @exponentialview
02/10/1933m 43s

Introducing Season 4

In the new season of the Exponential View podcast, Azeem Azhar speaks to an eclectic group of leaders in technology, business, politics, economics, and science to help us break through the complexity of our world and understand how it’s changing. The world’s top AI researchers discuss what the technology is really capable of, a 4-star general shares his concerns about the future of war in the AI age, and a leading economist untangles what economics has got wrong about the tech revolution. Azeem digs into nano-tech, the future of work, and the nature of complexity. Coming on October 2, 2019!
25/09/193m 0s

Engineering Biology

Engineering biology holds the key to improving the lives of people across the world. It promises solutions to disease, food production, and pollution amongst other deep-seated problems. But this engineering is immensely difficult. CEO of LabGenius James Field, partner at NFX Gigi Levy-Weiss, partner at the investment firm Episode 1 Carina Namih, and science writer Oliver Morton come together to discuss the merging field of bioengineering. Carina, James, Gigi, and Oliver also discuss: How machine learning is improving life sciences and healthcare. Experiences of fundraising and hiring for biology companies in the UK and the U.S. The role of bio-engineering in solving major global problems, including pollution. Further reading: “35+ Companies Using Synthetic Biology To Rethink Everything From Plastics To Fabrics To Fertilizers” (CB Insights, Nov. 8, 2018) “Where Are All the Biotech Startups Raising?” (Tech Crunch, 2019) “The New Era of Life” (CognitionX, June 24, 2019) Carina Namih @CarinaNamih Oliver Morton @Eaterofsun James Field @jejfield Gigi Levy-Weiss @GigiLevy
14/08/1923m 51s

Governance in the Age of AI

Artificial intelligence is a powerful technology with capabilities that are open to use by state and non-state actors. In this conversation Azeem Azhar, De Kai, and Joanna Bryson discuss how governance should adapt as our institutions are challenged by unintended consequences of the technology and its creators. Joanna, De Kai, and Azeem also discuss: Why rule-based systems fall short of protecting us against the unintended consequences of technology. The value of cross-cultural dialogue in establishing common values to guide the governance of AI globally. The role of the leading technology companies in regulating the industry. Further reading: “Designing Responsible AI” (The Exponential View podcast, April 10, 2019) “Google Needs to be Treated Like A World Power” (Business Insider, June 12, 2019) “Translation: Chinese Expert Group Offers ‘Governance Principles’ for ‘Responsible AI’” (New America, June 2019) “Governance and Accountability in an AI World” (CognitionX, June 12, 2019) Joanna Bryson @j2bryson De Kai Azeem Azhar @azeem
14/08/1924m 22s

Disrupting the Insurance Industry with AI

“At a fundamental level, insurance is a social good. It’s about a community of people pooling their resources to help the weakest members in their hour of need. That should be the most loved industry, but it’s 180 degrees away from that,” says Daniel Schreiber, the cofounder and CEO of the InsureTech startup Lemonade, in conversation with Azeem Azhar. Daniel and Azeem also discuss: How insurance is a business of probability theory, which is why the sector as a whole will only get more susceptible to transformations through AI, big data, and machine learning. Why the corporate cultures of legacy insurance firms are well-adapted for preservation, but ill-adapted for business transformation, innovation, and the transition from a policy-centric to customer-centric business model. Integrating AI into behind-the-scenes processes, including regulation, feature development, and production. Further reading: “First, Fire All The Brokers: How Lemonade, A Millennial-Loved Fintech Unicorn, Is Disrupting The Insurance Business” (Forbes, May 2, 2019) “Insurers in UK and US lagging behind in divesting from coal” (The Guardian, Dec. 3, 2018) “Why Lemonade Won’t Invest In Coal” (Lemonade, Sept. 11, 2018) “How A.I. Is Transforming the Insurance Industry” (Bloomberg, April 9, 2018) Daniel Schreiber @daschreiber Azeem Azhar @azeem
14/08/1931m 33s

