By Editorial Team
The holidays offer a perfect time to catch up on thoughtful insights from some of the greatest minds in technology and AI. Every week, Radical Reads explores the many ways artificial intelligence is reshaping our world. Each edition begins with our own thinking via a feature interview or article written by the Radical team. As we turn the page on 2022, we are delighted to share our readers’ favourite Radical features of the past year, exploring AI’s impact on technology, the economy, politics and culture.
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Happy holidays and best wishes to you all for a fantastic 2023!
Image Source: New York Times
This year at NeurIPS, the world’s largest AI research conference, Geoffrey Hinton’s seminal paper “ImageNet Classification with Deep Convolutional Neural Networks” was awarded the conference’s “Test of Time” award for its huge impact on the field. It proved a watershed moment for the field, triggering a decade of rapid innovations and world-changing applications. But in his keynote talk to an audience of thousands at the conference, Geoffrey made it clear that his work is not done, offering a vision for an entirely new form of computing built upon a new algorithm, Forward Forward.
Radical Partner Aaron Brindle spoke with Geoffrey Hinton (who is an investor in Radical Ventures) after his talk. Read the interview.
Radical Ventures Partner Rob Toews hosted a talk with Richard Socher at the RE•WORK Deep Learning Hybrid Summit in San Francisco. Richard was previously the chief scientist at Salesforce and an adjunct professor at Stanford’s computer science department. He obtained his Ph.D. working on deep learning with Chris Manning and Andrew Ng. Richard founded MetaMind, which Salesforce acquired in 2016. Richard is the founder of You.com, an ad-free, privacy-preserving search engine that has quickly grown to millions of searches (and is a Radical Ventures portfolio company). This week You.com announced YouChat, a ChatGPT-like search assistant that can have back-and-forth dialogue with users but, unlike ChatGPT, works in real-time, provides citations for its answers, and is fused into You.com’s search engine.
In this feature interview, Richard discusses the challenges of starting a company that disrupts big players, how he thinks about the right balance between research and building a product, and big-picture trends and challenges ahead in natural language processing (NLP). Read the interview.
Radical Ventures Managing Partner and Co-Founder, Jordan Jacobs, wrote in Radical Reads in March about how Toronto’s AI ecosystem was built, following a New York Times feature profile on Toronto’s booming tech and AI scene. The article details the incredible momentum we are witnessing in Toronto – an ecosystem built by some of the best AI and tech talent on the planet, whose world-changing startups inspire us every day. Read Jordan’s thoughts here.
“More than 700 AI researchers from around the world registered for Radical Ventures’ AI Founders Master Class this year. The four week program features conversations with AI luminaries about what it takes to make the leap from researcher to entrepreneur (join the community here).
The second week of the program featured a conversation between Radical Ventures Partner Rob Toews and computer vision pioneer Fei-Fei Li, Co-Director of Stanford’s Human-Centered AI Institute. In a candid discussion, Fei-Fei offered advice to researchers looking to become the next generation of AI founders. Read the interview.
Given the disruptive promise of AI, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that it remains a nascent technology, with only a fraction of enterprises actively deploying AI today. At Radical Ventures, we have seen hundreds of startups looking to accelerate its adoption and shape AI’s future. This experience informed our framework for categorizing the different waves of AI adoption. To understand where the technology is going, Radical Partner Parasvil Patel suggests it is worth considering first how we got to this moment and how startup founders today are thinking about the next generation of AI technologies. Read Parasvil’s feature here.
In the early days of the pandemic, we anticipated advances in healthcare unfolding in two waves of innovation. Wave 1 would be defined by broad digital adoption, creating the data, digital infrastructure, and behavioural foundations for the deep tech innovations of a second wave, which would be primarily driven by AI.
Two years later it is clear that Wave 2 has begun to arrive. Previously siloed healthcare data is becoming more accessible, and AI is well-positioned to responsibly leverage multi-modal healthcare data and combine it real-time with secure flows of clinically relevant data to improve health outcomes. AI powered healthcare is entering the mainstream.
In this report, we share our perspective on the areas where we expect to see AI generate outsized value including innovations in health data sets, genomics and precision medicine, generative AI applied to biology, and AI-enabled sleep solutions. Read the full report.
Ukraine’s research and startup community plays an important role in the global, interconnected AI ecosystem. Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Radical Partner Aaron Brindle reached out to Dr. Dmytro Mishkin, a Ukrainian AI researcher and ex-startup founder. Dmytro is a member of the Expert Committee on Artificial Intelligence at the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine. He is also the co-founder of the Eastern European Computer Vision Conference and started the Ukrainian Research Group “Szkocka,” an initiative to promote cooperation between Ukrainian researchers and supervisors doing high-quality academic research. He is the core maintainer of Kornia – a popular computer vision library. Aaron reached Dmytro in Prague, Czech Republic. Read the interview.
Generative AI has taken the technology world by storm. While today’s generative models are built upon a decade of progress–thanks to advanced cloud computing, better algorithms, and bigger datasets–2022 does feel like an “AlexNet” moment. In the way that computer vision breakthroughs meant computers could see, today’s computers can now create in ways never before thought possible, producing impressive text, imagery, video, 3D assets, and more.
Much has already been written about the market opportunities for the explosion of generative AI startups now emerging, which aim to remake everything from creative tools to software development.
But equally important is what’s missing today. Other computing paradigm shifts necessitated new infrastructure, from cloud tools at the advent of SaaS to MLOps in the early deep learning era. What problems are unsolved in the generative AI stack? And what tools and infrastructure does the ecosystem need to truly take off? Radical Investor Molly Welch shares her answers here.
This year we launched our “Demystifying Healthcare AI” series, in which Radical Investor Sanjana Basu speaks with leading founders, researchers, and clinicians working at the intersection of AI and healthcare. At Radical Ventures, we have seen a new generation of startups emerge under leaders who combine health, machine learning, and commercial expertise. These versatile teams are successfully deploying healthcare innovations in the real world. Sanjana spoke with Rahul Krishnan, an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto, a Canada CIFAR AI Chair, and a Faculty Member at the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence. Read the interview.
A guest-authored Radical Reads by novelist, essayist and cultural commentator, Stephen Marche used the Cohere API to help generate an AI-powered love story. Stephen is the author of half a dozen books,and he has written opinion pieces and essays for The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Atlantic, Esquire, and many others. Read the full story here.