AI and the Future of Work

By Dan Turchin

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Episodes: 173


Host Dan Turchin, PeopleReign CEO, explores how AI is changing the workplace. He interviews thought leaders and technologists from industry and academia who share their experiences and insights about artificial intelligence and what it means to be human in the era of AI-driven automation. Learn more about PeopleReign, the system of intelligence for IT and HR employee service:

Episode Date
Daniel Davila, CEO of Divisadero Pictures and tech strategist for Disney, Microsoft, and Comcast, discusses AI and the entertainment industry

The current Hollywood writers strike is the highest profile example of shifting dynamics in the entertainment industry. Studios are spending less to produce more content. Fees paid to writers have plummeted. Generative AI is only accelerating the trend. This has profound implications for the future of storytelling.

Today’s guest is an expert in the entertainment industry having founded Divisadero Pictures in 2011 to advise entertainment companies from Disney to Comcast to Microsoft on strategy and finance topics. Daniel Davila received his MFA from USC and his MBA from Stanford. 

For historical perspective, today is only the second episode in more than 190 where we’ve discussed AI and the future of the work in the entertainment industry. For long-time listeners the last time was episode 87 back in April 21 with Michael Solomon and Rishon Blumberg, authors of Game Changer: How to be 10x in the Talent Economy, who  managed Bruce Springsteen and John Mayer in a previous life.

Thank you to friend of the podcast Matthew Perez for the introduction to Daniel.

Listen and learn...

  1. The history of media consumption patterns
  2. The economics of the entertainment industry
  3. How AI is changing the entertainment industry
  4. How Daniel used generative AI tools to write a 70-page movie script
  5. Daniel's pitch to Francis Ford Coppola about the role of AI in movie-making
  6. The impact of streaming on media production and consumption
  7. The bias inherent in text to image tools like Midjourney

References in this episode...

May 29, 2023
Guru Banavar, founding CTO of Viome and former VP of IBM Watson AI, discusses the future of personalized healthcare using AI and your microbiome

Guru Banavar is the founding CTO of Viome where he helped raise $150M from a list of top-tier investors including Khosla Ventures and Bold Capital Group. Viome offers insights into health and disease using host and microbiome gene expression. Guru led the development of a first-of-a-kind saliva-based early detection system for oral and throat cancers which won the FDA’s designation as a breakthrough device.

Prior to Viome, Guru was a global VP & Chief Science Officer at IBM and the founding VP of the Watson AI Research team.

Guru has received many awards including a Leadership in Technology Management Award and a National Innovation Award from the President of India. He has published extensively and holds more than 35 US patents. His work has been featured in media outlets including the New York Times, the Economist, the Wall Street Journal, BBC, and NPR.

Listen and learn… 

  1. Why our healthspan is more important than our lifespan 
  2. How DNA to RNA transcription determines your health state 
  3. How to sequence your mRNA to understand how to optimize your diet and predict disease risk 
  4. What AI techniques can be used to develop personalized treatments 
  5. How to use data that varies across patients to make automated decisions for all patients 
  6. How Guru thinks about false positive prescriptions as a scientist when health and safety are at stake 
  7. Where the FDA is regulating how AI is used to make healthcare recommendations 
  8. Why it’s impossible to know the best diet for you without first understanding the composition of your microbiome 
  9. How to use biomarkers to turn your biological fingerprint into a data problem 
  10. Guru’s perspective on the ethical and philosophical implications of extending the healthspan 
  11. How digital twins will help perfect the ability to engineer biology 

References in this episode… 

May 22, 2023
Dr. Hyde, CEO and co-founder of Atropos Health, and Dr. Halamka, Mayo Clinic Platform President, discuss the future of AI in healthcare

Today’s guests are using machine learning to turn real world data from past interactions into insights. Dr. Hyde is the co-founder and CEO of Atropos Health which has commercialized the insights exchange for healthcare.

Dr. Hyde raised a $14M series in August 2022 from an exceptional group of investors including Breyer Capital and Emerson Capital.

Dr. Hyde is joined by an early user of Atropos, Dr. John Halamka, President of the Mayo Clinic Platform. Dr. Halamka has been developing and implementing healthcare information strategy and policy for more than 25 years. He specializes in artificial intelligence, the adoption of electronic health records and the secure sharing of healthcare data for care coordination, population health, and quality improvement. He was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2020.

For AI and the Future of Work trivia buffs this is one of only three episodes we’ve recorded with multiple guests. The last one with Tooso founders Ciro Greco and Jacopo Tagliabue was one of our most memorable.

Listen and learn...

  1. Why ChatGPT shouldn't be used for medical diagnoses
  2. How Atropos uses healthcare data from the Mayo Clinic Platform combined with AI to assist caregivers
  3. How to use AI to automate the research that can otherwise takes weeks or months
  4. How the lack of access to data-driven recommendations leads to dangerous patient outcomes
  5. Who is responsible when AI makes a bad decision that adversely impacts a patient
  6. How to use NLP to remove PII to make it usable by AI (and certify data hygiene)
  7. The challenges of managing patient data at scale in a way that complies with HIPAA regulations

References in this episode...

May 15, 2023
Dr. Shiv Rao, CEO and Co-Founder of Abridge, discusses how generative AI is fixing the biggest problem faced by doctors

Dr. Shiv Rao is a cardiologist, teacher, former corporate VC, and the CEO of an exciting company that is changing how doctors help patients. Dr. Rao started Abridge in March 2018 to solve one of the biggest problems in healthcare. He has since raised $27M most recently in a $12.5M series A extension last August from leading investors including Bessemer, Union Square, Wittington Ventures, and legendary AI pioneer Yoshua Bengio.

Today we explore what happens when AI automates the error-prone task of doctors taking notes during patient visits. It’s easy to imagine a world where quality of ilife improves because doctors are present, focused on patient outcomes, and able to develop more genuine, human relationships while AI automates everything else.

Listen and learn… 

  1. How much of a doctor’s time is spent not focused on patient care 
  2. How AI can replace “pajama time” for doctors… and reduce burnout 
  3. Why doctors require a 27-hour work day to deliver the quality of care patients expect 
  4. How to use generative AI to assist doctors to capture better notes 
  5. Who is responsible when AI makes mistakes that lead to incorrect diagnoses for patients 
  6. Why AI won’t replace doctors… but doctors using AI may replace doctors not using it 
  7. How Abridge reduces the risk of generative AI hallucinations 
  8. How a design thinking lecture changed Dr. Rao’s life 

References in this episode… 

May 08, 2023
Guillermo Corea, Managing Director at SHRM, discusses HRTech and how AI is helping employees

Guillermo Corea is the Managing Director of the SHRM Workplace Innovation Lab and Venture Capital initiatives. He joined SHRM in 2015. He and his team are focused on finding and cultivating technologies that will impact the future of work. Guillermo’s team organizes the SHRM Better Workplaces Challenge Cup and Workplace Tech Accelerator plus they lead the organization’s impact investing program. Guillermo is a vocal leader in the HRTech community.  

This was a fun one because we got to record in person at SHRMTech 2023 in San Francisco. Only our fifth live recording in more than 190 episodes!

Listen and learn...

  1. How HR teams should drive workplace innovation 
  2. Which Shark Tank shark is judging the Better Workplaces Challenge Cup
  3. How SHRM Labs connects tech entrepreneurs with HR leaders 
  4. Why the CHRO is the most strategic exec in the C-suite 
  5. How the pandemic and an aging employee population are creating opportunities for HRTech 
  6. The technology Guillermo says will change work most in the next decade 
  7. How to confront the problem of biased algorithms making HR decisions 
  8. Why the HR blockchain will replace background check vendors 
  9. The HRTech company Guillermo is ready to fund! 

References in this episode...

May 01, 2023
Daniel Marcous, founder and CTO of April and former CTO of Waze, discusses the future of AI to do your taxes

Daniel Marcous comes to fintech from an unconventional background. Before co-founding April he was the CTO for the Waze product at Google, the social traffic app originally called FreeMap Israel that was acquired by Google in 2013 for $1.3B. Daniel started his career as a data scientist in the Israeli Defense Force and actively gives back to the Israeli Data Science community through involvement with DataHack, DataLearn, and KaggleIL.

Listen and learn...

  1. What Daniel learned at Google and Waze about scaling AI
  2. Why an Israeli data scientist left Google to start a company automating tax filing for Americans
  3. Why doing taxes is like finding the best route on a map
  4. Why continuous tax planning is the future of personal finance
  5. How to manage consumer data responsibly... and still use it to train AI models
  6. Why the U.S. tax code is so complicated
  7. Why ChatGPT will never do your taxes
  8. When AI will replace CPAs
  9. Daniel's favorite cocktail

References in this episode...

Apr 24, 2023
Artem Korem, co-founder and CPO at Sembly AI, discusses how AI for voice transcription is fixing the meeting problem

Artem Koren, co-founder and Chief Product Officer at Sembly AI, started the company in January 2019 to bring the power of AI to online meetings. 

Artem and his team developed an app that listens in on virtual meetings and does all the note-taking for you including recommending action items and suggesting the most important topics. These are hard AI problems to solve and Sembly’s success is an indication they’re off to a great start.

Before Sembly, Artem was an executive and co-founder at companies including Neusana and Visual Trading Systems and he spent time as a manager in big company land at Ernst & Young.

Listen and learn...

  1. Why Artem and his co-founder decided to fix the problem of broken meetings 
  2. Why the evolution of online meetings… is like the evolution of airplanes 
  3. Why we’ll soon send AI agents to attend meetings on our behalf 
  4. When meetings are required… and how to make them more efficient 
  5. How neural nets are solving traditional voice transcription problems related to accents and background noise 
  6. How to solve the problem of automatically determining who said what in a conversation 
  7. How Sembly uses generative AI to summarize meetings 
  8. What are the risks of having AI decide what tasks to assign to meeting participants 
  9. How to prevent sensitive information from being passed to large language models as training data 

References in this episode... 

Apr 17, 2023
Bradley Metrock, CEO of Project Voice and VC, discusses the future of generative AI and voice assistants

Today’s guest is one of the most recognized investors and thought leaders in the conversational AI community. Bradley Metrock is the CEO of Project Voice, author of the popular Substack newsletter This Week in Voice with more than 30,000 subscribers, and a General Partner at Project Voice Capital Partners. Congrats to Bradley and the team on their recent announcement of their new rolling fund. 

Bradley’s a proud citizen of the Volunteer State of Tennessee. Fair warning: you may be ready to move to Chattanooga after today’s conversation. Oh, and he’s also an ironman in the world of podcasting having just launched season eight of This Week in Voice, a podcast he launched in 2017. We’re on about episode 180 of this podcast going back to 2019 so I admire Bradley’s stamina.

Listen and learn… 

  1. Where there’s opportunity for entrepreneurs to innovate in conversational AI 
  2. How conversational AI is changing quick serve restaurants, contact centers, banking, and hospitality 
  3. How Bradley evaluates new pitches at Project Voice Capital Partners 
  4. How Bradley defines voice technology in his market map 
  5. Is voice the new app… or perhaps the “original app” 
  6. Why generative AI is so disruptive 
  7. Should we be concerned about voice assistants like Siri and Alexa listening in on our conversations 
  8. What jobs will AI create over the next decade 
  9. Bradley sells the great state of Tennessee to entrepreneurs establishing roots outside a coastal state 

References in this episode... 

Apr 10, 2023
Ken Wenger, automation safety expert and author of "A Layperson's Guide to AI," discusses generative AI and how neural nets work

Ken Wenger is the author of the forthcoming book Is the Algorithm Plotting Against Us?: A Layperson’s Guide to the Concepts, Math, and Pitfalls of AI. I’ve been reading it and it is excellent. Ken is a deep thinker and a great writer. He’s also the senior director of research and innovation at CoreAVI and chief technology officer at Squint AI. 

His work focuses on the intersection of artificial intelligence and determinism, enabling neural networks to execute in safety critical systems. Kenneth has co-authored two articles in the scholarly journal Machine Learning with Applications and several white papers for different publications, including Embedded Computing Design. He also holds several patents under CoreAVI’s auspices.

Listen and learn...

  1. How neural nets emulate the brain to make decisions
  2. Why we have to be careful when using the term "intelligence" to describe "AI" systems
  3. When Ken trusts machines to make decisions... and when he doesn't 
  4. Why LLMs like ChatGPT "hallucinate"
  5. How generative AI replicates human bias
  6. Why Ken feels "if we haven't addressed ethical issues we're not ready to deploy AI solutions"
  7. What AI explainability is and why it's important

References in this episode...

Apr 03, 2023
Bob Rogers, AI expert, physicist, author, and CEO of, discusses what it was like to co-author a book with ChatGPT

Bob Rogers, AI pioneer, entrpreneur, and author, started Oii in 2019 to automate supply chain design. The company uses advanced modeling and AI to optimize supply chain planning and automate the configuration of complex networks. Bob started his career as a Harvard physicist using neural networks to measure activity near black holes in deep space. 

During his 35 year career Bob has been a trailblazer in using AI to solve complex problems. He’s also an Expert in Residence for AI at UCSF Smarter Health and was Chief Data Scientist in the Data Center Group at Intel as well as co-founder and Chief Scientist at Apixio, a Healthcare AI company. 

Additionally, he co-authored the books Artificial Neural Networks: Forecasting Time Series and “De-mystifying Big Data and Machine Learning for Healthcare“. Bob received his BA in physics at UC Berkeley and his PhD in physics at Harvard. 

Listen and learn...

  1. How neural nets work... from a pioneer
  2. What it was like to co-author a book with ChatGPT
  3. What surprised Bob most when he tested the boundaries of ChatGPT
  4. Why ChatGPT spews credible nonsense
  5. The ethics of using generative AI to sell content derived from copyrighted materials
  6. Why ChatGPT became an instant global phenomenon
  7. How OpenAI trained ChatGPT "to be nice"
  8. Is there another "AI winter" ahead?

References in this episode:

Mar 27, 2023
Dr. JP Vasseur, Cisco Fellow, prolific author, and holder of 600 patents, discusses how AI is making networks smart

Cisco got its start in 1984 connecting computers at Stanford University to form the first local area network. Other than maybe Microsoft or Apple, it’s easy to argue Cisco has had more influence on the growth of the internet, and by extension, the modern world, than any other company. 15 years after Cisco started today’s guest was hired to begin what would become a legendary career. 

Nearly 25 years later JP Vasseur has changed the world again and again. In the process, he has been recognized as the #1 inventor at Cisco with 600 patents to his name. He has authored or co-authored 35 standards, published three books on internet technologies, and has been recognized as a Cisco Fellow, a prestigious title awarded to the top few most-distinguished technical leaders at the company. Today we learn from a living legend about the past, present, and future of technology.

Listen and learn...

  1. How AI at Cisco has evolved in the past 12 years
  2. Disruptive vs. incremental innovation
  3. How predictive networks learn
  4. The design principle JP used when designing the first predictive network
  5. The challenges of predicting outages using unsupervised vs. supervised machine learning
  6. JP's process for innovating like a startup within Cisco
  7. Innovation in networking we can expect in the next decade
  8. JP's best memory from the early days of Cisco

References in this episode:

Mar 20, 2023
Navindra Yadav, CEO and Founder of Theom, discusses how AI is used to prevent data breaches

Navindra Yadav is the co-founder and CEO of Theom, the cloud data security leader. He and the team recently raised a $16M series A from an impressive group of investors including Microsoft’s M12 venture fund and Ridge Ventures. Prior to Theom, Navindra was the founder and CEO at Tetration and prior to that he was a distinguished engineer at Cisco. Navindra’s work has received more than 182 patents.

For full disclosure, Dan is an investor in Theom. Thanks to Patty Hatter, great former guest, for introducing us to Navindra.

Listen and learn... 

  1. What CISOs least understand about the security of enterprise data 
  2. Why CASBs (Cloud Access Security Brokers) are inherently vulnerable 
  3. The hardest technical problem Theom has solved 
  4. How to assign a “criticality score” to data 
  5. How to use NLP (natural language processing) to detect PII (personally identifiable information) 
  6. How to protect from unauthorized data access through social engineering 
  7. Why data stores like Snowflake, Databricks, and Confluent don’t already monitor data inappropriately leaving their platforms? 
  8. When consumers will be able to trust that data they provide SaaS vendors is secure. 
  9. The security startup Navindra and Dan are ready to fund! 

References in this episode… 

Mar 13, 2023
Andi Mann, Sageable CEO and AIOps pioneer, discusses enterprise AI wins and the impact of automation on jobs

We often discuss the future of work for enterprise employees. What technology will they use, how will people and machines interact, and how teams will be organized when geography and language are no longer barriers. Few have spent more time in and around enterprise service management than today’s guest and few are better qualified to share insights about what’s ahead.

Andi Mann has been a technology leader in technology companies around the world since the 90s. He founded Sageable, the digital transformation advisory services practice, in 2015 and has also recently served in roles that include CTO for DevOps at Splunk and VP Products and Strategy at CA which is now part of Broadcom. Andi and I both did time at BMC Software in the early 2000s. Andi is the author of multiple books including The Innovative CIO, he’s a sought after speaker, and tech provocateur who is never shy about what’s wrong with IT and where the world of digital is headed.

Thanks to friend of the podcast Steve Kaplan for the intro to Andi.

Listen and learn… 

  1. Why Andi summarizes his career this way: "I make computers do more work to allow people to do more creative things" 
  2. The best use of enterprise AI Andi has seen 
  3. How Andi helped an industrial transportation company save a billion dollars 
  4. Why “less complex systems can’t understand more complex systems” 
  5. Why the best use of AI is targeting “known knowns” by augmenting vs. replacing human intelligence 
  6. How to overcome the lack of trust in AI 
  7. Why AI won’t eliminate any jobs… and why it will create many new ones 
  8. Skills to invest in today that will never be replaced by automation 

References in this episode... 

Mar 06, 2023
Meredith Broussard, NYU professor, AI ethics authority, and featured expert in Coded Bias, discusses the social implications of AI

Meredith Broussard is one of the most visible, vocal leaders in the emerging field of algorithmic accountability. Professor Broussard is a data scientist and Associate Professor at NYU whose research focuses on AI in investigative reporting and using data analysis for social good. Meredith is the author of Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World and the forthcoming More Than a Glitch: Confronting Race, Gender, and Ability Bias in Tech. 

Among other things, Professor Broussard was featured in the seminal documentary Coded Bias. Today's discussion is about one of the most important topics in our field and in this episode we explore it with someone whose name is on a shortlist of AI ethics pioneers. You’ve heard me say repeatedly coursework in AI ethics should be required for every student graduating with a technical degree. Here's why!

Listen and learn...

  1. How AI reveals bias encoded in society
  2. Why it's important to always ask "what could go wrong" 
  3. What is the new field of "algorithmic accountability reporting"
  4. What the Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights may mean for bad acting companies
  5. What's the right role for the federal government in AI regulation
  6. How to assign an "accountability score" to algorithms
  7. The ethical issues related to AI we'll be discussing in a decade

References in this episode...

Feb 27, 2023
Arvind Jain, CEO of Glean, Rubrik co-founder, and Google Distinguished Engineer, discusses the future of enterprise search

Arvind Jain, Glean CEO and Rubrik co-founder, started Glean in March 2019 to make it easier to find answers strewn across myriad SaaS apps. Prior to Glean, Arvind had an incredible run at data security company Rubrik which he co-founded in 2014. Prior to Rubrik Arvind was a distinguished engineer at Google. Glean became a unicorn last year having raised $100M in May from a list of iconic investors including Lightspeed, General Catalyst, Kleiner Perkins, and Sequoia.

Enterprise search is one of the best examples of a field that was in desperate need of disruption. In this episode, we meet one of the disruptors.

Listen and learn...

  1. Where there's a gap in traditional search technology including Google
  2. How to retrieve the best answers across hundreds of SaaS apps
  3. How to understand what users need even when they don't know the right way to ask for it
  4. How to use LLMs like ChatGPT to improve search accuracy
  5. How products like Alexa and Siri are teaching us to ask questions using natural language rather than searching with keywords
  6. How to personalize enterprise search without improperly using user data
  7. What is the future of knowledge management

References in this episode...

Feb 20, 2023
Parul Saini, Uber's Global Head of Enterprise Apps, shares how AI supports thousands of employees at a rapidly growing global company

Parul Saini has been a technology leader at tech-first companies like Zuora, Splunk, and Uber for more than a decade in roles with increasing responsibility. She has had a birdseye view of AI tech trends and the future of work. In her current role at Uber, her service portfolio includes contact center, employee productivity, and identity management applications.

Today, we learn from an expert how to manage enterprise apps that support thousands of employees for a rapidly growing global company.

Listen and learn...

  1. Why "empathy" is the baseline for IT
  2. How to hire and retain IT talent
  3. How to navigate the dual challenges of being a technology leader and people manager simultaneously
  4. How to use AI to increase the velocity of hiring decisions
  5. Why great CIOs... are also great at sales and marketing
  6. What Parul has learned from Shantanu Narayen, Adobe CEO, and Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber CEO
  7. One thing only Uber insiders know
  8. Parul's advice for aspiring female IT leaders

References in this episode...