Beneficial Artificial Intelligence

In 2015, computer scientist and AI pioneer, Stuart Russell, became the first signatory of an open letter calling on researchers to ensure “that increasingly capable AI systems are robust and beneficial.” Stuart joins Azeem Azhar to discuss the possible AI futures and how to ensure technology serves the good of humanity. Stuart and Azeem also discuss: The nature of intelligence and re-creating intelligence in machines Algorithmic fairness and regulating AI Embodied intelligence Using AI to reach the UN Sustainable Development Goals Further reading: Stuart Russell, “The Long-Term Future of AI” (Berkeley) “Moral technology” (Aeon, March 21, 2019) “Concerns of an Artificial Pioneer” (Quanta Magazine, April 21, 2015) “Research Priorities for Robust and Beneficial Artificial Intelligence” (Future of Life Institute) Stuart Russell Azeem Azhar @azeem
26/06/1947m 37s

Surveillance Capitalism

Shoshana Zuboff coined the term “surveillance capitalism” to describe the new way companies claim private human experience as products. Shoshana joins Azeem Azhar to discuss the emergence of surveillance capitalism, its pernicious and beneficial aspects, and the future for human autonomy and agency. Shoshana and Azeem also discuss: The evolution of the first surveillance capitalist. The economics of scale, scope, and action as forms of harm. How we can safeguard the beneficial aspects of technology, while preventing its covert use by surveillance capitalists. Further reading: “The Secrets of Surveillance Capitalism” (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, March 2016) “Beyond Surveillance Capitalism: Reclaiming Digital Sovereignty” (Decode, October 2018) “Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks” (PNAS, June 2014) Shoshana Zuboff @shoshanazuboff Azeem Azhar @azeem
19/06/1933m 21s

AI’s Near Future

For Jürgen Schmidhuber, a recognized pioneer in AI, artificial intelligence is much more than another technological revolution. He sees it as the opportunity to transcend humanity and biology. In this conversation, Jürgen and Azeem Azhar discuss what the next thirty years of AI will look like. Jürgen and Azeem also discuss: The role of Long Short-Term Memory architecture in recent AI breakthroughs. Why the next AI wave will see machines actively shaping the data that they perceive. The second- and third-order consequences of bringing these more sophisticated artificial neural networks into our world. Further reading: “An AI taught itself to play a video game – for the first time, it’s beating humans” (The Conversation, May 2019) “Moving Beyond Cloud Computing to Edge Computing” (CableLabs, May 2019) “An All-Neural On-Device Speech Recognizer” (Google, March 2019) “Google’s head of translation on fighting bias in language and why AI loves religious texts” (The Verge, January 2019) Jürgen Schmidhuber Azeem Azhar @azeem
12/06/1929m 57s

The Autonomous Economy

One of the founders of complexity economics, W. Brian Arthur, joins Azeem Azhar to discuss how artificial intelligence is ushering us into the age of the autonomous economy with radical implications for our society. In this podcast, Brian and Azeem also discuss: Why the decision-making ability of AI will have a different class of impact on the economy than previous ‘landmark’ technologies like the printing press. Whether it is possible to have publicly available decision-making enabled by artificial intelligence outside the proprietary enclaves of Silicon Valley monopolies. Increasing Returns Theory and how to generate good governance in a digital economy with dominant market actors. Further reading: “A Short History Of The Most Important Economic Theory In Tech” (Fast Company, December 2016) “Where is technology taking the economy?” (McKinsey Quarterly, October 2017) “The second economy” (McKinsey Quarterly, October 2011) “Increasing Returns and the New World of Business” (HBR, July-August 1996) W. Brian Arthur Azeem Azhar @azeem
05/06/1932m 48s

Disrupting Finance

Artificial intelligence is unlocking new value in the banking and finance industry, but incumbents are struggling to keep pace. Azeem Azhar discusses what this means for the industry and its customers with Citi Research’s Global Sector Head for Banks Ronit Ghose, and the founder-CEOs of two leading innovators: Daniel Schreiber of Lemonade Insurance and Rishi Khosla of OakNorth Bank. Paul and Azeem also discuss: The huge role technology debt plays in obstructing legacy banks from innovating. How social networks, the smartphone, and AI grew exponentially and converged to mount a challenge to the traditional banking industry. The ways AI is cutting friction on the customer side. The ability to identify the sources of client or third-party data that can generate an algorithmically-powered image of the client and provide an insight into their ‘real’ level of risk. Further reading: “Digital Disruption: How FinTech is Forcing Banking to a Tipping Point” (Citi Velocity, March 2016) “Bank X: The New New Banks” (Citi Velocity, March 2019) “The Future Of Banking: Fintech Or Techfin?” (Forbes, Aug. 27, 2018) “Bank 4.0 Will Be All-Digital, Low-Overhead, Mobile-First” (Forbes, April 19, 2019) Ronit Ghose @ronit_ghose Daniel Schreiber @daschreiber Rishi Khosla @rishi_khosla Azeem Azhar @azeem
29/05/1942m 56s

