Click this blog to see a list of the various posts I’ve written — including on the brain, AI, education, and entrepreneurship.
Thanks for visiting! I started this blog a few years ago, but only started writing more regularly in late 2020 when I took a sabbatical from full-time work.
A brief tour of neuroscience, brain research, AI, and interesting related topics.
I have been reading and doing a bit of research on the brain and cognitive science for a few weeks now. I have no background in this area, and, yes it really is brain surgery. Its an extraordinarily vast field (unsurprising, understatement), but I was still surprised by how much I didn’t know that I didn’t even know.
Understanding more about the human brain is fascinating for so many reasons:
The companies, products, and technologies shaping the future of conversational agents.
Conversational AI is a fast-growing industry with a number of start-ups and established companies offering a wide variety of products and services for an even wider variety of customers.
We compiled, reviewed, and curated nearly 200 companies and technologies, created one big list and categorized them in several ways to try to help understand what’s taking place in the space:
As we started reviewing the various companies and their offerings it became clear there were broadly…
In a world of wealth and growing prosperity, where do we go from here?
“Utopia for Realists: How We Can Build the Ideal World” by Rutger Bregman is an enjoyable a quick read about the opportunity to shape our ideal world and future. He also did a related TED Talk that I highly recommend watching. Although I had previously seen the viral clip, I didn’t realize the author was the same individual who gave a searing speech at Davos a few years ago till I came across Trevor Noah’s Daily Show segment with Bregman after reading the book.
Market size and opportunity for conversational AI technology.
Conversational AI is the broad term used for the class of machine learning technologies and products associated with interpreting or emulating conversational dialogs. A big application here is intelligent agents: chatbots or voicebots that aim to generate human-like conversations so that users can interact naturally via text (typing) or by audio (speaking) to interact with the bot/service and accomplish some sort of task.
Specific applications range from customer support chatbots you’ve used on websites, intelligent virtual assistants like Siri or Alexa, or industry specific applications like personal finance chatbots, recruiting chatbots, restaurant…
An exploration of voicebots, chatbots, intelligent virtual assistants, and the latest machine learning technologies behind conversational AI.
The idea of speaking to an intelligent agent and having a human-like conversation has intrigued and captivated the imagination for decades.
In recent years, Siri, Google Assistant, and Alexa have started to fulfill some of the promise of having a virtual assistant attend to basic tasks and simple information retrieval. However, when it comes to business applications the results have been less impressive. Text-based chatbots emerged with a limited range of success and true voice-based agents didn’t fare much better than the old-style…
Key ideas behind building organizations that innovate.
“Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries” by Safi Bachall discusses ways in which organizations can nurture innovation to solve big and ambitious problems. The key premise of the book is that organizational structure matters more than culture:
Leaders who order their employees to be more innovative without first investing in organizational fitness are like casual joggers who order their bodies to run a marathon.
The book distinguishes loonshots from franchises: franchises are the mainstay of an organization — in a corporation a cash-cow such…
Insights and thoughts from Naval Ravikant’s Almanack
“The Almanack of Naval Ravikant: A Guide to Wealth and Happiness” is a short read of the various musing, thoughts, and tweetstorms of investor Naval Ravikant assembled by Eric Jorgenson.
Ravikant’s famous tweetstorm on wealth summarizes many of his beliefs and insights. It’s worth a quick read. Some of the key points about “getting rich”:
How it works and what it means for biology and science.
I started writing this on the day of the announcement but got distracted and did not finish. As part of New Year’s plan to finish my blogs :) — I’m finishing this one now — but in reality there are now MANY great blogs and videos explaining AlphaFold2 (see resources below).
Deepmind has claimed to have solved the 50 year old grand challenge of predicting protein folding shapes simply from the constituent amino acid sequences. They produced their own video that frames the problem and their solution quite well.
Infinite Powers: A fun reminder of the power and elegance of calculus in understanding the physical universe.
“Infinite Powers: How Calculus Reveals the Secrets of the Universe” by Steven Strogatz is a fun and interesting read about the history and basic foundations of calculus and its applications in the real world.
The fact that the universe’s behavior can be predicted through math equations is remarkable. Its a fact we accept readily today, but it is quite astounding and magical to revel in the history of how such understanding of physical phenomena were discovered and understood through math. …
Loves Technology, Startups, and Tacos.