Danny In The Valley
Blackrock Neurotech's Marcus Gerhardt: "An inflection point for brain-computer interfaces"
Season 4, Ep. 156
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Marcus Gerhardt, chief executive of Blackrock Neurotech, to talk about his boarding school days in Wales (4:00), his dotcom adventures (10:00), pivoting to brain-computer interfaces (16:00), the “Utah array” (18:40), how in 2006 the first person sent an email with his thoughts (20:30), starting the company (23:00), the state of the technology today (26:40), targeting tetraplegics (33:00), getting investment (38:15), going to market (41:30), and reaching an inflection point (47:40).
Earth’s Tom Harries: “Turning people into soil”
Season 5, Ep. 10
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Tom Harries to talk about his previous cremation startup (3:20), how he got into human composting (5:00), the problems with burial and cremation (8:20), society’s changing attitude toward funerals (13:50), perfecting the microbial breakdown process (14:50), controlling temperature (21:10), using human remains to reforest land (24:20), raising $10m (27:15), why it takes 45 days to compost a body (33:05), building a household death brand (34:40), and how he got into the death business (36:50).
UC Berkeley’s Stuart Russell: “ChatGPT is a wake-up call”
Season 5, Ep. 9
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Stuart Russell, professor at UC Berkeley and one of the world’s leading experts on artificial intelligence (AI), to talk about working in the field for decades (4:00), AI’s Sputnik moment (7:45), why these programmes aren’t very good at learning (13:00), trying to inoculating ourselves against the idea that software is sentient (15:00), why super intelligence will require more breakthroughs (17:20), autonomous weapons (26:15), getting politicians to regulate AI in warfare (30:30), building systems to control intelligent machines (36:20), the self-driving car example (39:45), how he figured out how to beat AlphaGo (43:45), the paper clip example (49:50), and the first AI programme he wrote as a 13-year-old. (55:45).
Character.ai's Noam Shazeer: "Replacing Google - and your mom"
Season 5, Ep. 8
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Noam Shazeer, founder of Character.ai, to talk about his work at Google (4:00), joining the search giant in 2000 (6:50), what is deep learning (5:10), starting on language models in 2015 (9:10), starting the company in 2021 (10:50), virtual therapists (15:00), monetizing (20:40), what is possible (23:00), growing up coding and doing maths (31:00), winning the international Math Olympiad (32:20), how this compares to the Internet itself (34:30).