AI can do a lot of specific tasks as well as, or even better than, humans can — for example, it can more accurately classify images, more efficiently process mail, and more logically manipulate a Go board. While we have made a lot of advances in task-specific AI, how far are we from artificial general intelligence (AGI), that is AI that matches general human intelligence and capabilities? In this podcast, a16z operating partner Frank Chen interviews Stuart Russell, the Founder of the Center for Human-Compatible Artificial Intelligence (CHAI) at UC Berkeley. They outline the conceptual breakthroughs, like natural language understanding, still required for AGI. But more importantly, they explain how and why we should design AI systems to ensure that we can control AI, and eventually AGI, when it’s smarter than we are. The conversation starts by explaining what Hollywood's Skynet gets wrong and ends with why AI is better as "the perfect Butler, than the genie in the lamp."
Food, Drugs, and Tech—100 Years of Public Health
The federal agency known as the FDA, or the Food and Drug Administration, was born over 100 years ago—at the turn of the industrial revolution, in a time of enormous upheaval and change, and rapidly emerging technology. The same could be said to be just as true today. From CRISPR to synthetic biology to using artificial intelligence in medicine, our healthcare system is undergoing massive amounts of innovation and change. Covering everything from gene-editing your dog to tracking the next foodborne outbreak, this wide-ranging conversation between Principal Commissioner of the FDA Amy Abernethy and Vijay Pande, GP on the Bio Fund at a16z, discusses how the agency is evolving to keep pace with the scientific breakthroughs coming, while staying true to its core mission of assessing safety and effectiveness for consumers in the world of food and medicine. Highlights: What the FDA looks like today and the key steps of the FDA process to getting a drug/product to market [ ]
On Pharma Trends and Big Company Innovation
How does the world’s largest producer of medicines in terms of volume balance the science and the business of innovation? How does an enterprise at such vast scale make decisions about what to build vs. buy, especially given the fast pace of science today? How does it balance attitudes between “not invented here” and “not invented yet”? Vas Narasimhan, CEO of Novartis, sat down with a16z bio general partners Jorge Conde and Vijay Pande, and editor in chief Sonal Chokshi, during the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference around this time last year, to discuss the latest trends in therapeutics; go to market and why both big companies and bio startups need to get market value signals (not just approvals!) from payers earlier in the process; clinical trials, talent, leadership, and more in this rerun of the a16z Podcast.
Personal Genomics: Where Are We, Really?
This is a turn of the decade (and January-themed) look backward/ look forward into personal genomics, given ). And if you haven't already, be sure to subscribe to the separate feed for "16 Minutes" to continue getting new episodes.
Why We Should Be Optimistic About the Future
Many skeptics thought the internet would never reach mass adoption, but today it’s shaping global culture, is integral to our lives -- and it's just the beginning. In this conversation from our 2019 innovation summit, Kevin Kelly (Founding Executive Editor, WIRED magazine) and Marc Andreessen sit down to discuss the evolution of technology, key trends, and why they're the most optimistic people in the room. *** The views expressed here are those of the individual AH Capital Management, L.L.C. (“a16z”) personnel quoted and are not the views of a16z or its affiliates. Certain information contained in here has been obtained from third-party sources, including from portfolio companies of funds managed by a16z. While taken from sources believed to be reliable, a16z has not independently verified such information and makes no representations about the enduring accuracy of the information or its appropriateness for a given situation. This content is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be relied upon as legal, business, investment, or tax advice. You should consult your own advisers as to those matters. References to any securities or digital assets are for illustrative purposes only, and do not constitute an investment recommendation or offer to provide investment advisory services. Furthermore, this content is not directed at nor intended for use by any investors or prospective investors, and may not under any circumstances be relied upon when making a decision to invest in any fund managed by a16z. (An offering to invest in an a16z fund will be made only by the private placement memorandum, subscription agreement, and other relevant documentation of any such fund and should be read in their entirety.) Any investments or portfolio companies mentioned, referred to, or described are not representative of all investments in vehicles managed by a16z, and there can be no assurance that the investments will be profitable or that other investments made in the future will have similar characteristics or results. A list of investments made by funds managed by Andreessen Horowitz (excluding investments for which the issuer has not provided permission for a16z to disclose publicly as well as unannounced investments in publicly traded digital assets) is available at for additional important information.