Feb 13, 2023
Binny Gill, Founder and CEO of Kognitos, discusses how LLMs like ChatGPT are making us all programmers

Binny Gill started his career as a programmer after studying CS and Engineering at IIT Kanpur and later UIUC, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He then had an impressive eight-year run as a technology leader at Nutanix, the hyper converged infrastructure company, eventually becoming its CTO for cloud services. In January 2021, Binny left Nutanix to start Kognitos based on a bold vision to make everyone a programmer. In this discussion, we learn about his journey and how generative AI just may change everything.

Thanks to Steve Kaplan for the intro to Binny.

Listen and learn:

  1. Binny's inspiration for starting Kognitos: "...why should humans need to think like machines... when machines can now think like humans?"
  2. What makes programming so hard.
  3. Why the future of programming is using natural language to describe the features you want.
  4. How computing interfaces restrict us from communicating like humans when programming.
  5. Why Binny says "generative AI is the new electricity."
  6. The most important leadership lesson Binny learned working alongside iconic leaders at IBM.

References in this episode:

Feb 06, 2023
Daphne Jones, best-selling author of "Win When They Say You Won't" and serial CIO, shares advice for anyone who has ever experienced imposter syndrome

Today’s guest belongs on the Mt. Rushmore of amazing female leaders we've interviewed on this podcast. Daphne and I met in November while co-presenting at the HMG Strategy event in New York City. Daphne’s energy is infectious. Her passion for inspiring leaders was obvious on stage and even more obvious when we met afterward. Daphne’s new book Win When They Say You Won’t: Break Through Barriers and Keep Leveling Up Your Success became an instant best seller. Listen to this one and you’ll understand why.

Before becoming an author, Daphne started The Board Curators to help others prepare for serving as paid company directors. She serves on numerous boards including AMN Healthcare and Masonite International. Earlier in her career, Daphne was a serial CIO serving in IT leadership roles at companies including IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, and GE Healthcare.

Listen and learn...

  1. Daphne's remarkable path from poor kid in rural Illinois to global CIO
  2. How to overcome racial bias as a black female
  3. The subtle ways bias infiltrates organizations
  4. Where imposter syndrome originates... and how to conquer it
  5. How to "version your life" to adopt a growth mindset
  6. How to use Daphne's EDIT process to achieve your goals
  7. Why DEI "won't be a thing any more" in a decade

References in today's episode...

Jan 30, 2023
Special episode: Dave Kellogg, serial CEO, investor, and SaaS pioneer, shares his (provocative) tech predictions for 2023

This is one of my favorite episodes of the year. It’s our third annual long, strange trip into the mind of a Silicon Valley legend.

Dave Kellogg is one of the best marketers, CEOs, tech provocateurs, and board whisperers around. He was an executive at iconic companies like SAP, MarkLogic, and Salesforce turned investor and board director who is now an executive in residence at Balderton Capital. 

In this episode, we discuss, well, just about everything that matters for the tech economy… startup growth metrics, generative AI, how to get funded in 2023, and of course our favorite jam band.

Listen and learn: 

  1. What Dave got right… and not so right… in his 2022 predictions 
  2. How startups can survive downturns 
  3. How to fix the problems at Salesforce, Amazon, and Facebook 
  4. What single theme will characterize 2023 in Silicon Valley 
  5. What will happen to startups that raised massive rounds in 2021 
  6. Why virtual companies won’t outperform companies built around hubs in tech centers 
  7. What’s ahead for consumption-based pricing and PLG 
  8. Why generative AI poses an existential threat to Google 

References in this episode: 

Jan 23, 2023
Carter Busse, CIO of future of work unicorn Workato, shares why it's hard to own technology... at a technology company

Carter Busse has been leading IT organizations for more than two decades. He has been an IT leader at successful, high-growth organizations ranging from Salesforce to MobileIron to 8x8 to Cohesity Among his many accolades, he was recently named a 2022 ORBIE Bay Area CIO of the year and was also the first IT leader hired at Salesforce back in 2000. 

Carter understands the challenges of managing tech infrastructure for high-growth tech companies where there’s zero margin for error because everyone thinks they know tech better than you. CIOs are like plumbing: nobody appreciates them when everything’s working but they’re the first to get blamed when there’s a blockage.

He's now the CIO of rising star Workato, the integration automation platform that has raised more than $400M, was most recently valued at nearly $6B, and has about 1,000 employees in 13 offices around the world. 

Listen and learn...

  1. What a CIO does.
  2. Why CIOs have the shortest tenure in the C-suite.
  3. The role of AI to improve employee experiences.
  4. How to recreate the Apple Genius Bar at work... for at-home employees.
  5. How generative AI will be used in the enterprise.
  6. Key questions to ask when evaluating new uses of AI.
  7. How CIOs deliver strategic value and avoid being "technology traffic cops".

References in this episode:

Jan 16, 2023
Darren Murph, Head of Remote at GitLab and Guinness world record holder, discusses what's required to make remote-first work cultures succeed

Darren Murph has been Head of Remote at GitLab for 3.5 years and has been a part of its rise to prominence. His leadership helped shape GitLab’s remote-first culture. GitLab went public in 2021 and has about a $7B market cap. It’s one of the leading DevOps platforms and has grown its team to more than 2k employees. 

Before GitLab Darren has been an entrepreneur, journalist, and author. Oh, and by the way, he holds one of the most awesome records in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Listen and learn:

  1. How to make work an organizational principle instead of a perk or policy
  2. What a Head of Remote does... and why every company will soon hire one
  3. Why there's no such thing as "hybrid" work
  4. The number one mistake organizations make when transitioning to remote work
  5. How remote-first teams make the most of in person team
  6. How GitLab uses the personal "readme" to help remote employees get to know each other
  7. How to Zoom happy hours with "community service hours"
  8. How Darren earned his place in the Guinness Book of World Records

References in this episode...

Jan 09, 2023
AI wins and losses in 2022... and predictions for 2023 with two AI legends: tech futurists Peter Scott and David Wood

Today's episode first appeared on Peter Scott's (excellent!) AI and You podcast.

Peter Scott and David Wood are two of the most recognized AI futurists. Both are respected authors, speakers, and visionaries. Peter is a popular TEDx speaker and long-time NASA engineer. David was recently named one of the "top 100 most influential people in technology".

Today's discussion is a must-listen in which we discuss the future of technology, the future of work, and the future of humanity. In this one, Peter hosted and the three of us had a round table discussion about everything from generative AI to sentience. Let us know what you think after listening. Our DMs are open on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Listen and learn...

  1. Where AI won and lost in 2022
  2. Our predictions for AI in 2023
  3. What will the impact of ChatGPT be on the future of technology
  4. What tasks are best-suited for generative AI
  5. How we'll regulate generative AI when it spews nonsense
  6. What is artificial general intelligence (AGI) and when we'll achieve it
  7. What is sentience and are today's bots sentient?
  8. How and where the US AI Bill of Rights falls short vs. AI regulation in the EU
  9. What we should be doing to systematize the practice of responsible AI

References in the episode:

Jan 02, 2023
Rich White, UserVoice founder and Fathom CEO, discusses the future of meetings and how he made Zoom calls suck less

We’ve met some brilliant product minds on this show over the years. If you’re a long-time listener you hopefully enjoyed discussions with legends like Phil McKinney, former CTO of HP, and Philippe Cases, founder and CEO of Topio Networks, among others. Today’s guest belongs on that list.

Rich and I first met when he was starting UserVoice around 2010 and I was at ServiceNow. I love his approach to innovation. He pioneered the idea that listening to customers can be as easy as adding a feedback tab to every web page back when all that existed were clunky survey tools. Today, thousands of sites use the widget he invented. 

He’s now out to make meetings more productive by helping attendees focus on conversations while an app transcribes them and offers simple buttons to annotate what’s happening. It’s obvious once you’ve used Fathom that this is the future of meetings.

Rich White is not only a serial innovator but also a repeat entrepreneur who has raised from a group of exceptional investors over the years and was part of the YC Winter 2021 batch. Enjoy!

Listen and learn...

  1. As a product expert and innovator, how to know when you've found "an itch worth scratching"
  2. What is "product-market fit" and how to know when you've achieved it
  3. What is a viral coefficient and how do you calculate it
  4. How the "jobs to be done" framework led Rich to develop the key feature of Fathom
  5. The hardest problem Fathom has solved... has nothing to do with voice transcription
  6. How Fathom trains developers to practice responsible AI

References in this episode:

Dec 25, 2022
Special episode live from the BOUNDARYLESS Future of Work event in SF: Rani Mavram, Complete CEO, and Ankit Jain, Aviator CEO

Special episode this week! We recorded two live discussions from Turing's BOUNDARYLESS "Future of Work" event in San Francisco. In the first, Rani Mavram, CEO, discusses using data to transform compensation policies from being a liability to an asset for high-growth companies. In the second, Ankit Jain, Aviator CEO, discusses using automation to improve developer productivity for remote-first engineering teams.

Listen and learn...
From Rani Mavram:

  1. Why compensation policies have an outsize impact on employee engagement
  2. What's required to make compensation plans transparent
  3. The difference between compensation plans and "total reward" packages
  4. Where innovation is happening in the field of employee compensation

From Ankit Jain:

  1. How to make remote-first engineering teams successful
  2. Using automation to improve developer productivity
  3. How startups can replicate the developer experience at Google and Facebook
  4. The future of generative AI and GitHub Copilot in assisting human developers

References in today's show:

Dec 18, 2022
Merve Hickok, one of the "top 100 most brilliant women in AI ethics," shares what you need to know about the blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights

Merve Hickok is one of the most recognized thought leaders in the emerging field of AI ethics. Merve is the founder of and Lighthouse Career Consulting. Her work is at the intersection of AI and data ethics along with social justice and DEI policy and regulation.

Merve was recently listed among the top 100 most brilliant women in AI ethics and in the past she lectured at the University of Michigan’s School of Information on Data Science ethics. Merve’s at the forefront of this emerging field that will define how we live and work for the next several decades. This is an important conversation. Enjoy!

Listen and learn… 

  1. What led to Merve founding
  2. How the AI ethics conversation has evolved over the past year 
  3. What the White House got right (and wrong) in the blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights 
  4. What responsible AI means to Merve 
  5. Why regulation doesn’t necessarily constrain innovation 
  6. How AI policy and regulation are different around the world 

References in this episode... 

Dec 11, 2022
Emmanuel Turlay, Founder and CEO of Sematic and machine learning pioneer, discusses what's required to turn every software engineer into an ML engineer

Emmanuel Turlay spent more than a decade in engineering roles at tech-first companies like Instacart and Cruise before realizing machine learning engineers need a better solution. Emmanuel started Sematic earlier this year and was part of the YC summer 2022 batch. He recently raised a $3M seed round from investors including Race Capital and Soma Capital. Thanks to friend of the podcast and former guest Hina Dixit from Samsung NEXT for the intro to Emmanuel.

I’ve been involved with the AutoML space for five years and, for full disclosure, I’m on the board of Auger which is in a related space. I’ve seen the space evolve and know how much room there is for innovation. This one's a great education about what’s broken and what’s ahead from a true machine learning pioneer.

Listen and learn...

  1. How to turn every software engineer into a machine learning engineer
  2. How AutoML platforms are automating tasks performed in traditional ML tools
  3. How Emmanuel translated learning from Cruise, the self-driving car company, into an open source platform available to all data engineering teams
  4. How to move from building an ML model locally to deploying it to the cloud and creating a data pipeline... in hours
  5. What you should know about self-driving cars... from one of the experts who developed the brains that power them
  6. Why 80% of AI and ML projects fail

References in this episode:

Dec 04, 2022
Kevin Mulcahy, co-author of the Future Workplace Experience, discusses how technology is improving the employee experience

Kevin Mulcahy, co-author of the Future Workplace Experience, has been thinking and writing about the future of work since 2016. Six years ago the future of work was dramatically different. Reading Kevin’s book makes him seem like a clairvoyant who predicted the future. 

In addition to being a successful author Kevin is a sought after speaker on all topics related to the future of work and workplace trends. In the past, he also lectured on entrepreneurship at Babson College.

Listen and learn:

  1. What HR teams need to know about delivering great employee experiences
  2. How Airbnb created a culture of measuring and improving the employee experience
  3. What are progressive employers doing to make the transition back to office work easier
  4. The three "soft leadership" questions every manager should get great at asking
  5. How to measure the quality of employee experiences
  6. How AI can be used to detect changes in tone in employee engagement
  7. Where to start when using AI to improve the employee experience
  8. How the metaverse will improve remote work

References in this episode:

Nov 27, 2022
Michael Osterrieder, CEO and founder of vAIsual, discusses how generative AI is disrupting the stock media industry

Today’s guest is the co-founder and CEO of vAIsual, the company pioneering the use of generative AI to create synthetic stock media. All of those photos you see online and in print publications of people promoting products usually are human models posing in generic ways. Their pictures are sold by companies like Getty Images in marketplaces that are inefficient and limited in scope.

Michael Osterrieder and his partner Nico are legends in the world of stock media who realized there’s a better way. They created what they call an algorithmic camera and launched vAIsual last year to scratch their own catch. Michael is a serial entrepreneur and photographer based in Budapest and he’s out to test the limits of generative AI.

Listen and learn:

  1. How growing up listening to heavy metal inspired Michael's career in visual media
  2. What are the challenges of using generative AI to create synthetic stock images of people
  3. How visual media content creation has evolved
  4. The ethics of generative AI
  5. What Michael describes as "the biggest art heist in history"
  6. How vAIsual extends human photos using machine vision and human labeling
  7. Can an AI be the owner of copyrighted material it produces?
  8. What is the definition of consciousness?

References in this episode...

Nov 20, 2022
Otto Soderlund, CEO and co-founder of Speechly, discusses what's hard about adding conversational AI to apps

Otto Soderlund co-founded Speechly in 2016 with Hannes Heikinheimo in their hometown of Helsinki. He believes voice should be a first-class citizen for all apps and making it easy for developers to add voice support from any platform will unlock new innovation.

Speechly is a member of the YC Winter 22 batch. Otto and I recently co-presented at the VOICE22 event in Washington DC although I presented remote so this is the first time we’re actually meeting. I heard good things about his talk so I was eager for this discussion. It didn't disappoint.

Listen and learn...

  1. Why voice is the new app and what it means to develop "voice-first" apps
  2. How RAIN Agency uses Speechly to help auto technicians use voice assistants to fix cars
  3.  How to accurately detect and transcribe speech when dealing with common challenges like background noise and accents
  4. When speech detection achieved "superhuman" levels of accuracy
  5. How Speechly combines speech recognition with natural language understanding (NLU) on the local device
  6. How Otto thinks about exercising responsible AI
  7. Why "voice technology won't exist as a separate field in a decade"

References in this episode...

Nov 13, 2022
Jonathan Frankle, Harvard Professor and MosaicML Chief Scientist, discusses the past, present, and future of deep learning

Jonathan Frankle, incoming Harvard Professor and Chief Scientist at MosaicML, is focused on reducing the cost of training neural nets. He received his PhD at MIT and his BSE and MSE from Princeton.

Jonathan has also been instrumental in shaping technology policy related to AI. He worked on a landmark facial recognition report while working as a Staff Technologist at the Center on Privacy and Technology at Georgetown Law.

Thanks to great guest Hina Dixit from Samsung NEXT for the introduction to Jonathan!

Listen and learn...

  1. Why we can't understand deep neural nets like we can understand biology or physics.
  2. Jonathan's "lottery hypothesis" that neural nets are 50-90% bigger than they need to be...but it's hard to find which parts aren't necessary.
  3. How researchers are finding ways to reduce the cost and complexity of training neural nets.
  4. Why we shouldn't expect another AI winter because "it's now a fundamental substrate of research".
  5. Which AI problems are a good fit for deep learning... and which ones aren't.
  6. What's the role for regulation in enforcing responsible use of AI.
  7. How Jonathan and his CTO Hanlin Tang at MosaicML create a culture that fosters responsible use of AI.
  8. Why Jonathan says "...We're building a ladder to the moon if we think today's neural nets will lead to AGI."

References in this episode...

Nov 06, 2022
Eric Olson, CEO and co-founder of Consensus, discusses how to use LLMs to help researchers get better answers faster from evidence-based journals

Eric Olson, CEO and co-founder of Consensus, is a collegiate athlete turned data scientist turned entrepreneur who needed faster access to reliable data while working at DraftKings. Consensus is a search engine that uses a large language model to find answers in peer-reviewed research articles. Eric's living proof that the best entrepreneurs start by solving a problem they've encountered. Hear how Eric's scratching his own itch.

Listen and learn...

  1. Why Google isn't the answer for scientists seeking evidence-based answers online
  2. Why a business model that relies on ads can't solve the "unbiased answer" problem for researchers
  3. How Consensus addresses the problem of conflicting information online from credible resources
  4. How to use labels to improve search retrieval accuracy... without introducing bias into results
  5. How to use extractive large language models (LLMs), to extract relevant portions of documents and match them to NLP questions 
  6. Why generative AI like GPT-3 can't answer "what's the consensus opinion out there" when multiple potential answers exist
  7. Who is responsible if Consensus delivers answers that lead to harmful outcomes
  8. What Eric learned as a division I NCAA athlete (Go Wildcats!) that has helped him as a high-tech entrepreneur

References in this episode:

Oct 30, 2022
Mona Akmal, outspoken CEO of Falkon, discusses how to use data to help sales reps "make the best deal the typical deal"

Mona Akmal, CEO of sales intelligence platform Falkon, is the outspoken co-founder behind an emerging leader in a hot space. Mona migrated to the United States at age 20 with a CS degree and little else. She had an impressive 12-year run as a product leader at Microsoft where she helped scale OneDrive and Office. She subsequently led product and technology organizations at places like and Amperity. Two decades later, Mona’s the CEO of Falkon AI, an intelligence platform for go to market teams. Falkon recently raised $16M from a group of A-list investors that includes Greylock and Madera among others.

Listen and learn...

  1. Why Mona's philosophy revolves around two words: "efficiency" and "excellence"
  2. What makes a standout sales rep great.
  3. How do find signal in noisy sales and marketing data
  4. How many touches are required from stage one to closing a B2B deal
  5. How to fix the CRM data hygiene problem
  6. Why econometrics approaches perform better than machine learning to solve the "small data problem"
  7. Why "everyone needs to be coached and nobody needs to be managed"
  8. Mona's (legendary) mental health advice to entrepreneurs

References in this episode...

Oct 23, 2022
Hina Dixit, venture capitalist at Samsung NEXT and former Apple engineering leader, discusses how to get your AI or web3 startup funded

Hina Dixit, venture capitalist leading AI investing at Samsung NEXT, grew up in a small town in India from humble beginnings. She couldn’t afford a Starbucks coffee and graduated with significant student debt… which fueled her passion for mentoring and coaching as she became financially independent. 

Prior to Samsung NEXT, Hina was an Apple engineering leader who helped launch two-factor authentication and other core iOS technologies. Hina’s a reluctant venture investor having always been a builder. A mentor from Homebrew encouraged her to pursue investing and she’s now passionate about finding and funding the next generation of AI and web3 entrepreneurs.

Listen and learn… 

  1. How Hina overcame institutional biases to achieve success in engineering leadership roles and venture investing 
  2. How being trusted with money at a young age by her father helped Hina become independent and confident in her career 
  3. The challenges Hina faced transitioning from a builder at Apple to an investor at Samsung NEXT 
  4. What Hina looks for when investing in AI and web3 startups 
  5. Where there are opportunities for innovation in web3 and metaverse infrastructure 
  6. What will prevent Big Tech from centralizing the decentralized web 
  7. How Hina thinks about responsible AI when evaluating new investments 
  8. How and when entrepreneurs should engage corporate venture capital (CVC) firms 
  9. The AR/VR technology Hina wants to invest in… her inbox is open :) 

References in this episode: 

Oct 16, 2022
Rana Gujral, CEO of Behavioral Signals, discusses the future of NLP and sentiment analysis to improve customer service

Rana Gujral, CEO of Behavioral Signals since 2018, joined the company after a distinguished tech career growing companies like Logitech, TiZE, and Cricut. Behavioral Signals uses emotion and behavioral science to help contact center agents deliver better service. Rana and the team are on a mission to improve customer interactions by using signals other than the spoken word to understand exactly what they need based on indicators like voice tone and pitch.

Listen and learn...

  1. How to train AI models on past service interactions and outcomes to determine which agents should speak to which customers
  2. How to use deep learning and NLP to process non-speech behavior signals like intonation, pitch, and tonal variance
  3. How behavior signals can be used to predict stress, duress, and propensity to buy or pay
  4. How to achieve high levels of prediction accuracy without processing "the spoken word"
  5. Why tone and pitch are better indicators of sentiment than actual words across any language 
  6. How to compete with Google/Microsoft/Amazon for data when building an AI-first conversational intelligence product
  7. The biggest opportunity Rana sees to use AI to help humans live better lives

References in this episode:

Oct 09, 2022
Ahmed Elsamadisi, Narrator CEO, is a roboticist by training and one of the first engineers at WeWork. Now he's changing how the world tells stories with data.