Embedding AI in Business

AI is the fastest-growing industry that Accenture’s CTIO Paul Daugherty has ever experienced. He joins Azeem Azhar to discuss how AI can help businesses across a broad range of industries enhance the value they offer customers. Paul’s 2018 bestselling book Human + Machine: Reimagining Work in the Age of AI laid the foundations for companies that want to harness AI to help innovate and grow quickly. Paul and Azeem also discuss: AI as a general-purpose technology and how to set priorities for its application. How critical it is to have data at the heart of your business. Can you use AI effectively if you don’t utilize the “data network effect?” The difference in an AI system that can interact with and modify human behavior from a company that puts out services or products that are highly addictive. How the rush to individualization moves us into “The Trust Age.” What are the practical steps companies can take to (re)build consumer trust? Self-regulation vs. external regulation, and the challenges of appropriately balancing regulation and innovation. Further reading: “The Future of AI Will Be About Less Data, Not More” (HBR, Jan. 14, 2019) “Accenture Interactive Launches Groundbreaking Artificial Intelligence Solution to Tackle Elderly Loneliness” (Accenture, April 30, 2019) “Using AI to Make Knowledge Workers More Effective” (HBR, April 19, 2019) “Hey Google, sorry you lost your ethics council, so we made one for you” (MIT Technology Review, April 6, 2019) “From Principles to Action: How do we Implement Tech Ethics?” (Industry Ethicists, April 17, 2019) Paul Daugherty @pauldaugh Azeem Azhar @azeem
22/05/1936m 16s

The Truth About Autonomy

Director of the Humans and Autonomy Lab at Duke University and one of the first female fighter pilots, professor Missy Cummings debates the current state of autonomy with Azeem Azhar. Taking a stance of techno-realism, Missy explains why we’re not even close to developing Level 5 autonomy in driving and why robotic surgery is still not safe. In this podcast, Missy and Azeem also discuss: The nonlinear upward movement across levels of automation. While early developments may take similar amounts of time and money, the final advancements demand exponentially more. The psychology behind why we will almost certainly always have human pilots on commercial flights. Why the United States’ certification system, based on equivalence, has never been suitable for autonomous systems — and how training regulators and policymakers alongside engineers might spark regulatory improvements that would foster safe innovation. Parallels between the cultures of Silicon Valley and the U.S. military and thoughts on why gender equality still hasn’t been achieved. Further reading: “Technological, Regulatory Innovation Needed to Ensure Safety in Autonomous Vehicle Research” (Duke, April 9, 2018) “FDA clears new robotically-assisted surgical device for adult patients” (U.S. Food & Drug Administration, Oct. 13, 2017) “Robotic Surgery: An Example of When Newer Is Not Always Better but Clearly More Expensive” (The Milbank Quarterly, March 2016) “‘I Don’t Know How Professors Teach Without Fighter-Pilot Experience'” (The Atlantic, April 26, 2018) “Ex-pilot: I understand Martha McSally’s pain” (CNN, March 8, 2019) Missy Cummings @missy_cummings Azeem Azhar @azeem
15/05/1938m 52s

AI and the Genetic Revolution

Michigan State University senior vice president Stephen Hsu, a theoretical physicist and the founder of Genomic Prediction, demonstrates how the machine learning revolution, combined with the dramatic fall in the cost of human genome sequencing, is driving a transformation in our relationship with our genes. Stephen and Azeem Azhar explore how the technology works, what predictions can and cannot yet be made (and why), and the ethical challenges created by this technology. In this podcast, Azeem and Stephen also discuss: FDA approval of the first genetic treatment for monogenic conditions and the work towards developing treatments for polygenic conditions like diabetes and cancer. How this technology might exacerbate existing social inequalities or create new ones; is it just an issue of access, or does it go further? Developing best practice protocols for governance and regulation of genomic technologies. Further reading: “FDA approves novel gene therapy to treat patients with a rare form of inherited vision loss” (Dec. 19, 2017) “Genomic Prediction of Complex Disease Risk” (Dec. 27, 2018) “How Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing Services Led to the Capture of the Golden State Killer” (September 2018) Stephen Hsu @hsu_steve Azeem Azhar @azeem
08/05/1936m 10s

