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  • Sunday Signal: AI identifies breast cancer, how to build a £2.5B company in 2 years and writing a fast outline

Sunday Signal: AI identifies breast cancer, how to build a £2.5B company in 2 years and writing a fast outline

Hey friends 👋 Happy Sunday.

Here’s your weekly dose of AI and introspection.

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AI Highlights

A tool called “Mia” was piloted alongside NHS clinicians and analysed the mammograms of over 10,000 women. It successfully identified tiny signs of breast cancer in 11 women, which had been missed by human doctors.

Alex’s take: AI outperforming human doctors is nothing new. We saw it recently with Google Research’s “AMIE” for medical reasoning and conversations, outperforming doctors for diagnostic accuracy.

Apple's research paper showcases an AI model called MM1 that can work with text and images. It even uses existing GPT-4V-generated data for training.

Alex’s take: I was impressed by the detail they released about MM1’s architecture and building process. Apple states, “…we believe it is imperative to distil principles and lessons of how to build such models”. I’m excited to see what the MM1 series' future holds, especially when we, as consumers, can get our hands on it.

AutoDev is a fully automated AI-driven software development framework that enables autonomous planning and execution of intricate software engineering tasks. It uses multiple agents with specific responsibilities, including developing and reviewing, to achieve an objective.

Alex’s take: While existing solutions primarily focus on suggesting code snippets and manipulating files within a chat-based interface, I can’t help but feel agentic systems with human-in-the-loop are the future of building. Interrupting and providing prompt feedback to agents using natural language will allow anyone to become a developer.

1 Article I Enjoyed

Ilkka Paananen is the Co-Founder and CEO of Finnish mobile gaming startup Supercell. Founded in 2011, Supercell is renowned for its games, including Hay Day and Clash of Clans, both of which generated £2 million per day in 2013.

In an interview with WIRED, Paananen stated, “The best people make the best games”.

His four key factors to get the most from employees:

  1. Minimise bureaucracy: “It maximises the time people can spend on their work... individual designers can make decisions and optimise for speed and create a sense of ownership within the games.”

  2. Be transparent: “We send a daily email with all key performance indicators to everyone in the company… It isn't restricted to executives; it is the same information released at the same time so we can all figure out on our own what is needed. A new employee started recently and he told me ‘I think I got the wrong email, I just got all the revenue data on our games this morning.’”

  3. Celebrate failure: “You have to eliminate the fear of failure. If a game goes wrong, we throw a party for its developers and give them champagne to celebrate what they learnt. As a company, we have failed far more than we succeeded. We have killed five games and launched two. You need to take risks to succeed, and for that you must take fear away from that risk.”

  4. Get big by thinking small: Clash of Clans and Hay Day were each developed by teams of just five developers. “Small independent cells is where the company name comes from… we value the speed of small teams and keeping things simple. Our employees don't need layers of processes and layers of management.”

Paananen’s management style also caught my eye: “We don't track staff and we are flexible in terms of hours. Come here at 5.30pm and the office is pretty much empty… We trust them. The one rule is: do what is best for your team and the game. All we care about is what you get done. The games industry is guilty of burning out people. You can't be productive working 18 hours a day for a year. We want to make history and you can't burn out all your employees in three years and hope to make history.”

Accountability for one's output in a startup is absolutely paramount, especially since we learned last week that speed is the number one advantage.

Moreover, I've been exploring the long-standing in-person/remote debate for high-growth startups recently, so this argument for game development is enlightening. I’d be curious to hear your thoughts if you're reading this.

1 Idea I Learned

Make an outline as fast as possible.

Marc Andreessen is the Co-Founder and General Partner of Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.

In an interview with David Perrell, Marc explains that when he is ready to write, he makes an outline as quickly as possible.

He says, “I’m trying to get all the points out, and I don’t want to slow down the process by turning them all into prose. It’s not a detailed outline like something a novelist would have. It’s basically bullet points.”

Marc’s goal is to fill the page with as many ideas as possible whilst his mind is buzzing—only after this fast outline is offloaded does he think about turning it into prose.

1 Quote to Share

Lawrence Levy on Steve Jobs:

“Steve had an almost permanent intensity about him—like he was always in top gear. Whenever we did talk, it was like shifting from zero to a hundred miles per hour in an instant.”

If you can remain intense in your work and calm in your personal life, there lies the perfect balance.

1 Question to Ponder

Why do you postpone yourself?

This quote is 2000 years old and was written by the first-century philosopher Seneca.

While we are postponing, life speeds by.

So, we must take action and live boldly.

This video from “Accepting the Universe” gives a great breakdown of this topic.

💡 If you enjoyed this issue, share it with a friend.

See you next week,

Alex Banks

P.S. The first post on X from a cyborg.