Ahmed Elsamadisi built the data infrastructure at WeWork before realizing every company could benefit from his team’s innovation. Traditional star schemas aren’t the best way to manage data. Ahmed instead pioneered a new approach using a single-table column model better suited for real questions people ask. He launched Narrator in 2017 to make it easier to turn data questions into answers and has since raised $6.2M from Initialized Capital, Flybridge Capital Partners, and Y Combinator. Ahmed received his BS in Robotics from Cornell. Hear from a pioneer (and tech provocateur) how new data wrangling techniques are making it easier for mere mortals to get more value out of their data.

Listen and learn…

  1. How a roboticist who got his start building self-driving cars and designing missile defense systems ended up redefining how data is stored
  2. Why traditional approaches that require SQL to access data are broken
  3. How a single-column schema eliminates the complexity of joining systems and tables
  4. Why it’s easier to tell better stories with data using temporal relationships extracted from customer journeys
  5. Why Snowflake, Redshift, and BigQuery are really all the same… and data modeling is the place to innovate 
  6. What it means to replace traditional tables with activities… and why they’ll eliminate the need for specialized data analysts 
  7. How to reduce data storage costs by 90% and time to generate data insights from weeks to minutes 
  8. Why data management vendors are responsible for bad decisions made using your data 
  9. What is data cleaning and how you should do it 
  10. What is a racist algorithm 
  11. Why querying data with natural language will never work 
  12. Is the WeCrashed version of Adam Neumann’s neuroticism accurate? Hear from someone who lived it... 

References in this episode:

Oct 02, 2022
Seth Earley, author of The AI-Powered Enterprise, discusses the future of knowledge management

Seth Earley is a Chemist by training and an expert on AI. Specifically, how AI is used to improve knowledge management. In fact, he wrote the book on the topic titled “The AI-Powered Enterprise” in which he explains the importance of ontologies when applying AI. Seth is the CEO of Earley Information Science. He has been advising companies on technology strategy since 1994 and is currently focused on AI and knowledge engineering. 

Listen and learn: 

  1. Seth’s contribution to AI history… including the term he coined that was co-opted by former IBM CEO Ginni Rometty 
  2. Why all AI is a data (and information architecture) problem 
  3. How the Applied Materials field services team reduced time spent finding information by 50% with knowledge engineering and ontologies 
  4. Why proper information architecture is required for virtual agents to reduce call volume and help live agents 
  5. What has changed since Seth first published his AI book in 2020 
  6. The benefits of semantic search vs. traditional keyword search 
  7. Where to start with a knowledge management strategy 
  8. Why “data scientists spend more time being data janitors” 
  9. How to mitigate the impact of bias in AI training data 

References in this episode: 

Sep 25, 2022
Peter Scott, popular author, TedX speaker, and futurist, discusses how to ensure AI is used for good… despite the potential for it doing harm

Peter Scott, author, TedX speaker, and futurist, worked at NASA’s JPL laboratory after receiving his Masters Degree in Computer Science from Cambridge. Raising kids made him realize the potential impact of AI to do both good and harm. He left NASA and switched careers to feel confident he was doing all he could to secure their future. He recently published Artificial Intelligence and You after publishing Crisis of Control five years back. 

Listen and learn: 

  1. When will we achieve artificial general intelligence (AGI)… and is that the right goal for the AI community? 
  2. Why we weight the potential of AI doing harm about five times as much as the potential for it doing good. 
  3. What’s the biggest global problem AI might solve in the near term. 
  4. How DeepMind’s AlphaFold protein folding technology could change humanity. 
  5. What does it mean to be human in an era when machines can do more tasks historically reserved for humans? 
  6. Why Peter blames Big Tech for “breaking” democracy. 
  7. What Peter expects will be AI’s greatest achievement in the next decade. 
  8. Why the evolution of a digital race hinges on global economic incentives.

References in this episode: 

Sep 18, 2022
Kia Kokalitcheva, Axios tech reporter and co-author of the Pro Rata newsletter, discusses what Adam Neumann’s new company Flow means for the future of work

Kia Kokalitcheva, Axios tech reporter, is a Silicon Valley native who writes about tech news and culture. Among other things, she co-authors the popular Pro Rata newsletter (over 200k subscribers) with Dan Primack. Kia has covered many of the most iconic tech stories of the past decade as a writer at Fortune and VentureBeat prior to Axios which was just acquired by Cox Enterprises. Kia recently wrote about Adam Neumann’s new company, Flow. Hear Kia’s perspectives on how Flow could transform living like WeWork transformed working… and why she’s not scared that bots may take her job. 

Listen and learn… 

  1. How Adam Neumann of WeWork fame raised $350M at a $1B valuation from A16Z for his new company Flow… before launching  
  2. Kia’s proudest moment as a journalist 
  3. What the acquisition of Axios by Cox Enterprises means for journalism 
  4. How Flow may be more than the reincarnation of WeWork’s failed WeLive experiment 
  5. As a culture, are we ready for communal living? 
  6. What is the future of company perks… are the days of on-site dry cleaning numbered? 
  7. How the generational shift is impacting cultural norms in the workplace 
  8. What tasks bots will never do better than live journalists 

References in this episode: 

Sep 11, 2022
Deon Nicholas, CEO of Forethought, discusses how human-centered AI improves the customer experience

Deon Nicholas, Forethought Co-Founder CEO, grew up in inner city Toronto stocking shelves in a pharmacy before learning to code at an early age. He started Forethought in 2017 after learning the value of answering customer questions working for companies like Facebook and Pure Storage. 

Deon has since raised $92M from an exceptional group of investors including funds like Steadfast Capital and NEA plus celebrities including Gwyneth Paltrow, Ashton Kutcher, and Robert Downey Jr. Deon won the TechCrunch Disrupt Battlefield startup competition in 2018 and is a member of the Forbes 30 under 30. He’s also a mentor and advisor to founders of color.
Listen and learn...

  1. How AI connects customers to the right agents then indicates the likelihood of a support interaction escalating
  2. How to use historical data to help live agents fix problems faster
  3. The evolution of chatbots from decision trees to AI
  4. How to combine generic language models with domain-specific data to increase the accuracy of NLP
  5. How to solve the problem of bias encoded in data
  6. How GANs, generative adversarial networks, work
  7. Why ML pipelines need to be monitored like web apps

References in this episode...

Sep 04, 2022
Jim Lawton, worldwide authority on industrial robots, discusses how humans and machines are partnering to improve safety and efficiency in manufacturing

Jim Lawton, VP and GM of Robotics Automation at Zebra Technologies, met the founder of Roomba, Rodney Brooks, at MIT nearly three decades ago. It inspired a lifetime passion for  robots that help humans. Since then, he has influenced generations of robotic automation technology at companies from Rethink Robotics to Zebra Technologies. This is a fascinating discussion that will make you reconsider what robots can do and why humans shouldn't feel threatened by them. 

Listen and learn...

  1. How Jim cultivated a passion for robots... and why that makes him "the cool dad"
  2.  How innovation in robotic technology is helping AMRs, autonomous mobile robots, perform more human-like tasks with less training
  3. Which "dirty, dull, dangerous" tasks are the best candidates for robotic automation 
  4. How new training techniques are reducing the time required to train a robot from 300 hours to a fraction of that  which "democratizes automation"  
  5. What's required to keep humans safe from robots
  6. How supplementing humans with robots for a task like picking items from warehouse shelves using machine vision saves 12-15 miles of walking per day while increasing accuracy
  7. How techniques like SLAM and machine learning are making it easier to program robots to do more complex tasks more accurately with zero or minimal coding
  8. Which new careers will be created by industrial robots... and which will be eliminated
  9. Two quick ways to know if a factory using robots and humans is safe 
  10. Why Jim's passion is using robots to help people be their best selves

References in this episode:

Aug 28, 2022
Kamal Ahluwalia, Eightfold President, discusses how he grew a unicorn and how AI helps find the right career for everyone in the world

Kamal Ahluwalia and the Eightfold team set out to find the right career for everyone in the world. Six years later after having raised more than $200M from a legendary group of investors and built a talented 600-person team, they’re well on their way. Kamal joined Eightfold as President in 2018 from a successful tech career at companies like Model N and Selectica. Hear Kamal share his vision for how to use data and AI to help employees upskill, reskill, and ultimately find careers they love. 

Listen and learn…

  1. How Eightfold operationalizes the bold vision to find “the right career for everyone in the world" 
  2. What has helped Eightfold scale to support customers in 140 countries and 19 languages
  3. How an AI HR platform helps with upskilling for internal mobility but also with hiring and talent-skill matching
  4. Why legacy HR tech software failed by focusing on “compliance vs. employee needs” 
  5. Why automation won’t eliminate jobs… but every job will change as a result of AI 
  6. How understanding human potential starts with understanding data stored outside HCM in “systems of work” like CRM and ITSM 
  7. How to mitigate the impact of biased data to use AI to achieve inclusion and diversity goals
  8. How AI can identify roles where employees are likely to succeed… even when they have no experience performing skills they require 
  9. What are the ethical implications of using AI to hire and promote employees 

References in this episode: 

Aug 21, 2022
Turn the tables! Former guest, author, and QSTAC CEO Ben Brennan interviews Dan Turchin about AI and the future of work

Ben Brennan, former guest, accomplished author, and QSTAC CEO, guest hosts today's "turn the tables" episode... and interviews Dan Turchin, PeopleReign CEO. Learn about Dan's vision for augmenting human intelligence with machine intelligence and how AI will be used to give the next billion employees back an hour a day.

Listen and learn...

  1. The origin story behind this podcast
  2. What's required to use AI to improve employee experiences 
  3. How many new jobs will be created by AI in the next five years according to The World Economic Forum
  4. The right way for investors to identify talent and catalyze innovation
  5. How Ben learned the value of human-centric AI from his days at Yahoo, Box, and Twitter

References in this episode:

Aug 14, 2022
Gadi Shamia, CEO at Replicant, discusses the future of bots for contact center automation to improve customer service

Gadi Shamia, Replicant CEO and co-founder, has been delivering innovation to help customers have better service experiences for more than a decade. He helped grow and sell Echosign to Adobe for $400M in 2011 then went on to lead Talkdesk which most recently raised $230M at a $10B valuation. Gadi's a serial entrepreneur and a deep thinker who believes in the power of AI to make people better. 

Listen and learn:

  1. Why we hate calling customer support... and how AI is making the experience better
  2. Why automation beyond IVR is saving contact centers
  3. What happens when AI makes bad decisions
  4. When it's ok to "nudge" users to work with the bot... even when they ask for a human
  5. The ethical implicatio ns of bots pretending to be human 
  6. What new careers  will be created when call center agents are replaced by bots

References in this episode:

Aug 07, 2022
Krish Ramineni, Fireflies CEO, discusses the future of AI voice assistants to make meetings more productive

Krish Ramineni, Fireflies CEO and Microsoft alum, learned the value of NLP working with Skype and Office as a Product Manager. He set out to solve a problem he had: note-taking in meetings and following up afterward. Fireflies has been used by more than 60,000 organizations to make meetings more efficient. Krish has raised nearly $20M from an A-list group of investors including Canaan Partners and Khosla Ventures. 

Listen and learn...

  1. The evolution of speech recognition technology in the enterprise
  2. How Krish and the team build an AI voice assistant that joins  meetings in 100 countries every day
  3. How to start with 85% ASR (automated speech recognition) accuracy and make it better using AI
  4. How to mitigate the impact of biased training data where foreign accents and uncommon speech patterns are underrepresented
  5. Who owns voice transcripts used to train AI models
  6. How being recorded changes participant behavior in meetings
  7. The future of "voice-first" computing

References in this episode:

Jul 31, 2022
Joel Eagle, Senior Director at McDonald's, shares how AI helps serve 70 million meals every day

Joel Eagle, McDonald's Senior Director of Technology and Architecture, started his career in healthcare and logistics before being promoted to technology leadership roles at one of the world's most iconic companies. Joel and his team manage the cloud infrastructure that powers 40,000 restaurants for two million employees... and helps serve happiness in 120 global markets to the equivalent of the  world's population every 100 days. The technology that makes McDonald's work is phenomenally complex. Joel makes it sound simple. Hear from the expert. Oh, and stick around to the end for McDonald's fun facts!

Listen and learn...

  1. How Joel channels Ray Kroc's vision when architecting systems: "restaurants should run themselves... it should be as simple as a shoebox with money going in and going out."
  2. Why Joel says "if it's easier for the crew it's better for the consumer."
  3. How AI, wearables, IoT, and AR are all parts of the McDonald's technology vision.
  4. Why the shift supervisor at a McDonald's restaurant has one of the hardest jobs in the world. 
  5.  The anatomy of a McDonald's restaurant: "...they're mini factories run by a server."
  6. How AI is improving the drive-thru experience and personalizing the dining experience.
  7. What's required to support the McDonald's app which generates 16% of the company's revenue and is the world's most downloaded food ordering app.

References in this episode...

Jul 24, 2022
Ben Brennan, QSTAC CEO and author of Badass IT Support, discusses how to quantify the employee experience
Ben Brennan, QSTAC CEO, author, and former IT exec at Yahoo and Verizon Media, is a world traveler, a musician, and a trained psychologist with passions for philosophy and psychotherapy. Not exactly the traditional background for an IT leader. Early roles at Pivotal Labs and Jawbone taught Ben that bringing humanity to technology is the future of work. He since published Badass IT Support and started QSTAC to measure the employee experience. 

Listen and learn...

  1. What Ben learned managing 100 people and supporting 15,000 employees at Yahoo
  2. How the culture at Pivotal Labs inspired Ben's philosophy on quantifying the employee experience
  3. How Ben convinced a former Apple leader why QSTAC is better than NPS
  4. Why CSAT scores don't actually correlate with how satisfied employees are at work
  5. How the principles of Design Thinking can be used to run IT
  6. What IT must do to avoid being "Uber-ed" like the taxi industry
References in this episode...

Jul 17, 2022
Francois Candelon, AI expert and Managing Director at BCG, shares tips for succeeding with AI based on 30 years of research

Francois Candelon, Managing Director at the BCG Henderson Institute, has spent 30 years researching how companies adopt modern technology.  His research spans business, technology, economics, and science. Francois is a popular speaker, author, and advisor who has been featured at events including Mobile World Congress, TED@BCG, Politico AI Summit, and Wuzhen Internet Conference. Francois is also a leader on BCG's GAMMA AI@Scale team. 

Listen and learn...

  1. The one company Francois says best illustrates how AI can transform legacy industries
  2. Why "artificial intelligence" isn't really "intelligent"
  3. What is an "AI strategy"... and what are the four questions to ask to define yours
  4. How a fintech company in the UK reduced costs to transfer money by 90% with AI
  5. What's required to earn the public's trust in AI
  6. Why every company should be required to have a "social license" to use AI

References in this episode...

Jul 10, 2022
Stephen Messer, AI entrepreneur, CEO, mentor, and web pioneer, discusses the future of automation in B2B sales

Stephen Messer, founder of Collective[i], was an attorney and teacher before discovering his passion for entrepreneurship. He started LinkShare (acquired by Rakuten in 2005) which made it possible to pay for clicks on the web. He changed how the web works and now he's using AI to change the world of B2B sales. The world needs more visionaries like Stephen. Hear what fuels him and learn about his process for disrupting legacy industries.

Listen and learn...

  1. The four words that define what all the best entrepreneurs do better than everyone else
  2. Why sales is the only job function where "30% productivity is the norm"
  3. What's required to use AI to help B2B sales people
  4. How to use RPA to automatically update CRM systems
  5. How Stephen's winning against Salesforce, Microsoft, and HubSpot
  6. What to look for in a mentor

References in this episode...

Jul 03, 2022
Special episode: Is Google's LaMDA chatbot sentient? Tiernan Ray from ZDNet breaks it all down and discusses how to tell a chatbot from a human... and the ethics of bots fooling people.

In this special episode, we unpack the controversy surrounding the sentient chatbot that "worries about its future". Google engineer Blake Lemoine published a transcript of a conversation with the chatbot LaMDA that generated strong reactions from technologists and AI ethicists. It conjured images from science fiction movies that always capture the public imagination.

Tiernan Ray, ZDNet writer, accomplished tech journalist,  and good friend of the podcast, joined host Dan Turchin to reflect on the story based on his analysis of the 5,000-word LaMDA transcript.

Listen and learn...

  1. What will it be like to co-habit a world with thinking machines?
  2. What does it mean for an AI to be sentient? Why should we care?
  3. Should AI be protected under the 13th amendment?
  4. How do we know LaMDA's not sentient from the transcript?
  5. What are the ethical implications of developing sentient bots?
  6. Did Google act responsibly in developing a bot that is sentient-like?

References in this episode...

Jun 26, 2022
Kevin Dewalt, CEO of Prolego and author of "Become an AI Company in 90 Days", shares what every company must know to succeed with AI

Kevin Dewalt, CEO of Prolego, built his first neural net at Stanford in 1995 after graduating from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. He popularized the term "AI abundance" to describe the path of exponential technologies and how AI adoption is five years from becoming mainstream. He now applies 25 years of studying AI to help organizations embrace the future. 

Listen and learn...

  1. What every company needs to know to succeed with AI.
  2. How the most successful organizations approach AI investments.
  3. Why Kevin says: "...we haven't had a single project where we've used AI to eliminate jobs."
  4. What Kevin feels is the most disruptive field within AI research.
  5. Practical applications of NLP and large language models (LLMs) 
  6. Kevin's contrarian view on AI ethics

References in this episode:

Jun 19, 2022
Giselle Mota, TEDx speaker and top 100 "Future of Work" thought leader, discusses how AI helps us become better humans

Giselle Mota, Future of Work principal at ADP, overcame dyslexia and discovered passions for math and AI. Her parents immigrated from the Dominican Republic and taught Giselle the power of perseverance. Now she speaks frequently to global audiences about the importance of using AI responsibly to hire and nurture talent.

Listen and learn...

  1. How AI accelerates the process of learning new skills
  2. How to mitigate the impact of bias in automated decision-making
  3. The dangers of using facial recognition in recruiting and hiring processes
  4. How to design organizations that celebrate cognitive diversity
  5. How to optimize hiring processes to avoid confirmation bias
  6. How many jobs will be created by AI before 2025 according to the World Economic Forum
  7. Giselle's coaching for females and under-represented minorities in STEM fields

References in this episode:

Jun 12, 2022
Harish Batlapenumarthy, co-founder of Emtropy Labs, discusses the future of supervised machine learning to improve customer service

Harish Batlapenumarthy always believed culture is more important than anything else at work. He and the team at Emtropy Labs set out to identify how groups communicate in companies using machine learning. They ultimately landed on listening to customer feedback to automatically generate insights into customer experience metrics like churn risk. 

Listen and learn...

  1. A better way to identify customer sentiment using supervised machine learning
  2. What techniques are most effective for labeling training data
  3. Why traditional methods of measuring customer satisfaction are poor at understanding actual customer satisfaction
  4. How to mitigate the impact of bias in training data
  5. How Harish defines "responsible AI"
  6. Why there will always be a need for human customer success managers

References in this episode...

Jun 05, 2022
Dr. Eric Daimler, Obama's AI authority, professor, and serial entrepreneur, discusses how technology influences public policy

Eric Daimler advised the Obama administration on how to have conversations about AI. His work led to the creation of the AI office within the Science Advisory Group of The White House which has now become a cabinet-level position reporting to The President. Eric's a walking encyclopedia about AI policy and he shares all in this fascinating discussion about the future of technology, ethics, and society.

Listen and learn...

  1. What it's like to shift from academia to venture capital to entrepreneurship to public service
  2. How the growth of data sources as well as data creates an unimaginably large number of data relationships
  3. How Conexus applied categorical algebra to bring together 300k databases at Uber
  4. Why it's data integration limitations that are constraining AI innovation more than compute, storage, or algorithms
  5.  How category theory is required for smart contracts on blockchains and quantum computing
  6.  How Eric thinks about when AI should make autonomous decisions vs. requiring human intervention
  7.  The role of regulation in managing job elimination due to AI
  8.  The ethical framework Eric proposes for evaluating what decisions AI can and should make
  9. The challenges of enforcing data policies like GDPR in the EU
  10. How Eric defines "responsible AI"

References in this episode...

May 29, 2022
Mahesh Ram, CEO of Solvvy (acquired by Zoom), discusses the future of conversational AI for customer service

Mahesh Ram, founder and CEO of Solvvy, set out to "give everyone back time". His company was recently acquired by Zoom to improve customer experiences using conversational AI. Mahesh was inspired by his work using speech recognition to improve business English learning at Global English. Solvvy was founded in 2015 and has raised funding from an exceptional group of investors including previous "AI and the Future of Work" guest Rory O'Driscoll from Scale Venture Partners. 

Listen and learn...