When AI Meets Medicine

With healthcare under extreme commercial and political pressure, the doctor-patient relationship is at a low point — and risks further deterioration. But digital technologies promise to revolutionize the daily delivery of care. Renowned digital medicine pioneer Dr. Eric Topol and Azeem Azhar discuss what this could mean for medical professionals, patients, and national healthcare systems. In this podcast, Eric and Azeem also discuss: Issues of access: equality of access and coping with differential patient capability when participating in digital therapeutics. The impact of GDPR on the need for ‘explainable AI’ in medicine. Algorithmic surveillance and whether the traditional management culture of ‘patching’ bugs translates to digital therapeutics and pharmaceuticals. Data security and the possibility of a data ‘bill of rights’ for patients and consumers of medical tech. Further reading: “The Topol Review” (February 2019) “Mobile health devices diagnose hidden heart condition in at-risk populations” (July 10, 2018) “A call for deep-learning healthcare” in Nature Medicine Vol. 25 (Jan. 7, 2019) “NVIDIA, Scripps Research Translational Institute Partner on AI for Genomics, Digital Health Sensors” (Oct. 23, 2018) Dr. Eric Topol @EricTopol Azeem Azhar @azeem
01/05/1933m 21s

The Innovation Economy

“We haven’t really understood the power of the state,” argues economist Mariana Mazzucato, warning that this has impacted the rising inequality in wealth creation and distribution. Mariana and Azeem Azhar discuss the role of government in innovation and business growth, risk-taking as the new mentality of bureaucracy, and how the benefits of entrepreneurial innovation have been misread. Above all, the case is made for a new theory of value in today’s economy. In this conversation, Mariana and Azeem also discuss: The role of the entrepreneurial state: moving away from the concept of the state as a facilitator and towards the state as an actor in the future of public-serving innovation. Why the GDP model is flawed — but why we should retain it as one of several economic indicators. Creeping privatization of the ‘data economy.’ Further Reading: “Yes, Government Creates Wealth” (September 2018) “Let’s make private data into a public good” (June 27, 2018) “Rethinking the Smart City” (January 2018) “The unlikely tech giant empowering citizens through data” (March 12, 2019) “Strategic design for public purpose” (March 8, 2019) Mariana Mazzucato @MazzucatoM Azeem Azhar @azeem
24/04/1930m 47s

Creating the Data Economy

Our society has become increasingly reliant on data, but its value is not accessible to all. Of the 16 billion terabytes of data created globally in 2016, only 1% was analyzed. Among other discrepancies, the growing data monopolies concentrate power over certain technologies such as artificial intelligence precluding their positive impact on society. Trent McConaghy, AI researcher and the founder of the decentralized data exchange, Ocean Protocol, is aiming to solve this by enabling individuals and organizations to share, monetize, and access data. In this conversation, Trent and Azeem Azhar discuss: The real-world impact of deep learning and error reduction, and why we have not yet fully leveraged data’s learning potential. Early use cases of successful data exchange in mining and autonomous driving. Drawing distinctions between human rights and tradable property, should ownership of personal data be protected as a human right? Further Reading: “The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Data” (2009) “The Web3 Data Economy Towards a Transparent, Permissionless Ecosystem to Spread the Benefits of AI” (Nov. 22, 2018) “Major Automakers, Startups, Technology Companies and Others Launch Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI)” (May 4, 2018) “Is It Your Data” (Jan. 22, 2019) “Should we treat data as labor? Let’s open up the discussion” (Feb. 21, 2018) “We need to own our data as a human right — and be compensated for it” (Jan. 21, 2019) “This AI Company Is The Future Of Gold Exploration” (February, 2019) Open Data Impact Map Trent McConaghy @trentmc0 Azeem Azhar @azeem
17/04/1932m 56s

