Episodes

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Waymo vs. the time honored human experiences, vandalism and defacement

Waymo vs. the time honored human experiences, vandalism and defacement

Episode 20 · · 37:16

A metaphor episode! We are trying to figure how much the Waymo incident is or is not about AI. We bring back our Berkeley roots and talk about traditions in the Bay around distribute...

We believe in the metaverse

We believe in the metaverse

Episode 19 · · 37:04

... and you should too. We catch up this week on all things Apple Vision Pro and how these devices will intersect with AI. It really turned more into a commentary on the future of so...

How to OLMost find a Waifu

How to OLMost find a Waifu

Episode 18 · · 46:02

Wow, one of our favorites. This week Tom and Nate have a lot to cover. We cover AI2's new OPEN large language models (OLMo) and all that means, the alchemical model merging craze pow...

Tom's Story: to get through grad school, become a sperm whale

Tom's Story: to get through grad school, become a sperm whale

Episode 17 · · 57:15

We recovered this episode from the depth of lost podcast recordings! We carry on and Tom tells the story of his wonderful sociology turned AI Ph.D. at Berkeley. This comes with plent...

Non-profits need to be businesses too

Non-profits need to be businesses too

Episode 16 · · 37:10

This week Tom and Nate catch up on two everlasting themes of ML: compute and evaluation. We chat about AI2, Zuck's GPUs, evaluation as procurement, NIST comments, neglecting reward m...

How the US could lose (and win!) against China in AI, with Jordan Schneider of ChinaTalk

How the US could lose (and win!) against China in AI, with Jordan Schneider of ChinaTalk

Episode 15 · · 56:41

We're excited to bring you something special today! Our first cross over episode brings some fresh energy to the podcast. Tom and Nate are joined by Jordan Schneider of ChinaTalk (A ...

AI is literally the culture war, figuratively speaking

AI is literally the culture war, figuratively speaking

Episode 14 · · 46:51

Tom and Nate are ready to kick off the year, but not too ready! There's a ton to be excited about this year, but we're already worried for some parts of it. In this episode, we'll te...

What I wish someone had told me

What I wish someone had told me

Episode 13 · · 50:51

The end of the year is upon us! Tom and Nate bring a reflective mood to the podcast along with some surprises that may be a delight.Here are some links for the loyal fans:* RAND + ex...

Everyone wants fair benchmarks, but do you even lift?

Everyone wants fair benchmarks, but do you even lift?

Episode 12 · · 49:14

No stone is left unturned on this episode. As the end of the year approaches, Tom and Nate check in on all the vibes of the machine learning world: torrents, faked demos, alchemy, we...

Cybernetics, Feedback, and Reinventionism in CS

Cybernetics, Feedback, and Reinventionism in CS

Episode 11 · · 41:39

In this episode, Tom gives us a lesson on all things feedback, mostly where our scientific framings of it came from. Together, we link this to RLHF, our previous work in RL, and how ...

Q* and OpenAI's Strange Loop: We Pecan't Even

Q* and OpenAI's Strange Loop: We Pecan't Even

Episode 10 · · 43:48

We break down all the recent events of AI, and live react to some of the news about OpenAI's new super-method, codenamed Q*. From CEOs to rogue AI's, no one can be trusted in today's...

OpenAI: Developers, Hegemons, and Origins

OpenAI: Developers, Hegemons, and Origins

Episode 9 · · 47:56

We cover all things OpenAI as they embrace their role as a consumer technology company with their first developer keynote.Lots of links:Dev. day keynote https://www.youtube.com/watch...

Executive Orders, Safety Summits, and Open Letters, Oh My!

Executive Orders, Safety Summits, and Open Letters, Oh My!

Episode 8 · · 53:02

We discuss all the big regulation steps in AI this week, from the Biden Administration's Executive Order to the UK AI Safety Summit. Links:Link the Executive OrderLink the Mozilla Op...

Transparency (Tom and Nate's Version)

Transparency (Tom and Nate's Version)

Episode 7 · · 45:51

This week, we dunk on The Center for Research on Foundation Models's (Stanford) Foundation Model Transparency Index.Yes, the title is inspired by Taylor.Some links:The Index itself. ...

Techno-optimism: Safety, Ethics, or Fascism?

Techno-optimism: Safety, Ethics, or Fascism?

Episode 6 · · 41:28

Tom and Nate sit down to discuss Marc Andreessen's Techno-Optimist Manifesto. A third wave of AI mindsets that squarely takes on both AI Safety and AI Ethics communities.Some links: ...

Methods of Rationality in the Time of Hype

Methods of Rationality in the Time of Hype

Episode 5 · · 53:58

This week, Tom and Nate discuss some of the core and intriguing dynamics of AI. We discuss the history of the rationality movement and where Harry Potter fan fiction fits in, if AI w...

Developing LLMs: Open, closed, or democratic?

Developing LLMs: Open, closed, or democratic?

Episode 4 · · 57:44

This is a big one. Getting going on if LLMs should be more open or more closed. We cover everything, OpenAI, scaling, openness for openness sake (relative to OpenAI), actual argument...

As Above, So Below: Alchemy, AI Safety, and RLHF

As Above, So Below: Alchemy, AI Safety, and RLHF

Episode 3 · · 57:36

Tom and Nate discuss a few core topics of the show. First, we touch base on the core of the podcast -- the difference between empirical science, alchemy, and magic. Next, we explain ...

AI in public: education, roads, and institutions

AI in public: education, roads, and institutions

Episode 2 · · 50:23

Tom and Nate discuss some of the public institutions that form the bedrock of society -- education and roads -- and how AI is poised to shake them up.Some related reading on Intercon...

Alchemy, Oppenheimer, and the quest for AGI

Alchemy, Oppenheimer, and the quest for AGI

Episode 1 · · 01:04:21

Tom and Nate discuss some of the most dominant metaphors in machine learning these days -- alchemy and deep learning's roots, the Oppenheimer film and a modern "Manhattan Project for...

Teaser: Welcome to The Retort

Teaser: Welcome to The Retort

Trailer · · 05:32

A brief introduction to the many problems facing AI and a sneak peak into episode 1, coming soon!