  1. About the three waves of chatbot technology
  2. Why "more deflection" doesn't need to translate into "lower satisfaction"
  3. How Calm uses Solvvy to deliver automated customer service
  4. Why AI based on semantic similarity is better than traditional scripted chatbots
  5. Why "putting the user first" and "not hiding the live agent" is essential for gaining consumer trust in chatbots
  6. How to address latent bias in data used to train AI models
  7. Why bots will never replace live agents

References in this episode...

May 22, 2022
Chandra Khatri, Chief Scientist and Head of AI at Got It AI, discusses the future of NLP for better customer experiences with bots

Chandra Khatri,  Chief Scientist and Head of AI at Got It AI, was a key team member in the early days of AI at eBay, Amazon, and Uber. He has been on the cutting edge of NLP research for more than a decade and now leads AI at Got It AI. Chandra and the team are making it easier for customers to have conversations with bots.  He's making innovative use of transformers and active learning to use "small data" to train sophisticated large language models to automatically answer customer questions in fields as diverse as healthcare, financial services, education, and defense.

Listen and learn… 

  1. What the AI culture is like at eBay, Amazon, and Uber 
  2. About transformers, why they’re important, and how they're improving NLP accuracy 
  3. How we’ve moved AI from search ranking (recommender systems) to other use cases including operations and bots 
  4. How the rise of open source and no-code tools is making “Google-like” AI maturity accessible to every company 
  5. How startups with limited access to data can use transfer learning to improve AI accuracy 
  6. What’s holding back broader adoption of AI in the enterprise 
  7. How the rise of Technical Product Managers (TPMs) is bridging the gap between engineers and business analysts 
  8. How to eliminate bias from training data 
  9. How long before we’ll all have a personal JARVIS 

References in this episode… 

May 15, 2022
Paul Lee, co-founder of Synesis One, discusses the future of NLP and AI data harvesting using games and blockchains to earn NFTs

Paul Lee, serial entrepreneur and co-founder of Synesis One, combined his love of games with a passion for NLP and AI. He realized language ontologies can be developed by players solving problems in games. They can be rewarded with NFTs backed by tokens on a blockchain. A brilliant idea... from a Renaissance man who is also a medical doctor and the founder of a care marketplace for veterinarians. This is a fascinating one! 
Listen and learn...

  1.  The future of large language models  (LLMs)
  2.  How ontologies can be crowd-sourced using games with NFTs as rewards
  3. How Synesis One is gamifying data yield farming with tokens on a Solana blockchain
  4. About the first graphic novel that is also an NFT-based sci fi game
  5. Why Paul selected  Solana instead of the more popular Ethereum blockchain
  6. How to mitigate bias from entering ontologies generated by gamers

References in this episode:

May 08, 2022
Phil Johnson, founder and CEO of Master of Business Leadership, discusses how leaders can overcome adversity by improving their EQ

Phil Johnson, founder and CEO of Master of Business Leadership (MBL) and veteran tech exec, overcame adversity as a kid when he was diagnosed with dyslexia. Phil taught himself to learn differently. He has helped organizations generate more than $1.5B by teaching leaders how to improve their emotional intelligence.

Listen and learn...

  1. Why emotional intelligence is the most important skill for leaders.
  2. Why Phil says leaders battle our "500 million year old brain that doesn't like change."
  3. What Phil means by this: "we're the virus on the planet and we need to adapt to change to survive as a species."
  4. Why toxic environments are leading to record low employee engagement that is costing businesses over a trillion dollars per year.
  5. What Phil means by "we're born with an unconscious mind that gets wired as we grow to form habits."
  6. How leaders can endure pain and channel passion to get more energy and feel more motivated.
  7. How Apple's hiring practices and Putin's invasion of Ukraine are related.
  8. Questions to ask to hire candidates with the highest EQ.

References in this episode...

May 01, 2022
Dipanwita ("D") Das, Founder and CEO of Sorcero, discusses how AI improves lives by helping life sciences experts accelerate medical research

Dipanwita ("D") Das, Founder and CEO of Sorcero, is an award-winning technology entrepreneur and AI innovator.  She is the CEO & Co-founder of Sorcero, a venture-backed AI Saas product startup, focused on using AI and NLP to inform critical decisions to improve lives.  Prior to starting Sorcero, D was the founder & CEO of 42 Strategies, managing digital transformation projects for Richard Branson's Virgin United, Al Gore's Climate Reality Project, and Bloomberg Philanthropies. 

Listen and learn...

  1. Why D says "...doing something that leaves a legacy of good" is a core element of Sorcero's mission.
  2. What D means by "...humans plus AI is greater than humans alone."
  3. How Sorcero strives to "accelerate vs. automate" decisions.
  4. How Sorcero helped doctors diagnose a rare form of metastatic breast cancer and save a life.
  5. What it means for patients that healthcare data is growing at a 36% CAGR.
  6. How Sorcero marries heuristics with NLP and transfer learning to help researchers. 
  7. D's advice to females in male-dominated fields: "The only way to win is to persist."

References in this episode...

Apr 24, 2022
Christopher Nguyen, serial entrepreneur, AI professor, and CEO of Aitomatic, discusses human-first vs. data-first approaches to machine learning

Christopher Nguyen, serial entrepreneur and CEO of Aitomatic, realized big data isn't the only answer when training AI models. In fact, when doing preventive or predictive maintenance on industrial equipment, only small data is available. He and his team asked what if instead of relying on automated data collection we codify expertise in the heads of a small number of experienced technicians. And thus human-first AI was born. Aitomatic was launched in 2021 to productize the new field. It builds on Christopher's legacy of innovation having spent time in academia, at Google, and other startups including Arimo before its acquisition by Panasonic.

Listen and learn...

  1. Why human-first vs. data-first AI may disrupt traditional approaches to machine learning.
  2. How automation problems in physical-first vs. digital-first industries require different solutions.
  3. How to build machine learning models when there isn t enough data.
  4. Why the world is in short supply of human expertise.
  5. How people feel about having their jobs automated away.
  6. Why the topic of ethical AI is controversial.
  7. The science behind neuromorphic computing.

References in today's episode...

Thanks to Tess Hau from Tess Ventures for the introduction to Christopher! 

Apr 17, 2022
Matt K. Parker, author and engineering leader, discusses how radical enterprises are defining the future of work

Matt K. Parker, author and engineering leader formerly at Pivotal Labs, profiled 13  collaborative work cultures in his book A Radical Enterprise. They're devolving control to employees and rethinking traditional organizational structures to give teams unprecedented levels of freedom. Not surprisingly, they're more successful than their peers. 

Listen and learn:

  1. What is a radical enterprise and what is radical collaboration?
  2. Why do employees do better work when they have freedom to define their own rules?
  3. What are the benefits of embracing the concepts of self-organizing and self-managing teams?
  4. Why do traditional performance management techniques like annual reviews create implicit threats in the workplace that demotivate employees?
  5. What does it mean to make every employee "a company of one"?
  6. Why, according to Deming, "a bad system will beat a good employee every time."

References in this episode:

Apr 11, 2022
Jaime Ramirez, CEO and Founder of Preventor, discusses the future of AI for identity verification to prevent fraud online

Jaime Ramirez, CEO and Founder of Preventor, and stalwart of the Miami tech scene, shares how banks and brands are using new authentication technology to make life online safer. Automating authentication to verify age and other personal attributes is cheaper than manual verification and also more accurate. The stakes are high if automated decisions are wrong.  Hear Jaime explain the best way to automate the process of verifying your age or gender with AI.

Listen and learn:

  1. How banks are automating authentication processes to comply with know your customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) regulatory requirements
  2. How the US compares with other countries, specifically Latin America, when it comes to KYC compliance and enforcement
  3. When it's ok to use technology to automate identity verification vs. when humans need to intervene
  4. Which forms of biometric data are most accurate for identity verification
  5. How to mitigate the risk of bias when using AI plus selfies to verify age
  6. When we'll finally move beyond passwords for identity management
  7. What's fueling the net outflow of tech talent from Silicon Valley to Miami

References in this episode:

Apr 03, 2022
Edmundo Gonzalez, Co-founder and CEO of Marpai Health, discusses the future of AI to improve healthcare

Edmundo Gonzalez, Co-founder and CEO of Marpai Health, realized our health plans have a significant impact on the quality of our health. Using AI to predict who will need care and when can lead to better health care plans and a healthier population. Edmundo's on a mission to make it easier for all of us stay healthy... which first requires the traditional healthcare system to be disrupted.

Listen and learn:

  1. How to turn America's "sickcare" system into a true "healthcare" system.
  2. How AI can make better decisions about who is likely to need care and when.
  3. How to use data to recommend treatment early to prevent significant, more costly procedures later.
  4. How to optimize deep learning models using patient data to balance accurately predicting who will need care (precision) with how many recommendations are made  (recall).
  5. The ethical implications of using patient data to make healthcare decisions.
  6. Why Big Tech doesn't own the future of healthcare.

References in this episode:

Mar 27, 2022
Doug Kerwin, AI children's book author, discusses the importance of educating kids about working with AI

Doug Kerwin is an engineering leader and entrepreneur who recently published "Riley and Bot: Jobs for Robots and Jobs for Me". By day, he's a Vice President of Cloud Engineering at Prudential. After hours, he's a dad who wants the best for his daughter and needed to answer her questions about the impact of AI on jobs.

Listen and learn...

  1. What inspired an engineer without an AI background to write a kids book about AI
  2. Why Doug concludes that "no job will be completely AI-resistant"
  3. New careers that are being created by the introduction of AI-related technology
  4. How GitHub Copilot is helping programmers write better code faster
  5. Which innately human skills will never be automated

References in this episode:

Mar 20, 2022
Phil McKinney, former CTO of HP and CEO of CableLabs, shares the formula for turning ordinary teams into innovation machines

Phil McKinney, former HP CTO and one of the "50 most innovative" thinkers on the planet according to Fast Company, has helped develop products used by more than a half billion people.  Hear Phil put on a master class in how to turn ordinary teams into innovation machines.

Listen and learn...

  1. Phil's seven rules of innovation.
  2. What it means to have a "T-shaped" career... and why you should want one.
  3. How Phil got his start in podcasting... in 2005! 
  4. Phil's secrets for how to become more creative.
  5.  The top skill CEOs look for in new hires. 

References in this episode:

Thanks to Dr. Mamoun Samaha for the introduction to Phil.

Mar 13, 2022
Rene Steenvoorden, Chief Digital Officer at Randstad, discusses how AI humanizes the recruiting process

Rene Steenvoorden, Chief Digital Officer (CDO) at HR behemoth Randstad, started in IT 30 years ago when technology was a distraction and IT gear was relegated to server rooms in the basement. He's a two-time CIO of the year award winner and a visionary in HRTech.  Rene's an evangelist for using technology to improve the employee experience having served in similar roles at Rabobank, McKinsey, and Procter & Gamble.  You might ask why a 60-year old staffing firm needs a CDO. Well, you won't after meeting Rene!

Listen and learn:

  1.  How chatbots are eliminating the "black hole of recruiting"
  2. Why you may land your next job in the metaverse
  3. The single biggest factor that determines how candidates rate the recruiting process
  4. Which disruptive technologies are improving the hiring process
  5. Why retaining existing employees is much less expensive than recruiting new ones 
  6. The role of technology in blue collar vs. white collar hiring processes 
  7. How to mitigate the impact of bias when training ML models to select candidates

References in this episode:

Mar 06, 2022
Gordon Wilson, CEO and co-founder of Rain Neuromorphics, shares how to re-create a carbon-based brain on a silicon chip

Gordon Wilson, CEO and founder of Rain Neuromorphics, turned a childhood fascination with science fiction into an entrepreneurial passion to recreate the human brain on a chip. Neuromorphic computing is an emerging field of AI that strives to build synthetic nervous systems for use on edge computing devices. The challenges are numerous but if Gordon and his team succeed they may make Isaac Asimov's bold visions of life with robots seem quaint in a decade.

Listen and learn:

  1. How a love of science fiction combined with being raised in a home with entrepreneurial parents led to the founding of Rain Neuromorphics.
  2. How to create neurons, synapses, and massively deep neural nets with code
  3. Which core technologies from 1985 and 1999 enabled today's AI revolution.
  4. The difference between the "physics-based" AI used in neuromorphic computing and traditional digital AI .
  5. What Gordon hears from venture investors who don't get neuromorphic computing.
  6. Why Gordon says "...any sufficiently complex technology is indistinguishable from magic."
  7. Where we are today with neuromorphic computing and the path to a full artificial nervous system.

References in today's episode

Thanks to Rob May for the intro to Gordon!

Feb 27, 2022
Jason Corsello, VC @ Acadian Ventures and WorkTech expert, discusses the future of tech for better employee experiences

Jason Corsello, Founder & General Partner at Acadian Ventures, didn't set out to be a venture capitalist. He was a tech industry analyst and product manager before falling in love with HRTech and the future of work. He has become one of the most prominent investors focused on disruptive technologies defining the new employee experience based in part on what he learned growing Cornerstone OnDemand from $40M to over $500M ARR.

Listen and learn...

  1. What Jason learned about entrepreneurship and the challenges of post-IPO life as part of the leadership team at Cornerstone OnDemand 
  2. Recent Acadian investments... and what got Jason excited enough to invest 
  3. The evolution of software delivery from on-prem to SaaS to self-assembly 
  4. The challenges and benefits of being a solo GP vs. a corporate VC 
  5. How startups can disrupt LinkedIn.... and payroll 
  6. The single biggest predictor of startup success 

References in today's episode:

Thanks to Dave Kellogg for the intro to Jason!

Feb 21, 2022
Dr. Mamoun Samaha, serial CTO, security expert, and professor, discusses the future of AI in cybersecurity

Dr. Mamoun Samaha, CTO at the International Technological University and Professor of Computer Science at Northeastern University, is an operator and academic with a long track record of success in the classroom and board room. His research spans the areas of mobility, security, and networking. He has strong opinions about what it means to be human in an age of automation. Worth a listen to hear his insights about how technology will change our lives in the next decade. 

Listen and learn...

  1. What's required to be a great CTO.
  2. Why Dr. Samaha says "change is now exponential... it's no longer linear."
  3.  Why AI-powered security solutions at the edge of the network are critical.
  4. Tips for startups selling technology to CTOs.
  5. The one product Dr. Samaha would purchase today if it existed.
  6. The skills every high schooler should learn that will never be replaced by AI.

References in this episode...

Feb 13, 2022
Paddy Padmanabhan, CEO of Damo Consulting and author, discusses the future of technology in healthcare

Paddy Padmanabhan, CEO of Damo Consulting, has spent 20 years educating healthcare CIOs about digital transformation and writing about healthcare innovation. Damo helps organizations turn new technology into better patient outcomes in areas like telemedicine, electronic health records, and patient engagement platforms. Paddy shares wisdom about innovative solutions that will improve our quality of life for decades ahead.

Listen and learn...

  1. Paddy's single biggest insight from research for his book "Healthcare Digital Transformation"
  2. Which HealthTech trends are getting the most attention from venture capitalists
  3. The role of the digital health experience in patient adoption of healthcare services 
  4. Which upstarts are disrupting HealthTech incumbents
  5. How the pandemic gave rise to telemedicine and how that is impacting the future of healthcare
  6. How limited access to patient data will constrain AI-related innovation in healthcare
  7. Whether or not Apple, Amazon, and Google - owners of your data - will replace hospitals as primary healthcare providers

References in this episode...

Feb 06, 2022
Dave Kellogg, serial CEO, investor, and SaaS metrics expert, shares his (provocative) tech predictions for 2022

Dave Kellogg, serial CEO, investor, and advisor, is a prolific blogger over at His annual predictions are a must-read for anyone in tech. This year's insights were no exception. Dave recently joined Balderton Capital as an executive in residence. His illustrious career has spanned exec stints at iconic companies like Host Analytics, Salesforce, MarkLogic, and Business Objects before it was acquired by SAP. Among other accolades, Dave’s SaaStr talks routinely rank in the top few most watched.

Dave owns two dubious distinctions: in over 100 episodes, he’s one of only three repeat guests on the podcast. He’s also the biggest Grateful Dead fan we know. The two are only loosely correlated.

Listen and learn:

  1. The single SaaS metric that matters most in 2022
  2. Dave's advice to innovators: "don't pave cow paths"
  3. What's different about the venture ecosystems in Silicon Valley and Europe
  4. What's ahead for Web3 and blockchain in the enterprise
  5. Why the future of decentralized services requires centralized platforms
  6. If 2021 was a Grateful Dead song...

References in this episode:

Jan 30, 2022
Graham Brown, technologist, award-winning podcast host, and storyteller, shares what entrepreneurs need to know to create better pitch decks

Graham Brown,  storyteller extraordinaire, has traveled the world learning about work, culture, and technology. He's a cognitive psychologist with a passion for AI but also a student of history and art who is on a personal mission to link the present and future with great stories from the past. Graham's also the CEO of Pikkal, a podcast agency, and the host of the Asia Tech Podcast.

Listen and learn:

  1. What entrepreneurs need to know about the art of great storytelling
  2. What the cave paintings in Lascaux, France from 15,000 BCE teach us about artificial intelligence
  3. How archetypal stories like Star Wars and Harry Potter use the same plot lines as a Steve Jobs product launch
  4. Why startup pitch decks need to "create maps for the audience"
  5. What it means to be human in the age of machine intelligence
  6. Why Henry Ford famously chose black as the color for the Model T Ford

References in this episode:

Jan 23, 2022
Rob May, venture partner at PJC and serial AI entrepreneur, shares what's holding back AI adoption in the enterprise

Rob May, serial AI entrepreneur and investor,  started as a hardware engineer but realized he could have more of an impact as an entrepreneur and investor. Since then, he has started companies including Backupify (acquired by Datto) and Talla (conversational AI)  and invested in over 100 startups. Rob's a deep thinker and the author of the popular Inside AI weekly newsletter and Investing in AI podcast.

Listen and learn...

  1. What's holding back AI adoption in the enterprise
  2. New approaches to address the "small data" AI problem
  3. About the ethics training we should require for AI algorithm developers
  4. Why those who fear bots taking over are the modern equivalent of Luddites
  5. What it means to be human when machines are sentient
  6. The moonshot AI idea Rob's most excited about

References in today's episode:

Jan 16, 2022
Elliot Shmukler, CEO of Anomalo, discusses why data quality monitoring is the future of personalization

Elliot Shmukler, CEO and founder of Anomalo, needed a better way to monitor data quality at scale. He previously led growth teams at Wealthfront, Instacart, and LinkedIn and experienced firsthand the impact of incomplete or inaccurate data. Anomalo has now raised nearly $40M from amazing investors including Norwest, Two Sigma, and Foundation to make data problems a thing of the past.

Listen and learn...

  1. What Elliot means when citing Jeff Weiner from Linkedin: "If you're launching a rocket even a one degree course change can mean you won't land on the moon."
  2. About the data quality issue nobody noticed at Instacart that impacted millions of users.
  3. How the role of the data scientist will change as AI platforms automate data quality monitoring.
  4. When there's a need for humans in the loop to override AI systems.
  5. Why every product will soon be as good at personalization as Spotify and Netflix.
  6. The number one skill every student needs to learn that will never be replaced by machines.

Past episodes referenced in today's discussion:

Jan 09, 2022
Luke Arrigoni, Data Scientist and CEO of Arricor, shares how to turn enterprise data into decisions with AI

Luke Arrigoni started Arricor in 2012 to help large companies make sense of their data. Since then, he and the team have taught organizations like Goldman Sachs, AT&T, and Thomson Reuters about the principles of AI. His secret? Focus on the business problem and the right technology approach becomes obvious.

Listen and learn...

  1. How UPS uses AI to automatically assign the right tax code for packages
  2. What responsibility AI developers have for the decisions their algorithms make
  3. How to clean dirty data to make it ready for AI model training 
  4. When to use neural nets vs. gradient-boosted trees
  5. Which tasks are good candidates for classifier models vs. NLP
  6. Which job skills are future-proof... and which are likely to be replaced by automation 

References in this episode:

Jan 02, 2022
Peter Fishman, co-founder and CEO of Mozart Data, discusses data pipelines and why they're defining the future of data analytics

Peter Fishman ("Fish"), co-founder and CEO of Mozart Data, had a vision for making it easy for any business to unlock the value of their data via a modern data stack. He and his co-founder believe rote data engineering work shouldn't require teams of in-house data engineers. Fish turned his PhD in Economics and passion for statistics into a successful, venture-backed YC company that is defining the future of data analytics.

Listen and learn...

  1. Why Fish believes "not every business gets value out of their data... but every business can."
  2. The role of data pipelines in automating the cleaning and transforming of data.
  3. Fish's prediction for where humans will be needed for data analysis in a decade.
  4. What Fish learned working with David Sacks at Yammer.
  5. How bacon hot sauce inspired the founding of Mozart Data.