Designing Responsible AI

“Intelligence is central to everything humans do, and artificial intelligence should be no exception.” With these words, Joanna Bryson urges for stronger professional standards for software engineers and experts designing intelligent-like systems. Joanna is a tenured associate professor at the University of Bath in the United Kingdom, where she founded the Bath Intelligence Systems group. She is one of the world’s leading AI researchers, uniting the perspectives of computer science, psychology, and biology in her work. In this podcast, Azeem Azhar and Joanna explore: The role of goals in conceptualizing and programming intelligence systems — and who sets these goals? The risks and inadequacies of anthropomorphizing AI. The critical importance of assuring ongoing human involvement in AI systems. The explainability of AI systems and litigation over the definition of ‘explanation’ in light of EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Further Reading: Group Agency: The Possibility, Design and Agency of Corporate Agents (April 7, 2011) UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in Accountable, Responsible and Transparent AI (ART-AI) Joanna Bryson et al, “Semantics derived automatically from language corpora contain human-like biases” (April 14, 2017) Nick Bostrom, “Ethical Issues in Advanced Artificial Intelligence” Joanna Bryson, “No one should trust AI – AND – Presenting robots as people stops us thinking clearly about AI” (Dec. 23, 2018) Joanna Bryson @j2bryson Azeem Azhar @azeem
10/04/1931m 56s

Investing in Disruptive Innovation

In the late 1800’s, three innovation platforms shaped the world as we know it today: the telephone, electricity, and the internal combustion engine. Today, five powerful innovation platforms are accelerating at the same time: DNA sequencing, robotics, energy storage, deep learning, and blockchain technology. Cathie Wood, CEO and CIO of ArkInvest, is leading the way in investing in disruptive technologies at a time when many investors are holding back due to uncertainty. Azeem Azhar and Cathie discuss the multi-trillion-dollar opportunity in exponentially-developing industries, the role of incumbents, and how investors can shift gears to find comfort in risk. Further Reading: Moore’s Law Isn’t Dead: It’s Wrong — Long Live Wright’s Law (Jan. 2, 2019) On the Road to Full Autonomy with Elon Musk (Feb. 19, 2019) 18 Exponential Changes We Can Expect in the Year Ahead (Dec. 31, 2017) Cathie Wood @CathieDWood Azeem Azhar @azeem
03/04/1936m 50s

Technology Diffusion and the Rise of Asia

Parag Khanna is a leading international relations expert and the author of The Future Is Asian: Commerce, Conflict and Culture in the 21st Century. Azeem Azhar and Parag discuss the law of technology diffusion, break common myths about Asia’s development, and question whether the future belongs to cities or nation-states.
06/02/1934m 37s

Overcoming the Epistemic Crisis

Elif Shafak is an award-winning British-Turkish author and human rights activist. She has published 16 books, 10 of which are novels. The New York Review of Books called her latest novel, Three Daughters of Eve, a “marvelous lesson in multiculturalist angst, the clash between modernity and tradition, and the vicissitudes of personal struggle.” Elif and Azeem Azhar discuss the polarization of culture springing out of the foundations of the open internet, and the ways to tackle the pervasive issues in today’s digital technology sphere.
30/01/1926m 47s

Regulating the Cyberspace

Marietje Schaake is a Dutch politician and member of the European Parliament (MEP) from the Netherlands. The Wall Street Journal called her “Europe’s most wired politician,” and Politico named her the “ultimate digital MEP.” Marietje is a member of the Committee on International Trade and the vice chair of the Delegation for Relations with the U.S. She established a Digital Agenda intergroup, gathering members of the Parliament who are interested in addressing the future of digital technologies. Marietje and Azeem Azhar discuss the governance of cyberspace, the responsibility of technology companies, and the new era of geopolitical competition in cyberspace.
23/01/1937m 23s

Making Sense of the Data-Rich World with Graph Databases

Emil Eifrem is the CEO and cofounder of Neo4j, the graph database platform powering some of the largest companies today. Emil is the creator of the property graph model, and he coined the term “graph database” to describe the technology that would change how we understand big data. Neo4j’s technology was used to reveal the rogue offshore financial relationships in the largest journalist leak ever, the Panama Papers.
16/01/1951m 23s

The State of Artificial Intelligence

Jack Clark serves as the policy director at OpenAI. He has contributed to the development of the AI Index, an AI forecasting and progress initiative that is part of the Stanford One Hundred Year Study on AI. Azeem Azhar and Jack discuss the state of artificial intelligence development, the geopolitics of technology, and the implications of automation on society.

