microscope versus statue
Letters

Can an AI System Be Sentient? Ask a Philosopher

A Google Engineer recently announced he believes that a language model is sentient. I’m highly skeptical that any of today’s AI models are sentient. Some reporters, to their credit, also expressed skepticism. Still, I worry that
2 min read
U.S. Three-Month Treasury Bill Secondary Market Interest Rate, Discount Basis
Letters

What Rising Interest Rates Mean for AI, Part 2: Why It Still Makes Sense to Forge Ahead

Last week, I wrote about how rising interest rates are likely to lead investors and other finance professionals to focus on short-term returns rather than longer-term investments. Nonetheless, I believe this is still a good time to invest in long-
3 min read
US federal funds effective interest rate
Letters

What Rising Interest Rates Mean for AI, Part 1: What's Likely to Happen

The United States Federal Reserve Bank has signaled that it will continue to raise interest rates. As one consequence, the stock market is significantly down, particularly tech stocks, relative to the beginning of the year. What does this
3 min read
Andrew thinkking looking at Neural Netowrks
Letters

A Solid Foundation for a Rewarding Career

Years ago, I had to choose between a neural network and a decision tree learning algorithm. It was necessary to pick an efficient one, because we planned to apply the algorithm to a very large set of users on a limited compute budget. I went
2 min read
Balloon on nails
Letters

How to Build AI Startups Part 3: Set Customer Expectations!

One of the challenges of building an AI startup is setting customer expectations. Machine learning is a highly experiment-driven field. Until you’ve built something, it’s hard to predict how well it will work. This creates a unique
2 min read
castle
Letters

How to Build AI Startups Part 2: Will a Data Moat Protect You?

Last week, I described trends that AI Fund, the venture studio I lead, has seen in building AI startups. I'd like to discuss another aspect of building companies that’s unique to AI businesses: the controversial topic of data moats.
3 min read
Four airbaloons and one rocket in the sky
Letters

How to Build AI Startups Part 1: Hard Tech

AI businesses differ from traditional software startups in important ways. For instance, technical feasibility isn’t always clear, product specification is complex, and data is necessary to train and test the system.
2 min read
How To Build Truly Free Social Networks
Letters

How To Build Truly Free Social Networks

It's official: Elon Musk will buy Twitter, pending approval of the transaction by the company's stockholders and the U.S. government. While some people are celebrating the deal in the name of free speech, others are worried about the
2 min read
Should Twitter Publish Its Ranking Algorithm?
Letters

Should Twitter Publish Its Ranking Algorithm?

Last week, Elon Musk launched a surprise attempt to acquire Twitter. The $43-billion bid was motivated, he said, by his desire to protect free speech endangered by the company’s practice of promoting some tweets while burying others. To
3 min read
Jupyter Notebooks
Letters

Presenting a Technical Concept? Use a Jupyter Notebook

Machine learning engineers routinely use Jupyter Notebooks for developing and experimenting with code. They’re a regular feature in DeepLearning.AI’s courses. But there’s another use of Jupyter Notebooks that I think is under-appreciated:
2 min read
Knowing When You Need Help
Letters

Knowing When You Need Help

AI Fund, the venture studio and investment firm that I lead, recently held a summit where CEOs and founders of portfolio companies shared ideas on topics from fundraising to building team culture. I was struck by how frequently
2 min read
Welcoming Refugees
Letters

Welcoming Refugees

I’ve always thought that how you treat those who are powerless shows your true character. People rarely mistreat others who have power over them -- for example, their boss — because they might suffer adverse consequences. But when
2 min read
How AI Can Help Achieve Humanity's Grand Challenges
Letters

How AI Can Help Achieve Humanity's Grand Challenges

Last week, I wrote about the grand challenge of artificial general intelligence. Other scientific and engineering grand challenges inspire me as well. For example, fusion energy, extended lifespans, and space colonization have massive
2 min read
Artificial General Intelligence: Hope or Hype?
Letters

Artificial General Intelligence: Hope or Hype?

I’ve always thought that building artificial general intelligence — a system that can learn to perform any mental task that a typical human can — is one of the grandest challenges of our time. In fact, nearly 17 years ago, I co-organized a NeurIPS workshop on building human-level AI.
2 min read
How to Advocate for AI in Your Organization
Letters

How to Advocate for AI in Your Organization

Last week, DeepLearning.AI invited a group of learners to our Palo Alto office’s courtyard. We had a good time chatting about paths into AI, career trajectories, applications people were working on, and challenges they were facing.
2 min read

Subscribe to The Batch

Stay updated with weekly AI News and Insights delivered to your inbox