References in this episode:

  • Barr Moses from Monte Carlo  on AI and the Future of Work
  • Derek Steer from Mode on AI and the Future of Work
  • Fivetran for simplifying data integration
Dec 27, 2021
Shawn Merani, Founder and Managing Director of Parade Ventures, discusses how to start a venture fund and find great entrepreneurs

Shawn Merani, entrepreneur and venture investor, has started two venture funds and been an operator at early stage companies including Liquidnet and ReachLocal. Shawn has invested in some amazing companies including Clubhouse, Dollar Shave Club, and Stance. He shares his definition of "hustle" and the challenges of raising money for a venture fund vs. raising money for a company.

Listen and learn...

  1. How to raise your first venture fund.
  2. Why the goal of Parade Ventures is "to be the first call great founders make when raising money."
  3. Shawn's secret to getting access to over-subscribed deals with high-profile investors.
  4. Why Shawn makes it a priority to meet every one of Parade's founders every other week.
  5. The biggest mistake founders make when pitching investors.
  6. What one entrepreneur did to convince Shawn to invest in a first meeting.

References in this episode:

Dec 20, 2021
Mel Engle, CEO of Predictive Oncology, shares how AI is curing cancer

Mel Engle,  executive and cancer survivor, has spent more than 30 years in and around the intersection of healthcare and technology. He's now the CEO of Predictive Oncology using AI and patient data to develop personalized cancer treatments. Mel discusses how research from Carnegie Mellon is being commercialized to accelerate the future of healthcare.

Listen and learn...

  1. How Mel and his team have turned cancer detection and prevention into a data problem.
  2. How to use AI to figure out which tumor types can be healed by which chemical compounds to reduce the time required to develop new cancer treatments.
  3. How to mitigate the impact of bias in patient data when using AI to make high-stakes decisions.
  4. How long before AI will be more accurate at detecting cancer than human doctors.
  5. What's ahead for AI in healthcare for the next decade.

References in this episode:

Dec 12, 2021
Matt Cowell, CEO at QuantHub, shares why the future workforce needs to be data literate

Matt Cowell started QuantHub in 2018 to help upskill and reskill employees to prepare for careers in data and AI. The QuantHub data skills platform exists to satisfy the growing demand for data-fluent team members. Amazing organizations like Uber and Southern Company use QuantHub to improve data literacy for employees. Plus, Matt's the first Alabamian on the podcast. Roll tide!

Listen and learn...

  1. How a Chemist landed in IT and eventually became a venture-backed entrepreneur
  2. Why there's a need for a "Duolingo for data literacy"
  3. What are the skills required for "data citizens" vs. "data storytellers"
  4. Why "every employee will soon be a knowledge worker"
  5. Why data literacy will be part of general education requirements in the future

References in this episode...

Dec 05, 2021
Dan Grunfeld, Director at Lightspeed and author of "By the Grace of the Game", discusses leadership, entrepreneurship, and basketball

Dan Grunfeld, former professional basketball player and operator at Lightspeed Venture Partners, discusses the parallels between sports and entrepreneurship. His grandma's escape from the Holocaust inspired him to share her story, one he has been writing for five years. Dan's family history is inspirational. His advice for entrepreneurs is timeless.

Listen and learn...

  1. Why professional basketball is a lot like entrepreneurship
  2. Dan's lessons from experiencing hardship on the court... and how to recover from setbacks
  3. How the best entrepreneurs find product-market fit
  4. How his 96 year-old grandma was saved twice by Raoul Wallenberg 
  5. Why Dan says " was sent from heaven for my family"
  6. Dan's advice about discipline for aspiring authors: "if you snooze once, you can snooze every day."

References in this episode:

Nov 26, 2021
Matt Compton, CEO and Co-founder of, shares why Zoom isn't what teams need to host virtual meetings

Matt Compton's a restless tinkerer from Indianapolis who started to solve a problem he had. He needed something better than Zoom to be able to spend more time with his family without being on the road three weeks a month. He and his co-founders joined a venture studio and built the prototype for in four weeks. Now it powers virtual employee events for an impressive list of companies.

Listen and learn...

  1. What's really required to make virtual events productive
  2. How Filo's better than Zoom
  3. How Anaplan crushed sales kickoff using Filo
  4. The future of virtual spaces
  5. Why we don't need a metaverse

References in this episode:

Nov 21, 2021
Phil Heltewig, CEO of conversational AI platform Cognigy, on the future of customer service automation

Phil Heltewig, co-founder and CEO of Cognigy, the low-code conversational AI platform for managing customer service bots, discusses how new AI technologies are improving the support experience. Phil started Cognigy in 2016 with two co-founders and has since raised $55M from Insight Partners among others. The team is now about 100 employees and boasts  an amazing customer list including Lufthansa and Bosch.

Listen and learn...

  1. What Teddy Ruxpin has to do with the future of conversational AI.
  2. About the highs and lows of the entrepreneurial journey: "...there are days when you're wondering if you can make payroll..."
  3. How customer service bots "are designed to help humans in call centers, not replace them."
  4. What are the biggest technical challenges when applying NLP in narrow enterprise domains with limited training data.
  5. How Cognigy thinks about mitigating the impact of bias in AI models.
  6. Why your experience re-booking your flight will be much better in the future.

References in this episode:

Nov 14, 2021
Dr. Panos Siozos, Founder and CEO of LearnWorlds, raised $32M to build a novel edtech company that's helping creators monetize custom courses

Dr. Panos Siozos, LearnWorlds CEO, went from academic to high-tech CEO and raised $32M from Insight Partners to help creators monetize e-learning courses. Dr. Siozos is our first guest from Cyprus and his story about building a remote-first, global team should inspire international entrepreneurs everywhere. As Dr. Siozos says, "everyone has something to teach... that someone else wants to learn." This is a great opportunity to understand the future of learning... in 30 minutes.

Listen and learn...

  1. How Dr. Siozos transitioned from being an academic and researcher to a high-tech CEO
  2. Why creators need a better platform to share and monetize custom e-learning courses
  3. How technology is redefining the learning experience and why "the industrial education experience" is antiquated 
  4. How future innovation in the areas of AI, AR, and VR will increase engagement rates for e-learning
  5. Why Dr. Siozos says "...learning is the only superpower we possess as humans."

References in this episode:

Podchaser token: 9h5nXFjBF3PXuSmfUzrE

Nov 07, 2021
Scott Zoldi, FICO Chief Analytics Officer, discusses how AI and your data are used to make decisions about fraud and credit risk

Scott Zoldi, FICO Chief Analytics Officer and PhD in Theoretical Physics, shares how to use AI responsibly. FICO uses consumer data and machine learning models to make decisions ranging from fraud to credit risk. Hundreds of thousands of signals can be used to make a single decision by comparing new data with historical data. Scott's team is focused not just on making accurate decisions but also ensuring the signals used and the decision-making process are bias-free.

Listen and learn...

  1. How Scott's team uses AI to make automated decisions using consumer data
  2. Why Scott's priorities are "explainability first and performance second"
  3. Why the principles of "humble AI" are as important as the principles of ethical AI
  4. What's required to increase public trust in AI-based decisions
  5. What's the role of data scientists in the future when AutoML is prevalent
  6. What Scott means when he says "models aren't biased when they're built, they're only biased in production"

References in this episode:

Thanks to Benjamin Baer for the intro to Scott!

Oct 31, 2021
Bindu Reddy, CEO of Abacus AI, discusses the latest in AI research and what's required to make developing AI apps as easy as building web pages

Bindu Reddy, CEO and co-founder of Abacus AI, was a product exec at Google and Amazon and an accomplished entrepreneur before setting out to make AI model management accessible to non data scientists. Bindu has since raised more than $40M from investors like Index Ventures, Coatue, Ram Shriram, Deep Nishar, and others. Her team is investing in core AI research and building a platform to make it easy to deploy models trained on deep neural nets with tabular data. Hear Bindu's vision... then go follow her on Twitter for provocative tweets like the one we discuss in this episode :).

Listen and learn...

  1. How Bindu became an AI enthusiast after an algorithm helped her previous company increase revenue 40%
  2. What Bindu learned at Google and AWS... and what she has had to un-learn to grow Abacus AI
  3. How AI is being used to reduce customer churn
  4. Why Bindu's vision is to make creating and managing AI models "as easy as creating podcasts or websites" 
  5. Why building bias into AI models isn't necessarily bad

References in this episode:

Oct 24, 2021
Charity Majors, CTO and co-founder of honeycomb, discusses observability, how to build great software, and what she learned not to do from Facebook

Charity Majors, CTO and co-founder at honeycomb, grew up in rural Idaho and dropped out of college. This is her unlikely journey from pianist to successful high-tech entrepreneur. She's a pioneer in the monitoring and observability space who  turned her learning at Facebook into a company focused on helping developers find and fix bugs faster. Charity's opinionated, thoughtful, and one of the most outspoken critics of, well, the status quo :).

Listen and learn...

  1. What motivated Charity to start a career in tech having been a "perennial dropout"
  2. Why "ops has a well-deserved reputation for masochism"
  3. Why Charity says the "Kool-aid at Facebook is strong and potent" 
  4. Why it's impossible to troubleshoot software bugs with high cardinality data
  5. How Charity defines observability
  6. What it means to practice observability-driven development (ODD) and why it should replace test-driven development (TDD)

References in this episode:

Thanks to Rachel Chalmers for making this episode happen!

Oct 17, 2021
Kai Nunez, Vice President of Research & Insights at Salesforce, shares the secret to making tech teams own responsibility for AI ethics

Kai Nunez, VP Research & Insights at Salesforce, didn't always know she wanted to pursue a career in AI because it didn't exist as a field. Her dad was a linguist and she became interested in human-computer interaction at a young age. Kai's deep concern for values-based leadership and operating with integrity led her to become a leading voice in the DEI and AI ethics communities. Today, her teams are creating a culture of awareness about the impact tech has on underserved populations. She's a passionate advocate for educating teams to do the right thing... even when nobody's looking.

Listen and learn...

  1. About Salesforce's real "biggest competitor"
  2. Why DEI matters in technology
  3. How Kai lives the value of "being a respectful truthteller"
  4. Why the future of software includes data audits to mitigate the risk of bias  
  5. What happened when Kai presented an unpopular idea to Marc Benioff

References in this episode...

Oct 10, 2021
Rene Morkos, CEO and Founder of ALICE Technologies, shares how algorithms are changing the construction industry

René Morkos, CEO and Founder of ALICE Technologies, grew up wanting to build things. That passion led him to degrees in Construction Management and an adjunct professorship at Stanford. In 2015, he founded ALICE to improve the efficiency of complex construction projects. Rene has since raised nearly $40M from an incredible list of investors including Lightspeed, Merus, and Future Ventures. 

Listen and learn...

  1. What René learned from his first job after college working on construction sites in Afghanistan
  2. Why ConstructionTech has attracted nearly $6B since 2014
  3. How algorithms figure out what 6,000 people on a construction site should do every day
  4. What the world will be like in ten years when technology is fully adopted in the construction industry 
  5. Why "startups are really just R&D departments for large companies"
  6. What's hard about building startups...that they don't teach you in CEO school

References in the episode...

Oct 03, 2021
Gary Bolles, best-selling author of The Next Rules of Work, shares how to manage through disruption and find your passion

Gary Bolles, entrepreneur, venture advisor, and best-selling author, is a deep thinker who established roots in Silicon Valley in the 80s to pursue his joint passions for technology and exploring what he calls the three boxes of life - learning, work, and leisure. He’s the author of The Next Rules of Work which was published August 31. He’s also the chair for the Future of Work at Singularity University and the founder of eParachute among other companies. Oh, and his LinkedIn courses have helped train more than 800,000 students. 

Listen and learn...

  1. How the son of a laid off minister became one of the foremost authorities on the future of work
  2. What opportunities are being created by "The Great Reset"
  3. How technology is redefining work... and redefining our identity as humans
  4. What it means that we're moving from a "workforce" to a "worknet"
  5. About the $10 million exercise... and why it's the best way to find your passion
  6. Why living the acronym "PACE" is the best way to ensure future career success

References in today's episode...

Sep 26, 2021
Derek Steer, CEO and founder of Mode, discusses the future of work for data analysts and the biggest tragedy in BI today

Derek Steer cut his teeth as a data analyst at Facebook and Yammer more than a decade ago. He co-founded Mode in 2013 to make it easier to ask questions about data and get better answers faster. Mode has since raised four rounds of funding including a recent $33M round from an exceptional group of investors. 52% of Fortune 500 companies use Mode and Derek has grown the team to more than 300 employees. Derek's vision: "drive the time to do analysis down to zero." He's well on his way!

Listen and learn...

  1. What Mode's doing to "unlock the power of human reasoning"
  2. What Derek learned about tools for data analysts from Facebook and Yammer
  3. Why there will always be a need for analytics frontends even amid competition from data warehouses like Snowflake
  4. The future of work for data analysts
  5. The biggest tragedy in BI today

References in this episode:

Sep 19, 2021
Jeff Meyerson, entrepreneur and author of "Move Fast: How Facebook Builds Software", shares important advice for Zuck

Jeff Meyerson, entrepreneur, musician, technologist, and author of the acclaimed "Move Fast: How Facebook Builds Software", discusses the stranglehold Big Tech has on developer tools and how the future of software development may be quite different from the present.

Listen and learn...

  1. What Jeff learned about sales from playing poker
  2. How Facebook builds software... and how it can avoid being evil 
  3. Why React is the "Linux of the frontend of the web"
  4. The development tools Jeff's most excited about
  5. Why Zuck's not a good leader
  6. What Jeff will tell Zuck when they finally meet 

 References in this episode...

Sep 12, 2021
Krishna Gade, CEO and Founder of Fiddler, discusses the importance of AI explainability

Krishna Gade was an engineering leader at Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook before realizing AI is eating software... and responsible AI is essential. He turned a passion for "trustworthy AI" into a company that recently raised $32M to make AI explainable.

Listen and learn...

  1. Why AI explainability matters... and how to instrument it in AI models
  2. What developers need to know to ensure AI models don't make bad decisions
  3. What legislators need to know when creating frameworks to regulate "responsible" use of AI
  4. How Apple fumbled AI explainability when issuing credit cards through Goldman Sachs
  5. Krishna's top lesson learned as a first-time CEO 

References in this episode:

Sep 05, 2021
Neelima Parasker, CEO of SnapIT Solutions, shares the recipe for making high-quality STEM education accessible to all

Neelima Parasker started coding at a young age.  Inspired by her entrepreneur mother, she studied Computer Science and Mechanical Engineering before eventually starting SnapIT Solutions. Neelima's passion for investing in unproven talent has guided her as a leader. She's an active entrepreneur coach and is involved in many civic organizations in and around the Kansas City area.

Listen and learn...

  1. The single most important lesson for parents looking to cultivate a love of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math in their kids.
  2. How Neelima has built a culture around her belief that we should "use technology to grow people, not the other way around."
  3. How glass ceilings for women and under-represented minorities can be shattered.
  4. How governments should take responsibility for improving access to STEM education.
  5. Why Neelima isn't afraid of bots taking jobs because "our faults make us human."

References in today's episode...

Aug 29, 2021
Rachel Chalmers, Partner at Alchemist Accelerator, discusses what's required to eliminate bias in startup funding

Rachel Chalmers aspired to be an English professor before being inspired by a technology journal to relocate from Ireland to San Francisco. She has since covered over 1,000 startups as an industry analyst and invested in many more as an investor. Rachel is passionate about representing the under-represented and encouraging all those who have been told they can't  live their dreams. This is a must-listen for entrepreneurs who have ever felt disadvantaged by circumstances out of their control. It's also the episode in which I volunteer to chair the Chalmers 2024 campaign.

Listen and learn...

  1. The burn rate rule of thumb for startups
  2. Why "venture capital wants to perpetuate itself"
  3. The origins of the Silicon Valley myth that "all talent is concentrated in white males"
  4. How to eliminate institutional biases that constrain women and under-represented minorities when raising money and building companies
  5. How Rachel is defining the future workplace where humans and machines collaborate

References in this episode:

Aug 22, 2021
Dr. Zehra Cataltepe, CEO of, discusses the meaning of responsible AI and how she's saving the model at a time

Dr. Cataltepe is an accomplished scientist and entrepreneur... with a social conscience. She has published more than 100 academic papers and is a three-time recipient of the "Women Entrepreneur of the Year" award. Dr. Cataltepe and her team believe building and managing AI models should be something anyone can do... even her 70 year old mother who is a farmer in Turkey :). Tazi's vision is to make AI explainable, accessible, and configurable for "mere mortals".

Listen and learn...

  1. What's required to deploy AI that is easy to understand, monitor, and update by business people without data science or computer science backgrounds
  2. How to apply micro-segmentation to detect and eliminate bias in data and models
  3. Why "bring your own model" may solve critical issues related to data privacy and data bias
  4. How reducing the complexity of AI also will limit its environmental footprint
  5. How insurance companies are using AI trained with telematic data to determine driver risk and premiums
  6. Why the Turkish saying "even the snake eats the earth one bite at a time" represents Dr. Cataltepe's vision for the future of AI

Thanks to the Alchemist Accelerator team for the introduction to Dr. Cataltepe!

Aug 15, 2021
Ken Gonzalez, ITSM pundit, shares the one trend that will define IT strategy for the next decade

Ken Gonzalez has spent the better part of 35 years as an IT practitioner, CIO advisor, and industry analyst. He has fielded more than 2,500 inquiry calls and contributed to some of the most impactful IT trends. Ken's advisory work focuses on IT metrics and organizational change.  Hear Ken share the one workplace technology shift that all organizations must make to remain competitive in the next decade.

Listen and learn... 

  • What it means for IT to adopt a "product management mindset"
  • How Ken helped a client save $750,000
  • Why most enterprise IT teams "overestimate their process maturity"
  • The role AI will play in defining IT strategy (hint: it's not what you think)
  • Jargon alert: "KTLO" = "keep the lights on"

References in this episode...

Aug 08, 2021
Dan O'Connell, CSO/CRO at Dialpad and founder of TalkIQ, discusses NLP in cloud telephony and his entrepreneurial journey from Google to founder to a quick exit

Dan O'Connell, former founder and CEO of TalkIQ which was acquired by Dialpad, discusses the future of cloud communications. Dan's vision for helping teams sell more with less churn led to Dialpad becoming a unicorn last year having raised $100M at a $1.2B pre-money valuation.  Exceptional investors including Andreessen Horowitz and Google Ventures are betting on Dialpad's ability to convert legacy telephony infrastructure into cloud-native, SaaS systems using AI to analyze voice transcripts.

Listen and learn...

  1. Dan's entrepreneurial journey from incubator to launch to fundraising to acquisition.
  2. Why TalkIQ was really three startups in one... and how Dan navigated his team through the process of finding one big customer problem to fix.
  3. Why voice will soon be the primary computing interface.
  4. The challenges of developing NLP technology for voice transcription and AI-based analytics.
  5. What Dan learned from nearly a decade at Google... and, more important, what he learned not to do.

References in the episode...

Aug 02, 2021
Dion Hinchcliffe, VP and Principal Analyst @ Constellation Research, discusses CIO priorities and how to actually deliver on the promise of digital transformation

Dion Hinchcliffe has been reporting on and prognosticating about the future of work for more than 20 years. He speaks with 100s of global CIOs annually about how to use technology to deliver great employee experiences. In this discussion, Dion shares mind-boggling stats about IT spending patterns and provocative thoughts about how to fix what's broken in the workplace.

Listen and learn...

  1. The real definition of "digital transformation"
  2. Why CIOs have the shortest tenure in the C-suite
  3. Who spends more on IT... than IT!
  4. What % of IT budgets go to innovation... and why that number is pathetically low. 
  5. How the technology in your pocket will be very different in a decade.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Jul 25, 2021
John Whaley, Founder and CEO of UnifyID, discusses the future of biometric authentication and how to prepare for a world beyond passwords

John Whaley has been programming since age five. He has been a lecturer at Stanford in Computer Science, a founding CTO, and a founding CEO. John raised a large series A in 2017 and has sold two companies. Oh, and he's out to save the world from passwords. UnifyID is a pioneer in the use of biometric data stored on mobile devices to authenticate users.

Listen and learn...

  1. How John's personal journey led to the founding and successful acquisition of UnifyID by Prove.
  2. About the ethical implications of giving Big Tech access to your biometric data.
  3. Why "being yourself should provide enough information to uniquely identify you."
  4. What John means when he says "data isn't the new oil... it's the new kryptonite."
  5. John's bold prediction for when passwords will no longer be the predominant form of authentication (spoiler alert: it's sooner than you think).

Thanks to Vinay Prabhu for the introduction to John.

Jul 18, 2021
Filip Dousek, founder of Stories (acquired by Workday), discusses machine learning for people insights and the challenges of being an entrepreneur in Europe

Filip Dousek is a successful entrepreneur having sold his last company to Workday. He's also the author of Flock Without Birds, a two-part novel that challenges how the whole relates to its parts. Stories, Filip's company, is solving the problem of extracting insights about people from massive datasets to be able to answer questions about diversity, organizational behavior, and skills gaps. He also discusses the challenges of growing a startup in Prague.