Quantified Self, Data Ownership, and the Sociological Approach to Technology

Gina Neff is a senior research fellow and associate professor at the University of Oxford. She studies innovation, the digital transformation of industries, and how new technologies impact work. Gina has published three books: Self-Tracking in 2016, Surviving the New Economy in 2015, and Venture Labor in 2012. Gina and Azeem Azhar discuss technology development from a sociological perspective, as well as the implications of self-tracking for the individual and society.
19/12/1839m 59s

Renewable Energy, Climate Change, and Technology

Michael Liebreich is a leading global expert on clean energy and transportation, smart infrastructure, technology, climate finance, and sustainable development. He founded New Energy Finance in 2004, which was acquired by Bloomberg in 2009. Michael and Azeem Azhar discuss the significance of the U.S. National Climate Assessment and IPCC’s report, the importance of staying below two degrees, and the role of exponential technologies in transitioning to renewables.
13/12/1857m 9s

Diplomacy in the Tech Age

Casper Klynge is the world’s first tech ambassador, with a global mandate and staff in Copenhagen, Silicon Valley, and Beijing. His appointment as the Danish tech ambassador in 2017 marked a new phase in diplomacy and international relations, and was the first time a nation-state deployed an ambassador to represent its citizens to the world’s most powerful technology companies. Casper and Azeem Azhar assess the current alignment between some of the largest technology companies and nation-states, and discuss the role of technology in fostering democracy and innovation.
06/12/181h 1m

Doughnut Economics, Rethinking Economics for the 21st Century

Kate Raworth is a senior visiting research associate at Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute, where she teaches environmental change and management. She is also a senior associate at the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership. Kate is focused on exploring the economic mindset needed to address the 21st century’s social and ecological challenges. Kate and Azeem discuss the Doughnut economics framework as the essence of rethinking economics for a world inhabited by 10 billion people and hit by climate change and social justice struggles. Kate sets a vision for an equitable and sustainable future.
28/11/1854m 36s

Space Innovation and Fixing the Earth

Anousheh Ansari is the world’s first female private space explorer and the first Iranian astronaut in space. She is the CEO of XPrize Foundation, an organization that supports radical breakthrough solutions to some of the greatest challenges facing humanity today. Azeem Azhar and Anousheh discuss the ways space development could help us tackle climate change and pollution and achieve sustainable crypto mining. Anousheh shares about her journey to become a space explorer and her time at the International Space Station, as well as her role as the CEO of XPrize.
21/11/1845m 29s

The Future of Public Service and Governance

Lisa Witter is an award-winning executive, a serial entrepreneur, and the cofounder and executive chairman of Apolitical, a network that helps public servants around the world share inspiring ideas, solutions to challenges, and the best professional resources and opportunities. Azeem and Lisa discuss reviving trust in government, the road map for building the public service workforce of the future, and the role of agile in governance.
14/11/1834m 42s

The Future of Work and Democracy in the Information Age

Matthew Taylor is the chief executive of the Royal Society of Arts, a UK organization committed to finding practical solutions to societal problems. Before leading the RSA, Matthew was the chief adviser on political strategy to former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair. Azeem and Matthew Taylor discuss the well-being economy, the meaning of good work in an age of automation, and the state of democracy.
07/11/1849m 17s

UBI, Automation, and Society in the U.S.

Azeem Azhar speaks with Andrew Yang, an entrepreneur and author who is running for president in the 2020 U.S. election. At the heart of Andrew’s platform is the “freedom dividend,” a universal basic income of $1,000, payable to all Americans every month. Azeem and Andrew discuss the core ideas behind Andrew’s platform, why they are necessary, and how to get there.
31/10/1854m 22s

The Challenging Political Economy of Silicon Valley

Azeem speaks with Reid Hoffman, “the sage of Silicon Valley.” Reid is an internet entrepreneur, executive, and investor best known as the cofounder of LinkedIn. Reid and Azeem discuss the business culture of Silicon Valley, in particular the concept of “blitzscaling.” They dive deep into Silicon Valley’s attitudes toward government, the role of the state in innovation, and maintaining techno-optimism.
24/10/1854m 40s

Scaling Innovation

Azeem Azhar speaks with entrepreneur and investor Elad Gil about Silicon Valley, scaling companies from 10 to 10,000 employees, the state of blockchain, and how blockchain and artificial intelligence will overlap. Elad is a serial entrepreneur, an operating executive, an investor, and an adviser to private companies including Airbnb, Pinterest, Square, and Stripe. Elad was the VP of corporate strategy at Twitter, and previously was on the mobile team at Google.
17/10/1843m 33s

