Harri Valpola on third generation artificial intelligence

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.

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Bengt Holmström on incentives and transparency

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.

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Hilary Mason on machine learning

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.

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Troy Magennis on forecasting and risk management

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.

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Katri Saarikivi on empathy in digital communication

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.

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