Listen and learn...

  1. Why enterprises don't use the data they generate to make better decisions
  2. The hard technical challenge of extracting insights about people and teams from large datasets
  3. What it means to "look at data through the prism of graphs and relationships"
  4. Why founding Stories in Prague created an opportunity for talent arbitrage
  5. About our defensible advantages as humans vs. AI

Referenced in this episode:

Jul 11, 2021
Jason Wojahn, CEO of ServiceNow partner Thirdera, shares what it means to make innovation a core component of company culture

Jason Wojahn has been building companies and helping enterprises use technology for nearly 30 years. He learned a few things before launching Thirdera, the largest pure-play ServiceNow partner, earlier this year. Jason shares his perspectives on the right ways to introduce innovation to clients... and also the right way to reward innovation within his own team. Thirdera has created a brand that is fun and a culture that empowers everyone to do their best work.

Listen and learn...

  • Why there's still room to disrupt in the crowded ServiceNow partner ecosystem
  • How Thirdera works with clients to define their innovation agenda
  • What Jason means by "being e-lingual is as important as being bilingual" 
  • Why "we’re in the early innings of cloud... and we haven’t even dressed for the field yet in AI." 

Oh, and listen to our discussion with Marc Talluto from 2019 for insight into the story behind Thirdera.

Jul 05, 2021
Tiernan Ray, journalist in publications like The New York Times and Fortune, discusses the state of AI ethics and how to thrive in a world of automated decisions

Tiernan Ray is an accomplished journalist who has written extensively for publications like ZDNet, the New York Times, Barron’s, CNN Money, Fortune, and Bloomberg. He famously launched coverage of machine learning for Barron’s back in 2015 with a cover story called “The Cloud Chip”.

In this wide-ranging discussion, Tiernan shares how the principles of ethics should be applied to AI based on his thorough analysis of current research.

Listen and learn...

  • Why the field of AI ethics requires "those with authority to also have responsibility" for outcomes.
  • How to instrument explainability into automated decisions made by algorithms and why explainability is like the paradox of Schrodinger's cat.
  • How AI ethics is challenging because we're reducing topics like justice and fairness to algorithms whose behavior is dictated by objective functions.
  • What Tiernan means when he says AI regulators can't be trusted to "grade their own homework".
  • Why your personal data may soon be managed on a blockchain as a new layer of the traditional OSI stack.

Resources referenced in this episode...

Jun 28, 2021
Bryan Talebi, founder and CEO of Ahura AI, shares how AI is being used to up-skill and re-skill workers being displaced by automation

Bryan Talebi learned the value of education after fleeing Iran and living in a Turkish refugee camp. He worked for NASA at age 16 and, after helping lead many successful startups, started Ahura to disrupt the education system "which hasn't changed in 150 years". Bryan realized the millions of workers being displaced by automation need a way to more rapidly prepare for careers in the labor market of the future.

Listen and learn...

  1. What skills are required to succeed in the new labor market
  2. What impact a single robot can have on an entire factory of skilled laborers
  3. How biometric data can be used to optimize the learning process
  4. What employers are doing to up-skill rather than replace current employees
  5. Why "AQ" is replacing IQ and EQ as the way to find 10x talent

Contact Bryan and Ahura AI for more information:

  • @bryantalebi3D
Jun 20, 2021
Milin Desai, CEO of unicorn APM vendor Sentry, discusses the future of software, what's wrong with DevOps, and what 100 other monitoring vendors don't know

Milin Desai was an executive at VMware before taking the CEO role at Sentry last year. Since then, he led a $60M funding round that valued the company at $1B. An exceptional group of investors including Accel and NEA as well as new investor BOND participated. In this discussion with Dan Turchin, Milin openly shares the challenges of growing a startup and where there's room for innovation in the crowded monitoring space.

Listen and learn...

  1. What all other monitoring vendors are missing that created an opportunity for Sentry
  2. What Sentry does better than the legacy APM vendors
  3. The dirty secret of DevOps
  4. Why NoOps won't replace DevOps any time soon
  5. The one non-technical skill that has helped Milin most in his career

Thanks to Banjot Chanana for the introduction to Milin!

Jun 13, 2021
Slater Victoroff, founder and CTO of intelligent process automation company Indico, discusses deep learning, AGI, and his entrepreneurial journey

Slater Victoroff is a machine learning expert and science fiction writer who is never shy when sharing opinions about AI and the future of technology. His passion for giving unstructured content meaning led to the founding and success of Indico. The company has since raised $36M from an impressive set of investors including Jump Capital and Sandbox Ventures. In this discussion, hear how Slater went from dorm room programmer to entrepreneur.

Listen and learn...

  1. How Indico was launched by pineapple and onion pizza consumed from 5:00 PM to 5:00 AM on Sunday nights. 
  2. What it was like to found the company as CEO then later hire a replacement to become CTO. 
  3. How Slater defends his 2012 comment that "the war is over... deep learning lost."
  4. How NLP is being used to unlock value trapped in unstructured data.
  5. Why every knowledge worker "needs a bionic arm".
  6. Why Slater says AGI, artificial general intelligence, doesn't exist as a concept.

Follow Slater @sl8rv on Twitter.

Jun 06, 2021
Dr. Mark van Rijmenam, technologist, entrepreneur, and author, discusses AI ethics, future societies, blockchains, and digital labor

A first on the show this week... we meet a guest whose digital twin has its own YouTube channel. Dr. Mark van Rijmenam is a futurist, best-selling author, and entrepreneur. He is a popular keynote speaker about issues related to how we co-exist with technology in an increasingly digital world.

Listen and learn....

  1. Why it is we're living in "exponential times"
  2. How future societies will be organized by "digitalism" instead of "liberalism" based on who can access and control data
  3. Why blockchains as a technology are currently about at the maturity level of the internet in 1997
  4. What Dr. Mark means when he says " prepared to reinvent yourself every five to ten years"

Resources mentioned in the episode:

May 31, 2021
Zi Wang, CEO and founder of Timeless, discusses the future of time management, responsible use of data for AI, and how he's out to change the world

Zi Wang, Timeless founder and CEO, learned a lot at Google in eight and a half years. Enough that he was inspired to turn his Google-esque bold vision for the future of time management into a company. Timeless isn't solving the calendar app problem - Zi and his team are solving the problem of how to get the most out of what little time we have.

Listen and learn...

  1. The founding vision of Timeless
  2. About the future of time management
  3. The value of a "marketplace for time" 
  4. Why data privacy is a 21st century human right
  5. How time graphs will be used to optimize your calendar 

Resources mentioned on the show:

May 23, 2021
Banjot Chanana, product leader from VMware, Docker, Google, and AWS, discusses the rise of containers and what's ahead in DevOps

Most of us won't learn as much in a career about DevOps as Banjot Chanana forgets in an afternoon. Having built teams and products that have given rise to DevOps over a 20-year career as a product leader, Banjot is qualified to have strong opinions about the right ways to develop and deploy software. The best part? He's as enthusiastic as ever about what's ahead.

Listen and learn...

  1. Where there are opportunities to innovate in and around DevOps.
  2. Where VMs failed and created an opportunity for containers.
  3. What ephemeral infrastructure means for the future of CI/CD.
  4. What attributes are common across companies with great product cultures.

Companies and projects referenced:

May 17, 2021
Ciro Greco and Jacopo Tagliabue, founders of Tooso, discuss their entrepreneurial journey, acquisition by Coveo, and the future of machine intelligence

It's tough being entrepreneurs in Belgium and Italy. Our appetite for risk and access to capital in the U.S. is an unfair advantage. Ciro and Jacopo moved to Silicon Valley to pursue their dream and, in the process, learned why entrepreneurship is a full-contact sport. Their journey from MIT to startup to successful exit is a classic tale of grit and determination.

Listen and learn...

  1. What's unique about Silicon Valley for founders.
  2. How to turn a technology into a product.
  3. What distinguishes human cognition from machine intelligence.
  4. Why NLP is so hard.
  5. How product interfaces can introduce bias.
  6. What we can (and can't) expect from AI.

People and organizations mentioned:

May 10, 2021
Kordel France, CEO of Seekar Technologies, discusses the importance of AI explainability and how Seekar's AI helps radiologists detect COVID

Kordel France taught himself to code to automate his Calculus homework. He was inspired by seeing robot tractors on the family farm. Not the conventional background for a high-tech CEO. Kordel and Seekar have turned a passion for AI and machine learning into novel applications in fields as diverse as medicine, law, and professional sports. The best parts of this conversation are when Kordel describes what it means to practice responsible AI. A heads up for investor-types: Seekar is a hot company in a hot space and will soon be raising a series A. Contact Kordel for details.

Listen and learn...

  1. How to instrument explainability into AI algorithms and create a culture where algorithm developers are required to explain how their algorithms work
  2. Best practices for monitoring AI model accuracy to know when re-training is required
  3. The challenges and opportunities of putting AI models at the edge of the network
  4. How AI is making radiologists better at detecting medical conditions like COVID... and why AI won't replace human experts any time soon

Episodes and companies mentioned:

May 05, 2021
Rishon Blumberg and Michael Solomon, authors of Game Changer: How to be 10x in the Talent Economy, discuss AI, freelancers, and what it takes to be 10x better at everything

Two firsts this week on the podcast: first time we’ve had a two-guest interview and first time we’ve had guests who aren’t native to the tech industry. 

Rishon Blumberg and Michael Solomon are pioneers in the talent management space having worked with A-list celebrities like Bruce Springsteen and John Mayer. A decade ago they set out to bring what they learned in entertainment to the tech talent economy.

They’ve since published the popular book Game Changer: How to be 10x in the Talent Economy and have been busy helping the tech community find gigs.

Listen and learn...

  • What it takes to be 10x better at everything.
  • The unique personal attributes that separate "10xers" from everyone else.
  • What the guys learned managing Bruce Springsteen.
  • How one 10xer changed the world...starting with energy bars.
  • Why managing rock stars is a lot like managing tech talent.
  • The guys advice for entrepreneurs: "...when hustling fails grit is what gets you back to hustling again."

References in the show:

  1. Rishon's TED talk
  2. 10x Management
  3. Musicians On Call
  4. Ethos Water and Charity Water
Apr 28, 2021
Linda Rottenberg, Endeavor Co-founder and CEO, discusses entrepreneurship in emerging markets

This week's guest has been called “America’s Best Leader” by U.S. News and “The Entrepreneur Whisperer” by ABC, Fox, and NPR. Linda Rottenberg is the Co-founder and CEO of Endeavor, the world's leading community of high-impact entrepreneurs. She's also an accomplished author, speaker, investor, and mentor for global entrepreneurs. Linda's a mom of twins, a compassionate leader, and a force of nature having overseen the creation of more than four million jobs and 27 billion in revenue from Endeavor companies.

Listen and learn:

  1. About inspirational entrepreneurs like Wences Casare from Argentina and Vu Van from Vietnam. 
  2.  Why "...chaos is the friend of the entrepreneur."
  3. Why "...the days when we thought entrepreneurs were boys in hoodies in Silicon Valley will soon be an ancient relic."
  4. How personal tragedy made Linda a better leader.
  5. About Linda's advice to a younger version of herself: "be less super and more human."
  6. Why you should take the #MindsetChallenge from Endeavor and Masters of Scale.

Entrepreneurs and companies mentioned in the episode:

Apr 18, 2021
Denis Jacquet, founder of the Day One Movement, international entrepreneur, and author discusses how automation is transforming the labor market

Denis Jacquet is concerned that automation is causing traditional jobs to mutate... and governments around the world are mismanaging the opportunity to prepare citizens for the new labor market. He has written extensively on how regulation is stifling innovation. Denis is a serial entrepreneur having started and sold multiple successful companies including EduFactory in the e-learning space. He's also an accomplished author and frequent TV and radio contributor in France on the future labor market.

Listen and learn...

  1. Why many events will remain virtual long after the pandemic... even though humans have a fundamental need for direct contact.
  2. What Europe can learn from countries like Israel and Korea about how to embrace innovation to stimulate company creation.
  3. Why companies like FoxConn are preparing to replace a million low-paying jobs with robots in the next decade.
  4. Why so many entrepreneurs sacrifice family for career.

Thanks to Philippe Cases, Topio Networks CEO, for the introduction to Denis.

References in this episode:

Apr 12, 2021
Joe Rehmann, CEO and Founder of Victory Farms in Kenya, shares how technology-enabled fish farming is eradicating hunger

Joe Rehmann went from investment banking to fish farming. His passion for solving the protein problem in Eastern Africa led to one of the most successful aquaculture farms in the world. 

Joe's story should inspire entrepreneurs everywhere. No problem is too big to solve. Technology we take for granted can be used in ways we can't imagine... until leaders like Joe redefine what's possible.

Listen and learn...

  • What inspired Joe to start Victory Farms
  • How Victory Farms used mobile phones to solve the tilapia cold chain problem
  • What the western world doesn't understand about building a business in Kenya
  • How fish guts and market ladies may be part of the next great technology success story

Companies and organizations mentioned on the show:

Apr 03, 2021
Philippe Cases, CEO of Topio Networks, serial entrepreneur, and investor discusses edge computing, IoT and AI plus the future of Silicon Valley

Philippe Cases has been an entrepreneur and investor in Silicon Valley for more than 25 years. Most recently, he founded Topio Networks to automate the process of generating business insights in tech markets like edge computing, IoT, and blockchain. Philippe has strong opinions about everything from autonomous driving to augmented reality and is paid to influence how they evolve.

Listen and learn...

  1. How an engineer growing up in France and Germany came to be a Silicon Valley success story.
  2. Why we may never "fully automate the process of generating business insights".
  3. What technology is limiting mainstream use of edge computing for AI tasks.
  4. Of truck drivers, stock brokers, and real estate agents, which will be made obsolete first by AI.
  5. What needs to change about Silicon Valley.

Also mentioned on the show:

Thanks to Erin McMahon for the introduction to Philippe!

Mar 26, 2021
Tim Crawford, serial CIO and CIO advisor, discusses three phases of AI adoption in the enterprise

Tim Crawford, accomplished CIO, CIO advisor, and influencer, distinguishes transformational CIOs from the rest. For more than 20 years, he has been coaching CIOs about embracing new technologies by first identifying how they'll solve business problems. Tim is a frequent contributor to publications like The Wall Street Journal,, Forbes, SiliconAngle and TechTarget. Thanks to Steve Kaplan from Nutanix for the introduction.

Listen and learn...

  • How three distinct types of AI help businesses in different ways
  • The single biggest way AI could help employees today
  • A strategy for helping CIOs adopt AI
  • How and when AI should be regulated
  • Which jobs are at risk of being complemented... or eliminated by AI
  • Why "companies and countries will ultimately be measured based on how well they leverage technology and data"

Episodes and podcasts mentioned on the show:

Mar 21, 2021
Rory O'Driscoll, Partner at Scale Venture Partners, discusses success modes for AI companies and three essential strategies for startups

Rory O'Driscoll has been investing in startups since founding Scale Venture Partners 27 years ago. He and his team have invested in transcendent companies like Box, DocuSign, Omniture,, HubSpot, and others. Listen to this one multiple times. You'll learn something new each one.

Hear Rory's insights on AI and venture investing...

  • "The venture business is more a decision business and less an action business."
  • "The purpose of AI is to make better, more cost-effective decisions."
  • "It’s extraordinarily hard to replace people with AI."
  • "It’s hard to regulate what you don’t understand."
  • How software is eating into traditional spending on telco and banking.
  • Why successful startups must pick one of three strategies: "fight, focus, or fly" 

Previous episodes and companies mentioned on the podcast:

Mar 14, 2021
Wendy Pfeiffer, Nutanix CIO, discusses the future of enterprise technology, girls in STEM careers, and leading remote teams

This week, Wendy Pfeiffer, Nutanix CIO and former CIO at GoPro, shares her journey to becoming a public company exec and how she has grown as a technologist and leader. Hear about Wendy's proudest accomplishment at Nutanix and what she's learned from an eclectic group of role models.

Listen and learn...

  1. What it means to "lead with grace".
  2. Why the future of enterprise tech will look more like consumer tech.
  3. How to empower girls to pursue STEM careers.
  4. How Wendy and her team have used NLP technology to help employees and consistently achieve 90+ NPS scores.

Resources mentioned in the episode:

Mar 07, 2021
Rak Garg, investor at OpenView, discusses how enterprise software startups can disrupt incumbents like Splunk and Atlassian

Rak Garg recently shifted from Product Management at companies like Atlassian and Redfin to investing at OpenView Venture Partners, the iconic firm behind companies like Datadog, ExactTarget, Instructure, and others. He shares the playbook for enterprise software startups looking to disrupt incumbents like Splunk and Atlassian. His thesis on SIEM (security event management) and log analytics spawned an excellent blog post on how startups are unbundling Splunk and defining new categories in the process. Follow Rak at rak_garg on twitter.

Listen and learn...

  1. Why investing is harder than being a Product Manager
  2. Where Splunk and Atlassian are vulnerable to disruption from startups
  3. Rak's perspective on what must change about Silicon Valley culture
  4. The importance of "don't F&*%$ the customer" as a core component of company culture

Companies mentioned in this episode:

Feb 22, 2021
Glenn Solomon, GGV Capital Managing Partner, discusses the people behind amazing companies like Airbnb, HashiCorp, and Opendoor

Glenn Solomon has discovered and invested in many iconic companies like Slack, Zendesk, and Square. In this episode, he shares his investing philosophy and how he became great at what he does. This one's worth a listen just to hear Glenn share stories from when he first met the founders of Airbnb and HashiCorp.

Listen and learn...

  1. Why the stock of Domino’s Pizza has outperformed Google over the past decade.
  2. How Opendoor stumbled… before eventually going public and reaching a $20B valuation.
  3. Why Nike employs more software engineers than shoe designers. 
  4. What technology will define the next "Zoom" moment.

Companies, episodes, and people mentioned in this episode:

Feb 16, 2021
Elaine Zelby, investor at SignalFire, discusses unsexy markets and the SaaS startup bundle

Elaine Zelby is an investor at SignalFire, a blogger, podcaster, and former Product Marketer at Capriza and Slack. She shares her perspective on the proliferation of SaaS tools, what's sexy about unsexy markets, and what companies she's ready to fund.

Listen and learn...

  1. Why entrepreneurs describe SignalFire as the "kind" VC
  2. The one technology that will change work most in 2025
  3. What Elaine learned as an operator that has helped her as an investor
  4. Why the exodus from big cities may not be a thing after all

Thanks to Ilya from SignalFire for the introduction to Elaine. 

Episodes and companies mentioned on the show:

Feb 09, 2021
Evangelos Simoudis, best-selling author and Managing Director at Synapse Partners, discusses the present and future of autonomous vehicles

The future of cities, work, and transit all rely on technological advances in the field of autonomous vehicles. On this week's episode, Evangelos Simoudis, acclaimed author, futurist, and investor, discusses  the present and future of everything from robo-taxis to urban planning.

Listen and learn...
-How ethical implications and regulatory frameworks pose as big a threat to adoption of autonomous vehicles as technology
-Why a combination of knowledge-driven and ontological approaches are often required to optimize the accuracy of AI
-Why the classic trolley problem from a 1970s philosophy paper is more relevant than ever
-The pros and cons of  using neural nets to train autonomous vehicles
-Why Evangelos attributes his success to a history of systems thinking

Jan 30, 2021
Ashu Garg, General Partner at Foundation Capital, discusses finding and investing in the future of AI

Ashu Garg is a General Partner at Foundation Capital, one of the most iconic venture firms in Silicon Valley. Ashu was first an entrepreneur before becoming an investor and discovering amazing companies like TubeMogul, Cohesity, Eightfold, and Databricks.

Listen and learn...

  • How Ashu translated his unique brand of hustle into finding and backing amazing entrepreneurs
  • Why Ashu feels, as an entrepreneur, it’s worse to be too early than too late
  • The challenges and opportunities of applying NLP to enterprise software 
  • What emerging technology will most impact work in 2031 
  • How the ability to automate routine tasks creates an opportunity to change the world 

Companies mentioned on the show:

Jan 23, 2021
Haixun Wang, VP and AI Distinguished Scientist at Instacart, shares insights from 20 years of innovating at IBM, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Amazon

Great episode to kick off 2021. Dr. Haixun Wang has been at the forefront of introducing AI-based innovation to the world's leading technology companies including IBM, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Amazon. He's the current VP Engineering and Distinguished Scientist at Instacart where he focuses on improving the grocery delivery experience with AI.

Listen and learn...

  • Why knowledge graphs may be the solution to improve today’s e-commerce search experience. 
  • Why it’s hard to create an algorithm to help shoppers pick items from store shelves.
  • What defines a “technology” company.
  • Why it’s difficult to “make the physical world smart”. 
  • What happens when you search “insomnia" on Amazon.
  • Haixun’s proudest accomplishment.

