The AI Opportunity

What the future of AI looks like from founder Emad Mostaque

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Happy Wednesday and welcome to Through the Noise!

We're coming in hot on a Wednesday morning (to my folks in the US), afternoon (to my UK brothers and sisters) and evening (to my friends out east). I was mesmerised for almost 2 hours watching Emad Mostaque, Founder of talk with Peter Diamandis about AI and building the future. I've dissected the best bits to save you 1 hour and 42 minutes of your time.

It’s time to strap in and enjoy.

Read time: 4 minutes

The AI Opportunity

DALL·E prompt:"a black and white sketch of the future of AI"

Emad Mostaque is the Founder and CEO of Stability is focused on amplifying humanity’s potential through AI and is known for it’s text-to-image model Stable Diffusion, released in 2022. Before founding Stability, Emad was a hedge fund manager.

We always say this time is different, but this time, it really is different

At its most fundamental level, AI is information classification. It was Google and Facebook taking lots of data and targeting users for fishing trips and Allbirds. But in 2017, there was a shift for how to get AI to pay attention to the important things and learn principles.

Emad entered the sphere of AI to do drug repurposing for his son who has autism. His son was 2 years old at the time and the doctor said nothing could be done. Emad thought otherwise.

When problem solving, people typically look for a very clear cut answer in the data that’s obvious. But often is the case where there are hidden answers. How do you get to that answer? Emad explains you have to look at things from a first principles basis. Where you can’t see things from scanning everything, you have to dig down into the layers.

Humans are heuristic animals. We learn through principled based analysis. We are also animals that are story based. Stories are in our DNA and we form connectivity here. However these stories are initially hard to map. Now with AI, we can do this dynamically and build tools to augment human potential.

User generated image using Stable Diffusion

Stable Diffusion is an open source version of DALL-E. It allows anyone to create anything. Words go in and anything you describe comes out. Emad and his team did 100,000 gigabytes of image-label testing with 2 billion images to create a 1.6GB file that can run offline on your MacBook. You only need to transmit it once. This tiny file compresses the visual information of a snapshot of the internet. It can create a high resolution render of anything, from an apartment to Robert De Niro as Gandalf. All in 1/30 of a second. This is one step away from being able to render a movie in real time. Emad believes we will render motion pictures just by pulling together various models to generate both the script and film.

In the next 5 years Ready Player One OASIS world minus the micro transactions of whining teenagers will be here

Communication in general

The easiest way to communicate is to have a chat back and forth. Visual communication is the hardest. We toil to be an artist and wrestle with PowerPoint.

We’re going to rid the world of the tyranny of powerpoint

We are going to remove the barriers whereby any visual medium can be created instantly. You can just describe to it how it shifts. “Make it happier.” “Make it sadder.” The ability to rapidly iterate what you see will change the world.

I imagine Hollywood will be quite disintermediated

A lot of this technology now is truly democratising. Things are going from being centralised to the edge. Previously, we had to create centralised organisations because we didn’t have the information classification and communication tools to be more dynamic.

Communication in business

Emad goes on to mentioning the most successful organisations are complex hierarchical systems. They are groups of people working together loosely, bound for a bigger story. He believes this structure is what we can achieve as humanity. Like a human colossus as we come together to do one big thing. Currently, this gets blocked by a lot of stuff because we’re not communicating properly.

Emad tells his team that roadmaps are not about resources, they’re about communication.

If you can communicate properly that something’s good, you’ll always get resources for anything

It’s important to create a common vision that everybody’s aiming towards so that you’re not diversified in 1000 directions. You need to have a massive transformative purpose. Having a unifying, compelling emotionally charged vision that you’re all heading towards. Google paints this picture perfectly.

Google is full of amazingly smart people. They did a study called Project Aristotle to answer one simple question “Why is one smart team better than another?” They found two things to be true:

  1. Common narrative: A team needs something that engages you and involves a bit of sacrifice. Something deep that you put yourself into so it becomes part of your story.

  2. Psychological safety: The ability to express yourself amongst your team and talk about something without fear of reproach.

We’re often too scared about our status or worrying what others think. But when you feel comfortable as a community and you’re working towards a massive transformative purpose, you can do a lot more. When you’re falling behind, you can communicate it and not feel scared of people judging you.

What’s more, if you have an idea that’s divergent from the centre, you feel open to being able to share it– it may well be the right idea. The day before something is truly a breakthrough, it’s crazy idea. If you’re scared about putting forward a crazy idea, then you’re going to be stuck for a very long time.

We now we have the tools to help us make exponential progress. Stable Diffusion is just one of many that will transform the way we live our lives for the better. 

You can check out the full interview here.

A Little Something Extra

  • 🎙 Podcast: Have you ever wanted to build a successful SaaS business? I listened to a great podcast called "SaaS Origin Stories" with Phil Alves on how to do just that. If you want advice from building your MVP to raising capital, Phil's conversation with Spencer is a must-listen.

Previously you'd get Sunday Signal followed by our Monday issue in short succession. I want to give you guys some more breathing room and push these longer issues mid-week on a Wednesday. Let me know what you think about this new schedule.

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That’s all for today friends!

As always feel free to reply to this email or reach out @thealexbanks as I’d love to hear your feedback.

Thanks for reading and I’ll catch you next for some Sunday Signal.


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