This is my interview with Harri Valpola. Harri is the CEO of Curious AI, a Helsinki-based 20 person startup that’s aiming to build a general artificial intelligence. Now that’s a pretty bold goal when Facebook’s head of AI research just recently said that in terms of general intelligence, we’re not even close to a rat.
Harri is a respected researcher in the field of artificial intelligence. He knows his stuff. The previous company he founded, ZenRobotics, builds robots so that’s pretty cool too.
We talk about what general artificial intelligence would be like, whether we should try to simulate the human brain or not and how curiosity is a great guide in life.
Today’s guest is Bengt Holmström. Bengt is Finnish, but he’s spent the last 40 years living in the US. Currently he’s a professor of economics at MIT.
Bengt was recently awarded the Nobel prize in economic sciences together with his Harvard colleague Oliver Hart for their contribution to contract theory.
Essentially, Bengt has spent decades studying incentives and trying to figure out how to design better incentive structures. This has been a recurring theme on the podcast so I’m sure you can appreciate how excited I am to have Bengt on as a guest.
We talk about what it feels like to win the Nobel prize, incentives (obviously), and how transparency isn’t necessarily always a good thing.
Today’s topic is machine learning and I’m talking to one of the brightest minds in the field, Hilary Mason. She’s the founder of Fast Forward Labs, a machine intelligence research company. She also advises startups through Accel, a prominent venture capital firm.
If you’re interested in artificial intelligence and machine learning, I’m pretty sure you’ll love this episode.
While I was in Australia in June to keynote the Agile Australia conference I had the privilege to interview Troy Magennis. When I first heard Troy speak at a conference years ago I remember how impressed I was with his deep understanding of the mathematics involved in forecasting. After listening to this episode I think you’ll be equally impressed.
Troy is the founder of Focused Objective, a consultancy that helps companies with forecasting, portfolio planning, risk management and metric selection.
We talk about why 3 to 7 recent samples is often better than thousands of samples from last year, how we need several opposing metrics to prevent local optimization and how we’ve lost the art of post mortems.
Troy has a ton of resources that are freely available for you to download and try out. For example, you might like the team dashboard Troy has built. After listening to the episode you can use his tools to take your forecasting to the boss level.
My guest today is Katri Saarikivi. Katri is a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Helsinki. She studies empathy in digital environments. Essentially she’s trying to figure out how we could better express ourselves in digital conversations.
The podcast is currently on a summer break until August or September. The summer break is a great time to re-listen to the episodes you want to learn more from. Here’s some of our favorite picks.
Risto Siilasmaa is the founder and former CEO of cybersecurity company F-Secure. His current role in the company is Chairman of the Board. Risto is also Chairman of the Board at Nokia. He took on the role in 2012 when Nokia was in a very difficult situation and actually one topics we discuss is how he came to accept the offer. Full episode: Risto Siilasmaa, the paranoid optimist
John Seddon is the inventor of The Vanguard Method. The Vanguard Method is a way of helping organizations move from command and control towards systems design. Seddon is the author of books such as Freedom from Command and Control and The Whitehall Effect. He’s currently working on a book titled Beyond Command and Control. We talk about organizations as systems, value and failure demand, incentives, system conditions, budgeting and how the system drives behavior. Full episode: John Seddon and freedom from command and control
General Stanley McChrystal
Stan McChrystal is a retired four-star US general. Former US Defense Secretary Robert Gates described McChrystal as “perhaps the finest warrior and leader of men in combat”. McChrystal took command of an elite military organization, Joint Special Operations Task Force, and transformed it from a rigid hierarchy to a network of autonomous teams. Full episode: General Stan McChrystal and a Team of Teams
Jim Benson is the creator of Personal Kanban and Lean Coffee. We delve into Personal Kanban, which is an approach to dealing with the overload of stuff you need to deal with. We dig into into its two simple rules, visualizing work and limiting work in progress. We then walk through Lean Coffee, which is a simple and effective way to run your meetings. In the end we discuss Jim’s lessons on collaboration from his years in working to improve it in organizations. Full episode: Jim Benson on Personal Kanban, Lean Coffee and collaboration
If you’ve enjoyed Boss Level Podcast so far, don’t forget to write a review on iTunes and to share the episodes with friends. Have a great summer everyone!
Today, I’m chatting with Sara Öhrvall. Sara is the Co-founder and Senior Advisor at Mindmill Network. Mindmill helps companies understand how digital technologies impact their business. Before Mindmill Sara was the Senior Vice President of R&D at the Bonnier Group.
Sara sits on several boards. For example, she’s on the board of SEB, a Nordic corporate bank and Investor,the leading owner of Nordic-based international companies.
She also writes a column for Dagens Industri, which is the financial daily of Sweden.
In 2017 Sara was selected for Wired’s list of 50 most inspiring female influencers from across Europe. She’s one of the best and brightest women in technology.
We talk about the impact technology will have on people and businesses and how our companies should adapt to that change.
John Seddon is the inventor of The Vanguard Method. The Vanguard Method is a way of helping organizations move from command and control towards systems design. Seddon is the author of books such as Freedom from Command and Control and The Whitehall Effect. He’s currently working on a book titled Beyond Command and Control. Seddon’s work has provoked a lot of thought and has significantly deepened my understanding of how organizations function.
We talk about organizations as systems, value and failure demand, incentives, system conditions, budgeting and how the system drives behavior.
Today’s guest is Peter Sunde, co-founder of The Pirate Bay, Flattr and Njalla.
The Pirate Bay is an online index of digital content often used for sharing copyrighted material such as movies, TV shows or music. The Pirate Bay is possibly one of the world’s most resilient websites, since the authorities have been trying to take it down for more than a decade and yet it’s still running.
Since The Pirate Bay Peter has worked on several things, such as Flattr, a way of making micropayments to content creators and Njalla, a privacy-oriented domain registrar.
We discuss how Peter got into The Pirate Bay, how The Pirate Bay operated, what the trial was like and what Peter is up to nowadays.
For this episode I sat down for a chat with Tim Hwang. Tim has been labeled by Forbes magazine as the ’Busiest Man on the Internet’.
First, he started ROFLcon, which stands for Rolling On the Floor Laughing Conference. It was a conference that studied internet culture through memes.
After ROFLcon, he founded The Awesome Foundation For Arts And Sciences. The foundation’s sole aim is to promote awesomeness in the universe. It has donated over 2,5 million dollars to various projects through grants. The foundation operates through autonomous chapters that independently fund the grants and make decisions on recipients.
He then started a law firm called Robot, Robot and Hwang to study how lawyers could be automated. Currently he advises Google on the impacts of artificial intelligence on public policy.
Tim has done a lot considering he just turned 30.
At the end of the interview I asked him what his next project is going to be and his answer was not exactly the kind of answer you normally get.