Resources mentioned in the discussion with Dr. Wang:

  1. Our episodes with...
    1. Bill Davidow
    2. Alex from
    3. Darius from Meratas
    4. Charlene Li
    5. Tiernan Ray
    6. Dave Kellogg
  2. Haixun's quarantine reading: In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust
  3. Haixun's blog
Jan 02, 2021
Darius Goldman, CEO and Founder of Meratas, discusses the future of education and how income share agreements work

Darius Goldman, CEO and Founder of Meratas, discusses the future of education and how income share agreements (ISAs) are making college and trade school more accessible. Meratas partners with educational institutions to offer a financing option to students who can attend courses for free up front and pay later with a portion of future income. Meratas is off to a fast start with 30 education partners and 3,100 students.

Listen and learn...

  1. How ISAs create opportunities for students who couldn’t otherwise afford higher education
  2. Darius’ perspective on the future of education: “It’s a luxury to get educated for the sake of enrichment"
  3. How a waitress working three low-paying jobs is now selling software thanks to a Meratas-backed ISA 
  4. What Darius will be most proud of when Meratas transforms the education market

H/t to Jason Calacanis (@Jason) whose great interview with Darius led to this week’s podcast.

Episodes and organizations referenced:

Dec 12, 2020
Michael Shepherd, Distinguished Engineer at Dell Technologies, discusses the future of AI, ethics, and what happens when machines are smarter than us

On this week’s podcast, Michael Shepherd, Distinguished Engineer at Dell Technologies focused on AI, describes the present and future of intelligent software. Fascinating discussion about using AI for good… and what could happen if we lose control. Worth listening to hear when Michael thinks we’ll achieve AGI (artificial general intelligence), where bots are indistinguishable from humans. 

Listen and learn… 

  1. About Michael’s vision for “analytics at the speed of thought”. 
  2. How Michael describes the “three Vs of big data”. 
  3. Why laptops may soon not need charging cables. 
  4. Why knowing the answer will be less important in the future. 

Research referenced in this episode: 

Dec 08, 2020
The past, present, and future of AIOps with Dr. Helen Gu, CTO and Founder of InsightFinder

In this special episode with Dr. Helen Gu, author or co-author of 80+ academic papers on distributed computing and AI for systems management, we discuss the past, present, and future of AI for IT Operations.

Listen and learn...

  1. How and why the technology behind common problems like image recognition fails when applied to machine data
  2. Where Helen and her team were nine years ahead of Amazon
  3. Why unsupervised machine learning is required to predict and prevent system downtime
  4. Why machine learning is well-suited to anomaly detection for machine data
  5. The next technology breakthrough that will eliminate sleepless nights for developers

Research papers referenced on today's episode:

  1. Helen's 10-year Symposium on Cloud Computing award about elastic resource scaling
  2. Fixing the hang bug problem

Nov 29, 2020
Chris Curtin, former C-level exec at Visa and Disney tech VP, discusses the future of brands and money

Chris Curtin has been on a journey over the past twenty plus years to modernize iconic brands like Disney, HP, and Visa. He has been at the forefront of new payment technologies, consumer channels, and business models. We discussed the future of everything with Chris. 

Listen and learn...

  1. Why it will soon be as easy to send money to Botswana as it is to send photos or emoji.
  2. How Chris defines "brand".
  3. What it was like negotiating Visa's Olympic Games partnership.
  4. The best leadership advice Chris has received.
  5. How Coldplay (and the Pope) just may show up in your living room soon.

Companies and episodes mentioned:

Thanks to Lister Delgado from IDEA Fund Partners for the introduction!

Nov 22, 2020
Barr Moses, CEO and Founder of Monte Carlo, discusses data observability, raising VC as a female entrepreneur, and advice for creating an enduring company culture

This week, we had a fascinating discussion that unveiled the dirty secret of AI and machine learning: algorithm performance is only as good as data quality... and data pipelines break frequently.

Data Scientists spend most of their time wrangling data. Barr Moses, CEO and Founder of Monte Carlo, explains how the problem is getting solved and what that means for the future of technology. Plus, learn… 

  1. The five pillars of data health 
  2. How to quantify the impact of data downtime 
  3. How Barr thinks about being intentional when establishing company culture and values 
  4. Barr’s advice for female and under-represented minority entrepreneurs raising venture capital 
  5. Shark populations off the coast of South Africa? Well, just listen :). 

Companies and people mentioned in the episode: 

Nov 15, 2020
We asked execs about the future of AI in IT operations. What they said may surprise you.

This week's special episode of AI and the Future of Work features execs discussing how they use AI to reduce downtime. More important, they share how, as leaders, they're navigating the complicated relationship between humans and machines.

Listen and learn from some of the best:

  1. Joel Eagle on how McDonald's thinks about managing data at scale to improve the guest experience.
  2. Mark Settle, seven-time CIO and best-selling author of Truth from the Valley, on how the shift to cloud-based apps has changed user behavior.
  3. Ray Lippig, Program Manager at J.B. Hunt, on how anomaly detection is changing the logistics business.
  4. Sean Barker, CEO of cloudEQ, on how AI means we can architect cloud solutions designed for resilience.

Plus, hear three predictions for how AI will change work in the next 18 months.

For the first time, we also published a video version of this week's podcast on YouTube. Enjoy!

Nov 08, 2020
What happens when the founder of AIOps, Colin Fletcher, discusses DevOps and fried chicken. Well, listen...

On this week’s episode of AI and the Future of Work, Colin Fletcher shares insights including... 

  1. What he meant by “AIOps” when he coined the term and what has happened since then.
  2. How the most mature organizations adopt DevOps.
  3. How AIOps will change in the next three years. 
  4. The new definition of automation everyone in IT will soon be talking about. 
  5. ...And of course, the not-so-secret recipe for earth's best fried chicken. 

People mentioned in this episode: Patrick Debois, Bridget Kromhaut, Charity Majors. Companies mentioned in this episode: GitLab, ServiceNow, Splunk, New Relic, AppDynamics, BigPanda, Gartner.

Oct 31, 2020
Best of AI and the Future of Work with Dave Kellogg, serial CEO and board member... plus, we hit an exciting milestone!

Welcome to this week's "best of" episode of AI and the Future Work. Today, we’re opening the vault and re-introducing you to Dave Kellogg, serial high-tech CEO, board member, and of course Dead Head discussing SaaS metrics earlier this year. 

I’m proud to share that the podcast just crossed 100,000 downloads so I’m taking this opportunity to thank you for listening. If you enjoy the show, please rate us wherever you get your podcasts to demonstrate your support for independent media and help more listeners discover our amazing guests. 

It’s a week before the election and we’re all political scientists and data junkies for the next eight days. Dave is the original SaaS scientist. Listen as he puts on a master class about the metrics that matter plus offers coaching for entrepreneurs about how to tell stories with data. 

If you don’t know your CAC from your LTV or how to calculate the true sales cycle, listen up. Metrics matter not just to pitch your company but to run your business, validate your hiring plan, groom your product backlog, and define your marketing strategy. The future of work may be AI but even the best AI won’t replace the kind of decision-making that only comes from really understanding how to analyze your customer's journey.

Oh, and if you're not already subscribed to Dave's great Kellblog, you're missing the best SaaS content. Subscribe now!

Oct 26, 2020
Patty Hatter, tech exec/board member/advisor, shares the best advice ever for women in technology

Patty Hatter, former CIO, COO, and current SVP Customer Services at Palo Alto Networks, shares advice for women about how to break the glass ceiling in Silicon Valley. Hear how Patty went from engineering grad student to global exec by cultivating an authentic leadership style.

Listen and learn:

  • How six months in Europe shaped Patty's career.
  • The advice Patty says served her best when leaving Bell Labs
  • Why Patty says "being a CIO is the best role to have had in the past."
  • Tips for dealing with unconscious bias in the workplace.
  • Patty's advice to women convinced they can't accomplish what men can in high-tech.

Here's a link to the great episode with Mark Settle referenced in the show.

Oct 17, 2020
Special episode: COVID, AI, and your mental health with Deryk Van Brunt, CEO of CredibleMind

This week's discussion is about the pandemic, AI, and mental health.

Deryk Van Brunt is a serial entrepreneur, trained epidemiologist, and Professor at the U.C. Berkeley School of Public Health.

CredibleMind uses AI to improve access to mental health resources. What once was relegated to the shadows of healthcare is now mainstream. Anxiety and stress have spiked due to social isolation and the increased burden of elder and childcare. 

Like all fields being disrupted by AI, the fear of biased training data is real. Who owns your mental health data? Who is responsible for monitoring the performance of AI algorithms? 

Deryk introduces us to the future of holistic medicine. 

Listen and learn… 

  1. The current state of mental health. Did you know over half of the U.S. population has a diagnosable mental health condition over the course of a lifetime?
  2. How the pandemic has exacerbated the mental health problem.
  3. How to mitigate the impact of biased training data.
  4. How virtual healthcare providers like Woebot are giving new meaning to the term “the therapist can see you now".

Here’s a link to the CDC article referenced in the show. Deryk can be reached at Deryk @ CredibleMind dot com or via the CredibleMind website. 

Oct 10, 2020
Panel discussion about AI and the future of IT Operations with leaders from Snowflake, Dell, and Credit Suisse

New format this week: a special panel discussion with Justin Fitzhugh from Snowflake, Liz Holland from Dell, and Luca Blanzuoli from Credit Suisse...

Learn insights about the future of AI in IT Operations from the pros:

  • "We couldn't keep the environment available without AI technology.” -Liz from Dell
  • “It’s time to switch paradigms. It’s not ok to have outages with the same root cause twice. We should have no outages.” -Luca from Credit Suisse 
  • “AI is like having a PhD on the team transferred from generation to generation... without having to earn the degree.” -Luca from Credit Suisse
  • "We can't keep up with the growth of our business without AI and automation. As a data management platform, the business expects us to continuously innovate." -Justin from Snowflake


  • We coin a new IT acronym. You'll soon replace "KTLO" with "KTTPOTS". 
  • We discuss what you need to know to start a new DevOps or SRE team.
  • We learn how Dell was able to migrate 140,000 global employees to home offices...over a weekend!

Thanks to our wonderful panelists for a fun conversation. Enjoy!

Sep 28, 2020
Cassie Divine, SVP QuickBooks Online Platform at Intuit, shares what she's doing to promote equal pay and workplace diversity plus her philosophy on leadership during a pandemic

This week's guest deserves credit for helping transform Intuit into an iconic technology brand with a reputation for great company culture and values-driven leadership.

We get a unique look into the secrets that have made Cassie and Intuit successful and, more important, what Cassie's doing to define the post-pandemic future of work for self-employed entrepreneurs. 

Listen and learn...

  1. Why Scott Cook, Intuit founder, advised employees to "love the problem not the solution."
  2. How Cassie has changed her leadership style to support remote teams.
  3. What "customer obsession" means at Intuit.
  4. Why Cassie says "there's no prosperity without equality."
  5. What Intuit is doing to narrow the pay gap.
  6. What Cassie learned from Clay Christensen.

Episodes mentioned:

Sep 13, 2020
Gareth Rushgrove, DevOps pioneer and DevOps Weekly editor, discusses the past, present, and future of IT operations

Special guest Gareth Rushgrove, editor of the popular DevOps Weekly newsletter (since its inception ten years ago!) and former product lead at Docker and Puppet, joined the podcast this week for a wide-ranging discussion about the culture of IT operations, security and software development, and the future of application monitoring.

Listen and learn:

  • Why Gareth thinks teaching developers to write secure code is a "socio-technical" problem
  • Why the perceived "go fast vs. be secure" perceived tradeoff is wrong
  • What Gareth has been doing to support the Open Policy Agent and accelerate adoption of infrastructure as code
  • What's ahead for Kubernetes and container management
  • What advice Gareth "newsletter iron man" has for listeners... and the one mistake he made when launching DevOps Weekly
Sep 07, 2020
Host Dan Turchin interviewed by David Wright from the Service Desk Institute

Ever wonder what "knocker-uppers" did in Britain when alarm clocks were invented? Curious what scribes did after the printing press? Loom operators after the cotton gin? Throughout history, those on the right side of innovation thrive.

In this crossover episode, host Dan Turchin is interviewed by Service Desk Institute Chief Value and Innovation Officer David Wright. Hear how technology is changing customer service... and improving the lives of customer service agents while forcing them to upskill and re-skill.

Listen and learn:

  • What skills won't be replaced by AI
  • How the service desk is being transformed by automation
  • Why "augmented intelligence" is improving employee service
  • What's happening now to mitigate the impact of bias in training data
Aug 30, 2020
Greg Poirier, New Relic Architect and AIOps pioneer, discusses the future of IT operations

Greg Poirier understands what it’s like to carry the pager. He started as a systems engineer and has since spent a career developing products that help systems engineers sleep at night. 

In this episode, Greg explains the past, present, and future of IT operations. He also shares techniques for surviving the quarantine as a geek and an artist.

Hear from the master… 

  1. What is observability and why is it more important during the pandemic? 
  2. What do great product teams do better than everyone else? 
  3. Will we ever achieve NoOps? Is that even the right vision? 
  4. Pets? Cattle? Discuss. 
  5. Is monitoring dead? 
Aug 22, 2020
Brent Knipfer, enterprise IT architect from Alcor Solutions, explains where to start when defining an AI strategy

Brent Knipfer started from humble beginnings having taken an oath of poverty in the Peace Corps. He's now one of the leading authorities in the IT community on the topic of designing AI-first, data-driven strategies.

Listen and learn...

  • Why the secret to great AI is having great humans first clean your data
  • How to optimize your CMDB for AI
  • Why service agents that accept recommendations from AI have the lowest MTTR
  • Why Brent's mantra is "leap to the future"
  • How Brent has made it through the quarantine... including a preview of outrageous outfits he's been designing for his debut on the runway post-COVID
Aug 01, 2020
Special round table edition: Barclay Rae and Sanjeev NC discuss why we shouldn't fear bots at work

Barclay Rae, co-author of the ITIL v4 guides and ITSM consultant, and Sanjeev NC, AI enthusiast and former Product Marketing lead at Freshworks, join host Dan Turchin to discuss where AI is helping organizations and why fears of job elimination are unfounded.

Listen and learn...

  • Why "artificial" is a better description of today's AI technology than "intelligent"
  • How AI is helping reduce training time for help desk agents
  • Key metrics you should be using to make sure your AI project is successful
  • The skills you need to lead your organization's first AI project
  • What gamification has in common with AI

Jul 26, 2020
Deborah Hanus, Sparrow CEO, discusses what it means to be mission-driven and fundraising as a solo founder

Deborah Hanus, Sparrow founder and CEO, joins Dan Turchin to discuss how improving the complicated maternity, paternity, and medical leave process makes life better for employees. Deborah shares her vision for the company, why the problem exists, and what it was like raising two rounds of funding as a solo founder.

Listen and learn:

  • What inspired Deborah to start Sparrow
  • Why leave policies are so complicated and how COVID-19 has made the situation worse
  • How leave policies create gender bias and how Deborah recommends companies fix the problem
  • Why leave is tightly connected to job satisfaction and quality of life
  • The world Deborah hopes exists when Sparrow is wildly successful
Jul 19, 2020
Tiernan Ray, distinguished journalist, discusses the future of work and tech's complicated relationship with the media

Tiernan Ray has published articles in every major tech and business publication over his 25-year career. This week, he joined Dan Turchin on the podcast to discuss what it means to practice responsible journalism at a time when audiences and advertisers are fickle and we're contending with a pandemic, social unrest, political turmoil, and backlash against social media for promoting hate.

Listen and learn...

  • Why journalistic integrity matters even as fact-checking departments at organizations like Barron's are being eliminated.
  • How the pandemic has created opportunities to tell stories about scientific topics that weren't previously exposed to mainstream audiences.
  • Why it's important for writers to not allow their social media brands to influence their presentation of facts.
  • How leaders like former Cisco CEO John Chambers, Applied Materials CEO Gary Dickerson, and Five9 CEO Rowan Trollope are managing company culture as "serendipitous moments for collaboration" go away.

Follow Tiernan on Twitter.

Jul 11, 2020
AI and the Future of Work with Alex Capecelatro, CEO of home automation pioneer

This week, we discuss the future of smart homes with Alex Capecelatro, CEO of Working from home has made smart home assistants business essential. They save us time researching, play mood-appropriate music, and help us meditate when quarantine life has an off day. 

Alex and are navigating the new world of work like all of us. But unlike most of us, they’re doing it while being scrutinized for collecting personal data, trying to maintain international supply chains, and competing with pandemic stalwarts Amazon and Google. Listen and learn why just had its best quarter ever and raised a new round of funding. Hear how Alex is creating a culture well-suited for growth in uncertain times. 

Topics discussed… 

  • What is the future of the smart home? 
  • How is addressing the problem of data privacy? Why did his team develop a “Snapchat” feature? 
  • What is Alex’s leadership style and how has it changed as the company has grown? 
  • What would Alex do differently if he started over today? 
  • How was Alex able to close a round of funding in the middle of a pandemic? 
  • What is it like being David slinging stones at Goliaths Amazon and Google? 
Jul 02, 2020
Kenn So, AI enthusiast and investor at Shasta Ventures

Kenn So is on the investment team at Shasta Ventures, one of the most respected enterprise software investors in Silicon Valley. He evaluates AI-first companies every day and has a few opinions about what's working and how to get your AI company funded.

On this week's episode, Ken shares his perspective on venture capital, AI, and what the best pitches have in common.

Listen and learn...   

  • How the best SaaS companies are evolving their operating plans in lean times.
  • Why AI explainability matters. 
  • What is AI bias and what are innovative companies doing to address it.
  • Why it's ok that AI innovation is slowing down while AI accountability is catching up.
  • The biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make when managing in a crisis.
  • How diversity in the VC community directly impacts innovation.
  • The pitch that made Kenn say "wow!"
  • What Kenn learned backpacking around the U.S. before starting his venture career.
Jun 25, 2020
Bill Davidow, venture capital pioneer and best-selling author of The Autonomous Revolution

Bill Davidow is an icon in the venture capital world having made his first $5,000 venture investment in the 1960s before starting Mohr Davidow in 1985. This week’s episode of AI and the Future of Work is a fascinating discussion with Bill about his new book "The Autonomous Revolution: Reclaiming the Lives We’ve Sold to Machines”. 

This is a rare opportunity to learn secrets from one of the greats who helped launch the 8086 chip at Intel before planting the seeds that became today's venture capital industry.

Bill on how today's autonomous revolution relates to the previous agricultural and industrial revolutions: "If we could figure out a way to adjust in an era of scarcity we should be able to adjust in an era of abundance." 

Listen and learn…

  • What Silicon Valley was like in the 80s and how it has changed. 
  • The future of labor and why we’re measuring productivity the wrong way. 
  • What Bill means when he says we’ve locked ourselves in algorithmic prisons. 
  • How Bill proposes we mitigate the impact of AI bias. 
  • What are the attributes of the best entrepreneurs Bill has coached. 

This is a special one. Enjoy!

Jun 18, 2020
AI and the Future of Work with Shannon Burns, internal tools manager at Slack

On this week’s podcast, we interview Shannon Burns, internal developer tools manager from Slack. Shannon’s been adjusting to a new style of management during the quarantine. Let’s just say the pace hasn’t slowed down for her and her team but she’s adapted her leadership style to help everyone stay productive while also acknowledging how the pandemic has affected them personally.

Listen and learn...

  1. What makes Slack’s culture unique that might surprise you.
  2. Why a manager's new role is helping team members work less hard… and how Shannon does that.
  3. How Shannon’s team gathers requirements in lieu of traditional whiteboard sessions with developers.
  4. Shannon’s favorite Slack features (that you’re probably not using).
  5. How Shannon has been hobbying her way through the quarantine to stay sane.
Jun 11, 2020
AI and the future of humanity... an interview by Dan King and Leeza McKeown from Fireside Strategic with Dan Turchin

How AI and Humans Will Work Together to Build a More Human Future of Work

In this turnaround format, Leeza McKeown and Dan King interview Dan Turchin!  


-- Dan's backstory - starting to help augment the human experience.  (What are his goals?)
-- The benefits of AI for a frontline call center agent.  (Timely.... 600% increase in need for employee IT support for home workers.)
-- How to think about optimizing your "digital labor" resources.  (There is a class for business leaders who want to master this.)
-- What is the first question Dan asks in each virtual meeting & who does he look up to as leaders in the time of COVID-19.
-- Why "building back better" is a realistic goal, because we were built for this.

Jun 05, 2020
AI and the Future of Work with Charlene Li, analyst and best-selling author of The Disruption Mindset

We enjoyed our discussion with Charlene Li, analyst and best-selling author of The Disruption Mindset, so much last December that we invited her back to discuss the impact of the pandemic on leaders, culture, and the evolving nature of work. Charlene's advice for disruptors is more relevant than ever.

Charlene's advice to leaders who have themselves been disrupted: "Now is the time to be a better leader. Take this opportunity to get to know the whole person - where they live, their families, their hobbies. These intimate work interactions allow us to be more empathetic."