AI, Warfare, and Global Security

Azeem Azhar speaks with Dr. Mariarosaria Taddeo, deputy director of the Digital Ethics Lab at the Oxford Internet Institute. Dr. Taddeo is a philosopher, an ethicist, and a researcher focusing on cyber conflicts, cybersecurity, and the ethics of data science. Cyber attacks are escalating in frequency, sophistication, and impact. Azeem and Dr. Taddeo unpack the state of cybersecurity and warfare, the complex symbiosis between governments and criminal actors, and the ways digital technologies are changing cyber warfare.
10/10/1853m 30s

Entrepreneurs, the Market, and the State

Azeem Azhar speaks with venture capitalist Bill Janeway about the three-player game between the mission-driven state, financial speculators, and markets in the innovation economy. Are we stuck on the dark side of this configuration? How do we move forward?

China, an AI Superpower

Azeem Azhar speaks with Kai-Fu Lee, a VC investor, technology executive, and one of the most prominent figures in the Chinese internet sector and AI. They discuss the Chinese government’s techno-utilitarian approach to technology, the ambition of China’s technology founders, and the future of job automation.
26/09/1851m 6s

Season 2 Intro: When Technology Meets Political Future

Azeem Azhar’s Exponential View podcast is back, exploring the intersection of political economy and exponential technologies.
22/09/185m 28s

Hacking Democracy

A recording of an Exponential View salon held in London in May 2017. “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter,” said Winston Churchill. But whatever you think of it, democracy has served us well. An increase in democracy is almost always matched by an increase in GDP. According to MIT economist Daron Acemoglu, a country that switches from autocracy to democracy achieves about 20% higher GDP per capita over roughly a 30-year period. Yet data from the end of 2016 suggests that in several advanced economies, including the U.S. and the UK, those born since the late 1980s value democracy less than older cohorts. We’ve witnessed something driven by the underlying shifts in media, technology, the expression of state power, cultural values, and big money funding data. We’ve experienced a manifestation of new behaviors around the democracy process: the transition from broadcast media to niche media moderated by dominant social media platforms. Have these behaviors hacked our democracy? For better or for worse? Azeem Azhar discusses these questions with Carole Cadwalladr, Luciano Floridi, Hari Kunzru, and Tom Loosemore.
03/06/171h 37m

The State of Machine Learning

With more than 40% market share in mobile games, 1 billion monthly active users, and 2.6 billion unique devices, the game development platform Unity has a profoundly important role in booming gaming and VR markets. Azeem Azhar talks with Dr. Danny Lange, VP of AI and machine learning at Unity, about the role of these technologies in revolutionizing the ways games are developed and monetized. Dr. Lange talks about the significance of the undergoing paradigm shift in computing, the OODA loop in machine learning, and what happens to software engineers when their trade becomes obsolete. Before joining Unity, he led the machine learning efforts at Uber, Amazon, and Microsoft. Through his work on General Motor’s OnStar Virtual Advisor, Danny provided the foundation for the development of one of the largest deployments of an intelligent personal assistant until the arrival of Siri. Prior to joining General Magic, Dr. Lange served as the visiting scientist at IBM Tokyo Research Laboratory from 1993 to 1997, where he is known for his invention of the Java Aglet, a lightweight mobile agent for the Java programming environment. In addition to his software agent work, he has made significant contributions in the areas of hypertext technology, object-oriented database modeling, and design pattern visualization techniques.
26/05/1746m 41s

Code as the Key Driver of Human Development

For the tech community, code has an almost exclusively uniform meaning: a set of instructions, until recently written only by humans, that specify any action a computer should execute. In his most recent book, The Code Economy: A Forty-Thousand-Year History, Philip Auerswald talks about “code” in a broader meaning of the word — it is the “how” of human productivity, the manner in which we create, refine, and implement the infrastructure that forms a human society. The advancements of code, from the Neolithic era to the modern times, have driven identity and work reinvention. Philip argues that we are at one of those crucial stages now, and his book offers a guide to the future. Auerswald is an associate professor of public policy at the George Mason University Schar School of Policy and Government and a coeditor of Innovations, a quarterly journal about entrepreneurial solutions to global challenges. He currently leads the Global Entrepreneurship Research Network, an initiative of the Kauffman Foundation.
09/05/1740m 44s

