Jeremiah Lowin: Explaining the New AI Paradigm – [Invest Like the Best, EP.307]
My guest this week is Jeremiah Lowin. Jeremiah has been on the podcast a number of times over the years. He’s one of my oldest friends who has been a sounding board for me throughout my career. Today he is the founder and CEO of Prefect, which helps companies automate and orchestrate their dataflows. In full disclosure, Positive Sum is an investor in Prefect. We didn’t plan this conversation, but when OpenAI released ChatGPT, I called Jeremiah for a primer on what’s happening under the hood and how best to contextualize this product amidst the growing AI movement. We have these conversations often, but this time I decided to record it so we can all learn from someone I consider to be a leading mind in the fields of data science and machine learning. We start off in the weeds and zoom out as the discussion unfolds. Please enjoy this conversation with my friend, Jeremiah Lowin.
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For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.
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Past guests include Tobi Lutke, Kevin Systrom, Mike Krieger, John Collison, Kat Cole, Marc Andreessen, Matthew Ball, Bill Gurley, Anu Hariharan, Ben Thompson, and many more.
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[00:03:38] – [First question] – What a pre-trained transformer is
[00:06:12] – What latent representation means in the context of AI models
[00:09:57] – Models using math to interpret input data and generate images accurately
[00:11:43] – Whether or not understanding AI complexity in light of the results they arrive at will become a black box scenario
[00:14:13] – A high level history of the companies involved in generative AI
[00:17:51] – The precursory technology that makes generative AI art possible
[00:21:01] – What people are doing to improve AI models in between versions
[00:26:39] – Things that are literally happening during AI training
[00:29:44] – The power dynamics and barriers to entry for building AI models
[00:33:38] – Whether or not AI models might one day function as a utility like electricity
[00:36:01] – Coding using GitHub Copilot and what it’s felt like to use it
[00:40:30] – How he’d approach starting an AI company from scratch
[00:44:40] – Developing this technology beyond general and into specific use cases
[00:49:44] – The secret sauce for defensibility in the AI model space
[00:53:02] – What he’s watching more closely as the story unfolds
[00:56:32] – Whether or not he thinks that these toolkits will eventually learn how to use other systems like Unreal Engine on our behalf
Auren Hoffman – A Deep Dive on Data – [Invest Like the Best, EP.320]
My guest this week is . Auren is the CEO of Safegraph, which curates data on physical locations. He also founded LiveRamp, a public data connectivity business. Auren knows more about data businesses than almost anyone I know and that is the topic...
Trae Stephens – Find Good Quests – [Invest Like the Best, EP.319]
My guest this week is . Trae is a partner at Founders Fund and co-founder and Executive Chairman of Anduril. Trae’s philosophy can be boiled down to finding good quests, which has led him to investing in businesses that work closely with the...
Doug Leone – Lessons from a Titan – [Invest Like the Best, EP.318]
My guest this week is . Doug led one of the world’s most successful venture firms, Sequoia, for over 25 years after he was given responsibility for the firm by its founder, Don Valentine, in 1996. Alongside Mike Moritz, the pair managed its...
Tim Urban – Idea Labs and High-Rung Thinking – [Invest Like the Best, EP.317]
I’m excited to share this conversation with . Tim is, in my opinion, one of the best and most engaging writers of our era. He’s tackled many of the most interesting topics in the world from AI to procrastination. I interviewed him in 2017 in...
Dan Rose – How Stunning Founders Operate – [Invest Like the Best, EP.316]
My guest today is . Dan is the chairman of Coatue Ventures and has one of the most interesting collections of experiences of anyone I’ve talked to. He spent 20 years at Amazon and Facebook in their early days, working closely with Jeff Bezos,...
Jeff Green – Modernizing Advertising – [Invest Like the Best, EP.315]
My guest today is , the CEO and co-founder of advertising platform, The Trade Desk. The Trade Desk is the second advertising exchange Jeff has built, having sold his first venue to Microsoft in 2007. He started The Trade Desk in 2009 and has built it...
Carl Kawaja – Dealing with Regime Change – [Invest Like the Best, EP.314]
My guest this week is Carl Kawaja. It’s the second time I’ve had Carl on the show and my first conversation with him is one I go back to often. Carl is a portfolio manager at Capital Group, where he’s quietly overseen a huge portfolio for...
Daryl Morey – Systems Thinking in Sports – [Invest Like the Best, EP.313]
My guest this week is , who is President of basketball operations for the Philadelphia 76ers. Daryl is a computer science graduate but has become one of the NBA’s most successful General Managers during his time with the Houston Rockets and the...
Miles Grimshaw – The DNA of Software Companies – [Invest Like the Best, EP.312]
My guest today is . Miles is in his early thirties and is a General Partner at Benchmark. His experience and success belie his age. He was an early investor in Segment, Benchling, and Airtable, all before they had 30 employees. I have learned a ton...