Listen and learn… 

  • How Charlene has made use of time spent not traveling and speaking at live events
  • What's the single most important skill for managers leading in periods of uncertainty 
  • The new definition of work. Hint: it’s no longer defined by physical space. 
May 29, 2020
AI and the Future of Work with Allan Leinwand, Slack SVP of Engineering and Silicon Valley tech pioneer

In this week’s episode of AI and the Future of Work, Slack Senior Vice President of Engineering Allan Leinwand shares how he’s leading his teams through the pandemic and what it means within Slack when CEO Stewart Butterfield says “we were made for this.” 

Allan helped develop, launch, and manage some of the most-loved technology products in history including Cisco’s routing products, Zynga’s social gaming backend, ServiceNow’s platform, and of course Slack. 

Listen and learn…

  • What it’s like to develop the app that quite literally makes it possible to WFH.
  • What teams that build iconic products do differently than others.
  • What technology trend will define the next decade like cloud and AI have defined the past decade.
  • How Allan defines his success as a leader.
  • What leaders need to do now to keep employees productive and create cultures that are stronger on the other side of COVID-19.
May 22, 2020
AI and the Future of Work with Diane Keng, Founder and CEO of Breinify, the leading AI platform for predictive personalization

On this week’s episode of AI and the Future of Work, we discuss the future of post-pandemic consumer behavior and AI in retail with Breinify CEO Diane Keng. Breinify develops a predictive personalization engine used by brands like BevMo! to understand how we buy and optimize the buying experience. She’s building a great culture and learning fast as a first-time founder and CEO. 

Listen and learn… 

  • How Diane thinks about company culture and how she keeps her team motivated in the face of uncertainty. 
  • How AI is delivering a better consumer experience and how to use data to predict behavior without violating consumer privacy. 
  • How Breinify uses data signals to identify “moments that matter”. 
  • Diane’s superpower and her advice for the next generation of female founders.
May 16, 2020
AI and the Future of Work with Dave Kellogg, serial CEO, board member, investor, and advisor

In this week’s episode of AI and the Future of Work, Dan Turchin discusses Silicon Valley culture pre and post pandemic, SaaS metrics, and the mistakes that get CEOs fired with Dave Kellogg, Silicon Valley luminary, investor, advisor, and CEO. 

Listen and learn...

  • What’s the single most important metric for venture-backed SaaS companies… and why you’re probably calculating it wrong. 
  • What makes a great high-tech culture and why Dave is particularly proud of one slide that summarizes his philosophy on building successful teams.
  • Why most CEOs fail because of one specific way they mis-manage board expectations.
  • Dave’s biggest regret and how he has learned to overcome it as a leader.

Dave's excellent blog:
Twitter: @kellblog

May 09, 2020
What leaders do in a crisis: Tess Posner, AI4ALL CEO, with Dan Turchin on this week's episode of AI and the Future of Work

In recent weeks, we’ve been discussing what leaders do in a crisis. This week, we share an update from a discussion last November with Tess Posner, CEO of AI4ALL

In the past six weeks, AI4ALL has…

  • Released a new Open Learning course about AI and COVID-19 for students and educators. 
  • Published a sentiment analysis and NLP curriculum. 
  • Made more than 65 hours of AI curricula and teaching guides available for free at
  • Transitioned many 2020 high school summer internships online. 
  • Shifted its entire team to fully remote work.

Tess is a force of nature. We need more leaders like her who see opportunities in the crisis not to help themselves but to help others first. In Tess’ case, she’s on a mission to bring AI education to high school students around the world. 

In this episode, listen and learn...

  • What's the future of AI education for high school students?
  • How can we mitigate the impact of AI bias in hiring?
  • How high school students are solving real world problems with AI.
  • How a natural disaster inspired Tess to launch her career in AI education. 
May 02, 2020
AI and the future of work with Randy Womack, CEO of employee experience platform

In this week’s episode of AI and the future of work, we discuss enterprise bots and natural language processing with CEO Randy Womack. Randy is a 30-year Silicon Valley enterprise software veteran who has built successful teams and products at amazing organizations like SuccessFactors (now SAP) and Castlight Health. 

Listen and learn... 

  • What is an employee experience platform and how do great companies think about employee experiences? 
  • Why was Randy an early advocate for remote work and why do distributed teams outperform others? Hint: it’s not what you think. 
  • What do tattoos and blue hair have to do with company culture and what are the attributes of the best company cultures? 
  • Why is Marc Andreessen right about the need to build… as long as we don’t build keyboards. 

Thanks to Brian Ascher from Venrock for the introduction to Randy. 

Apr 24, 2020
AI and the future of work with an update on the pandemic and a discussion with Craig Pratt, former ServiceNow Vice President and next level leader

This week, we discuss the human toll of the pandemic on day 35 of the shelter in place order. We also discuss what life on the other side will be like. We're learning from organizations like TaskRabbit whose CEO Stacy Brown-Philpot shares her organization's journey with Bob Safian on Reid Hoffman's Masters of Scale. 

We're re-publishing an episode that originally aired last August with former ServiceNow Vice President and next level leader Craig Pratt. In it, Craig discusses...

  • Lessons for leaders looking to make an impact in or outside careers in technology
  • Why empathy and intuition are timeless skills that transcend technology and will never be replaced by AI
  • What inspired his career in technology from humble beginnings as a golf caddy

Fear is subsiding. Hope is returning. We're strong. We're resilient.


Links referenced in this week's episode:

Apr 19, 2020
Do this now and we'll flatten the second curve: lessons from leaders using the pandemic to define the future of work

This week, you’re stuck with my voice sharing my thoughts on the situation. We'll get back to interviews about AI next week.

It’s a confusing time for all of us. There’s no way to comprehend the magnitude of what is happening right now.

In this podcast, I discuss...

  • What's ahead for company culture as second curve effects hit the workplace.
  • Why organizations are more like organisms than machines.
  • How strong organizations are growing stronger using new technology to embrace what makes them unique.

Please react with your own thoughts and coping mechanisms. We're all in this together.


Apr 12, 2020
AI and the future of work: a conversion with Shane Carlson and Laura Araujo from the Techno Biotic podcast

This week, we’re sharing a conversation I recorded a few weeks back with Shane Carlson and Laura Araujo on their Techno Biotic podcast. It was before the pandemic so, shockingly, we didn’t share work from home tips and there was no discussion about toilet paper hoarding. 

Shane and Laura geek out weekly about the intersection of post-humanism, technology, and culture. In this discussion, we cover:

  1. What it means to be human... augmented by machines.
  2. What human skills transcend technology... and which will be less valued in the future.
  3. What can employees do now to embrace technology change... instead of fear it.
  4. What is the actual state of AI... and where is it headed.

Hope you enjoy!

Apr 05, 2020
AI and the future of work with Barclay Rae, top 20 IT Service Management thought leader and ITIL 4 author

We’re joined by Barclay Rae on this week’s episode of AI and the Future of Work. Barclay has consistently been named one of the top 20 influencers in IT Service Management. He’s an accomplished speaker, consultant, and author having recently contributed to the ITIL 4 content library. Barclay joined us to discuss the impact of the pandemic on service management and what leaders should know about the future of work.  

In this episode, hear Barclay discuss… 

  1. How remote work is forever changing company culture. 
  2. Why the best technology leaders are really the best people leaders. 
  3. Why IT must stop “shouting from the basement” to be perceived as leaders. 
  4. The common traits of the most effective (and dysfunctional) organizations. 
  5. What’s new in ITIL 4 and why the concept of sustainability is critical for organizations interested in delivering better employee experiences. 
Mar 29, 2020
AI and the future of work with Jordan Husney, founder and CEO at remote work pioneer Parabol

This week, we're re-sharing an episode that originally aired August 2019 because it's more timely than ever. In it, Jordan Husney, founder and CEO of remote work pioneer Parabol talks about the future of work in remote teams.

Listen and learn... 

  • About Jordan's entrepreneurial journey
  • Why he started Parabol
  • How to hold distributed teams accountable
  • Why cultures that support remote workers attract and retain better talent

Mar 21, 2020
AI and the future of work with Ash Rust, former CEO and pre-seed investor at Sterling Road

Ash Rust, startup entrepreneur and pre-seed investor, discusses what he looks for in founding teams, why the best founders succeed, how he evaluates companies, and what opportunities he’d fund if he saw the right pitch. 

Listen and learn... 

  • The three common attributes of the best startup CEOs 
  • What Ash looks for when coaching entrepreneurs 
  • The best pitches Ash has heard recently… and a few bizarre ones 
  • “The one that got away” Ash missed 
  • Ash’s advice for a younger version of himself 

Learn more about the amazing companies Ash discussed at Sterling Road.

Mar 05, 2020
AI and the Future of Work with guest Reza Nazeman, CIO of SAP Concur

Reza Nazeman, serial CIO from Microsoft and McKinsey and current CIO of SAP Concur, discusses the evolving role of IT in the era of automation and why thinking business first is how he adds value as a technology leader.

Tune in to learn...

  • How Reza got his start in Germany and earned his way into roles of increasing responsibility
  • What are the attributes of a great culture and what McKinsey and Microsoft get right (and wrong)
  • Reza's philosophy on hiring and grooming leaders
  • What skills will never be replaced by AI
  • What "CIO" really stands for
Mar 04, 2020
AI and the Future of Work (Episode 13) - hosted by Dan Turchin Co Founder and Chief Product Officer of Astound, interviews distinguished and accomplished author Charlene Li.

Charlene Li is a 20-year analyst and researcher who has written six best-selling books. A well-known consultant, acclaimed social media and technology expert, and the author of the recent book "The Disruption Mindset", Charlene is a serial disruptor who has helped millions of entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs.

In this AI and the Future of Work podcast, Dan Turchin interviews Charlene Li. She discusses how disruptive leaders are needed everywhere. Charlene shares how a small university like Southern New Hampshire grew from just 3,000 students to the #1 online educational institution. Their approach...let us rethink what it means to have a degree. Charlene explains why we're in a disruptive time. She shows us how to make sense of it all and teaches us how to believe the impossible.

Key questions Charlene encourages listeners to ask:
1) Do you know your future customer?
2) Do you know what will have to change to go after that customer?
3) How can we create disruptive leaders in all industries?
4) Does disruption create growth or growth create disruption?
5) Isn't innovation disruptive by design?

To learn more about Astound, visit:
To learn more about Charlene Li, visit:

Dec 13, 2019
Dan Turchin Co-founder and Chief Product Officer talks with Tess Posner, CEO of A.I. 4 All

Passion? Excitement? Driven? These are all qualities of this dynamic CEO. Tess Posner is changing the world with her positive attitude and her great approach to problem solving in issues of all things related to AI and Education.

In this AI and the Future of Work podcast, Dan Turchin interviews Tess Posner, CEO of A.I. 4 All. She discusses how to mitigate AI bias and hiring best practices and how AI will impact women and youth. She also talks about what she would tell her younger self. Tess has an eye in gaining Data Literacy for all through her successful summer camp programs that are helping youth learn about AI. Today, students in middle and high school are benefiting their communities through their knowledge of AI through her program efforts.

Challenges for AI and Education, IT Leaders, and Youth:
1) How can AI help students start AI Clubs at school or via Hack a Thons?
2) How can knowledge and data literacy lead us to understand what businesses need in regards to hiring practices?
3) How can we provide teachers with curriculum that empowers them to teach their students about AI?
4) Is AI the driver of the Fourth Industrial Revolution?
5.) How AI solves a problem for Global Diversity

To learn more about Astound, visit:
To learn more about A.I. 4 All, visit:

Dec 02, 2019
An Interview with Serial Entrepreneur Bob Moore aka "The Data Whisperer" on how the Tech landscape has changed and what can cause a Start-Up to stumble

What causes a Start-Up to stumble?  Is your company becoming culturally lazy? 

Learn some helpful entrepreneurial tips and find out what data exhaust means on the latest podcast session on AI and the Future of Work with Dan Turchin.

Bob Moore is the CEO of CrossBeam. They help companies bring data together and create a third party environment so that data doesn't just cross over to another company but rather is kept separate. In this episode, Bob shares the key to keeping info out while understanding there is a fear to share data. He also addresses how to find the key things that matter in a partnership. 

Listen and learn from one of the best in the business!

Oct 30, 2019
Co-founder Dan Turchin Interviews World Renowned AI Computer Scientist Julie Mohr

Julie addresses how knowledge and the customer economy are driving a rapid change in business. In addition she discusses how to not focus only on product but instead to look at data to define our customer-driven innovation. Julie believes there's a balance between people, process and tools. Is traditional service management relevant? Julie answers these questions and more.

"We must see the need for what our customers want. Automation IS what the customers want! They have a palate for it. The companies that see this are winning!"
 - Julie Mohr 

Challenges for CIO's and IT Leaders Addressed in this Podcast:
1) How can Automation help companies use data to drive revenues?
2) How can knowledge and data lead us to understand what customers want?
3) How can we get better at making agile models to support service management?

To learn more about Astound, visit:
For more information on AI expert Julie Mohr, visit her website

Oct 22, 2019
Dan Turchin Co-founder and Chief Product Officer Interviews Technology and Business Journalist Tiernan Ray on How Technology has Transformed with AI

Will people lose their enthusiasm to a machine that writes as a person? Will AI impact economists, investors and journalists? Tiernan Ray, business, technology and finance writer and editor talks about AI theories and how they will impact everyone around us including the role of a journalist.

In this podcast episode, he breaks down Moore's Law, AI and the demise of Journalism, or as he asks, "can AI summarize an author's work?" These questions and more will be covered in this episode of AI and the Future of work! Tiernan also talks about what he would tell his younger self.

Challenges for CIO's, IT Leaders and Journalists added in this Podcast:
1) How can AI help authors go through "The Process" of an idea, words on paper, to something actually published? 
2) How can knowledge and data lead us to understand what customers want?
3) How can we get better at knowing, who is a "Noise Trader" verses who is a "Rational Investor"?
4) How has Deep Learning developed over decades? And how does it materialize in the market?

To learn more about Astound, visit:
For more information on Tiernan Ray, visit his LinkedIn page.

Oct 22, 2019
Doug Tedder, ITSM Expert, Discusses How a Virtual Agent Can Transform Your Business with Co-founder and CPO Dan Turchin

Doug Tedder, ITSM expert discusses how a virtual agent has the ability to transform your help desk with Dan Turchin, Co-founder and Chief Product Officer of Astound. He discusses how service management must now be truly end-to-end and how AI is needed to address the needs of our customers and improve business benefits. 

The role of the IT leader is changing with service delivery expectations but how can AI  drive accuracy and speed for the customers that IT is being asked to support in organizations? Doug and Dan talk about how a virtual agent has the ability to free up highly technical resources so that they can do more innovative work as opposed to repeat mundane tasks. This helps to reduce downtime for employees while also improving the overall service experience.

Challenges for CIO's and IT Leaders Addressed in this Podcast:
1) How to reduce your call volume and reduce your mean time to resolution (MTTR)?
2) When is it appropriate to use a virtual agent?
3) How can IT leaders be faster and more accurate in their service delivery work?
4) How can a virtual agent help a CIO with digital transformation strategies?

To learn more about Astound, visit:
To learn more about Doug Tedder visit Tedder Consulting.

Oct 21, 2019
Fruition Partners Founder and CEO Marc Talluto on the Evolution of ServiceNow, Building a Consulting Firm in the ITSM Space, and the Future of Service Management

Fruition Partners founder Marc Talluto joins the podcast to share his invaluable experience and advice around entrepreneurship, leadership and service management. Marc began his career in consulting at both Accenture and Deloitte and eventually broke away to start Fruition which specializes in ITSM and Cloud Service Management, specifically ServiceNow, as a Value Added Re-seller (VAR). As founder and CEO, Marc was instrumental in building Fruition's partnership network and its culture, leading to the sale of the firm in 2015. 

Challenges for CIO's and IT Leaders Addressed in this Podcast:
1) Building a successful culture within your organization that is unique to you. 
2) How to find pockets of opportunity within service management and beyond.
3) Shifts in the ITSM space and what you can do to be on the front lines of that change.

To learn more about Astound, visit:

Sep 11, 2019
Smarter Collaboration: Parabol Founder and CEO Jordan Husney Outlines a Better Way to Structure Your Meetings to Get More Out of Your Teams

Jordan Husney is the founder and CEO of Parabol, a meeting software product for agile teams, particularly those distributed around the world. Jordan shares his insights with host Dan Turchin around the difference between teams & interest groups, key rules of engagement for productive meetings, and his thoughts on what the future of work will look like for employees & knowledge workers around the globe. He also shares a fascinating perspective on how his experience as a start-up founder has allowed him to see a different side of America.

Challenges for CIO's and IT Leaders Addressed in this Podcast:
1. How do you make meetings more engaging and productive?
2. How to deal with the office narcissist?
3. What's the difference between a team and an interest group? And, why should you care?
4. What are effective rules of engagement to actually make meetings useful?

To learn more about Parabol, visit:

To learn more about Astound, visit:

Aug 15, 2019
Truth from the Trenches: Okta CIO Mark Settle on the Future of Work & IT, What it Takes to be an Effective Leader in IT, and His Thoughts on Automation & AI

Mark Settle, seven-time Chief Information Officer (CIO) and current CIO of Okta digs into how the modern workplace has evolved with the proliferation of collaboration work tools such as Slack, Zoom, etc. and the technology considerations CIOs and business leaders need to address in preparation for future workplace changes. Mark shares his thoughts on automation, it's role within a company, and where it’s headed. Mark also highlights the various dimensions of the CIO role and what it takes to succeed.

Challenges for CIO's and IT Leaders Addressed in this Podcast:
1. How do you manage a variety of generational groups within an IT organization?
2. How are millennials driving change in the workplace? How do you prepare for future changes?
3. What role will automation play moving forward?
4. What does it take to be a successful leader in IT?

For more information on Mark’s book Truth from the Trenches, visit:
For more information on Astound visit:

Aug 12, 2019
Lessons for Leaders in the Era of AI: ServiceNow's Craig Pratt Shares His Leadership Philosophy, His Journey Through High-Tech, and an Optimistic Perspective on Technology

Welcome to episode four of the AI and the Future of Work podcast series with host Dan Turchin, Co-founder and Chief Product Officer of Astound. The following conversation features ServiceNow's World Wide VP of Sales Initiatives, Craig Pratt. He shares his journey through the high-tech world and the leadership lessons he's learned along the way.

Learn more about Astound at

Aug 11, 2019
Sinclair Support Manager & President of the Seattle HDI Chapter Tony North Discusses Excellence in Customer Support, Hiring on Cultural Fit, and the Key Metrics in ITSM

IT veteran Tony North is the Support Manager @ Sinclair and the president of the Seattle HDI Chapter. Tony stops by for a chat with our host, Dan Turchin, to discuss building great customer support experiences, how to hire the very best people for your team, the top ITSM tools shaping the customer experience today and how to best measure and scale these tools. For those interested in the future of support and ITSM, Tony shares his thoughts around decentralization, reporting, & robotics, describing how these trends are disrupting the industry.

Challenges for CIO's, IT Leaders, and Support Managers Addressed in this Podcast:
1) How should a support manager screen for cultural fit in hiring?
2) What can you do to keep support agents engaged?
3) How do you give the support team more visibility within the organization?
4) What are the best metrics for measuring the value of technology for internal customers?

To learn more about Astound, visit:

Aug 11, 2019
Benjamin Baer, VP of Product Marketing @ FICO, Discusses All Things FICO, Tangible AI & ML Use Cases, and How Responsible AI & Big Data Will Affect Employees in the Future for the Better

Benjamin Baer is the VP of Product Marketing at Fair, Issac and Company (FICO), best known for their credit risk assessment product, FICO Score. What many people don't know is that FICO's reach goes far beyond assessing credit health. Over the last ten years the corporation has become a leader in the analytics space, deploying big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence solutions to some of the largest enterprises in the world. Benjamin shares a fascinating consumer journey that highlights FICO's involvement in a host of touch points. Many of which will surprise you. He goes on to give insight on how AI and big data will impact the future of work, describing massive productivity gains and efficiency improvements for not only our jobs but also for our lives.

Challenges for CIO's and IT Leaders Addressed in this Podcast:
1. Successful AI and machine learning use cases in the enterprise.
2. Responsible compliance and stewardship of data.
3. The future of big data and analytics.

To learn more about Astound, visit:

Aug 11, 2019
The Future of ITSM with Brent Knipfer: AI's Impact on ITSM and How Astound is Improving the Employee Experience Through AI-Driven Automation

Brent Knipfer currently works with McDonald's as the Global Enterprise Solutions Architect. He shares his passion and expertise around ITSM throughout the podcast, showcasing the endless possibilities for growth in the space. Brent dives into the past, present, and exciting future of ITSM as AI comes front and center.

Challenges for CIO's and IT Leaders Addressed in this Podcast:
1.  How can AI enhance my ITSM solution?
2. How can AI improve employee satisfaction?
3. What are Astound's AI features, and what value do they bring?
4. How is AI changing ITSM?

To learn more about Astound, visit:

Aug 10, 2019