Universal Basic Income

Scott Santens is a writer and an advocate for universal basic income. His articles have been featured in TechCrunch, the Boston Globe, and Politico, among other places. Scott has coauthored two books: What Do We Do About Inequality? and Surviving the Machine Age: Intelligent Technology and the Transformation of Human Work. He also moderates the sub-Reddit /r/BasicIncome. Scott talks about why he believes “citizen’s salary” is a necessary measure for our societies to deal with tech unemployment by providing an independent income floor. He finds it paradoxical that we keep on developing technology to help us do more, while also being afraid of tech taking over our jobs. In these circumstances, he notes, a new model of ownership needs to be implemented, with everyone starting from the same point. For further reading on Scott’s work and UBI, visit: FAQ about Universal Basic Income Basic Income sub-Reddit Basic Income Earth Network
05/05/1741m 9s

How Music Could Take the Place of Drugs

Marko Ahtisaari is the CEO and cofounder of The Sync Project, a collaborative venture of scientists, musicians, technologists, and patients, working toward developing functional music that responds to each individual body and serves as precision medicine. Marko is also a director’s fellow at the MIT Media Lab, working on the Open Music Initiative to develop a new distributed ledger system to identify and compensate music rights holders and creators. He was the executive vice president of design at Nokia and worked on award-winning N9 and Lumia products. His startup Dopplr was acquired by Nokia. Marko presents ideas and undergoing projects born out of the vision that in the near future people will use non-drug modalities to heal, enhance well-being, and assist in therapy. He guides us through the recent experiment, which uses your heart rate to select the tracks that will bring you peace of mind — at least for 5 minutes. For further reading on the Sync Project and music in medicine, please see: Understanding Music as Precision Medicine Sync Music Bot (cutting-edge music recommendation technology) UNWIND.AI (using biometric data to generate music for sleep) Studies in neuroscience reveal music’s effect on the reward system Using music to manage pain Using music to support physical activity and sports training More on music recommendation/analysis technology in general
29/04/1738m 38s

AI, Automation, and the Economy

A discussion with Columbia University professor Jeffrey Sachs. Jeff is one of the world’s foremost thinkers on economic development; he advises the UN and a host of governments. In a wide-ranging podcast, he and Azeem Azhar talk about how technology has improved the lives of countless humans. They explore how automated systems will increasingly replace both routine and high-skill jobs. How will our societies cope with those changes? What will we do with the inequalities that will be increasingly produced by the technology revolution? What is the role of basic income? They even have some time to talk about Aristotle.
04/03/1745m 56s

Intimacy with Robots

Kate Devlin, computer scientist and robot-sex expert, on robot intimacy and a new age of sex, relationships, and social life.
25/02/171h 8m

Homo Deus

A conversation between Hebrew University of Jerusalem professor Yuval Harari and Azeem Azhar. They cover the compelling insights in his new book, Homo Deus. Where are we, as a species, going now that we have conquered much of what ailed preceding generations? How will the twin advances of genetic engineering and artificial intelligence come together to transform humans and human society?
17/02/1753m 36s

The Future of Longevity

Philosopher and investor Dr. Shamil Chandaria investigates how we might live much longer lives and how we can make them more meaningful. He dives into the emerging medicine and science of life extension in a deep but accessible way. He explains how we should consider super-longevity and super-well-being in tandem. And in discussion with an audience we explore the motivations for — and ramifications of — much longer lives.
08/12/161h 3m

A Survey of Technology

A wide-ranging conversation on technology with Jason Pontin, editor-in-chief of MIT Technology Review. He touches on gene editing, Moore’s Law, artificial intelligence, Facebook and fake news, and what ties all these disparate strands together.
20/11/1641m 42s

The Wealth of Humans

A powerfully prophetic discussion about the meaning of work in the 21st century as technology transforms all areas of the global economy. Ryan Avent, economics columnist at The Economist, and Azeem Azhar, curator of Exponential View, explore issues around how digital technologies will continue to exponentially change the relationship between capital and labor. They discuss what new social contracts will ensue and how we will see the reshaping of social and cultural capital in a dramatically reordered world. What role will humans play in this altered landscape? How will they find meaning and purpose in redefined and irrevocably renegotiated relationships to productivity and the market? This conversation was recorded as a fireside chat in front of a live audience at a private Exponential View event in London.
15/11/1659m 57s
Heart UK