• Sunday Signal
  • Posts
  • Sunday Signal: Tesla’s new Optimus demo, random walks and Steve Jobs’ career advice

Sunday Signal: Tesla’s new Optimus demo, random walks and Steve Jobs’ career advice

Hey friends 👋 Happy Sunday.

Here’s your weekly dose of AI and introspection.

AI Highlights

Its end-to-end neural network was trained to sort battery cells and runs in real-time on the Tesla bot's full self-driving (FSD) computer.

Alex’s take: If you want to go deeper, check out Vinod Khosla’s recent talk at Imagination in Action's 'Forging the Future of Business with AI' Summit. He remarked, “I believe robotics is coming up with a ChatGPT moment here pretty soon… Robots aren't programmed anymore. They're learning systems.”

Med-Gemini is a family of Gemini models fine-tuned for medical tasks. On 7 multimodal benchmarks, it outperformed GPT-4 models by an average margin of 44.5%.

Alex’s take: I was impressed that Med-Gemini results are preferred over human experts on long-form text-based tasks, including referral generation and medical simplification. I also see tremendous applications not just for clinicians to administer better care but also for patients' and medical students' understanding of conditions.

Astribot is building AI robot assistants for people. Through imitation learning, S1 can perform a number of complex tasks that are useful to humans, with an operating speed and flexibility comparable to that of adults.

Alex’s take: A couple of years ago, I thought conversational-embodied AI was over a decade away. However, with the recent announcements from Astribot, Tesla, and Figure, the rise of autonomous task completion will mean they’ll be in the home far quicker than we ever imagined.

1 Article I Enjoyed

5 years ago, Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, hosted an AMA on Quora.

It's full of gems in AI, technology, and startups.

Here are some of my favourite answers I’ve extracted from this bucket of timeless wisdom:

  • Biggest mistake and lesson learned: The general class of mistake has been to focus on the wrong things. I generally let myself get a little bit too overcommitted, which causes me to not spend enough time thinking about what I should work on, or to miss big opportunities, or to be more stressed than necessary and a do a bad job at important work. I’m getting a little better at this over time, but being disciplined about saying no, being rigorous about prioritization, spending a lot of time thinking about what to work on instead of just focusing on day-to-day fires, and relentlessly focusing on a few priorities do not come naturally to me and are really important.

  • Advice for a young first-time startup CEO: Unlike most other jobs, the job of the CEO is to make hard decisions without the support of data, and have the confidence and communication skills to get the company to commit.

  • Traits of the best founders: They are scrappy and formidable at the same time - a rarer combination than it sounds. They are mission-oriented, obsessed with their companies, relentless, and determined. They are smart. They have a very high rate of learning and self-improvement. They are decisive and execute rapidly. They are courageous and willing to be misunderstood. They communicate clearly and are infectious evangelists. And they have the capacity to become tough and ambitious.

Picking a complementary co-founder can be life-changing. It reminds me of the Larry Dixon quote, “If two people were exactly alike, one of them would be unnecessary.”

1 Idea I Learned

Go on a random walk.

If you're early in your career, go on a ‘random walk’.

Ambitious people tend to systematically overvalue short-term over long-term rewards. These include:

  • Promotions

  • Pay rises

  • Titles

It’s important to avoid the lure of the current ‘important’ path.

Try and test new things, don't be put off by stopping and starting.

To find what you love, start by finding what you don't enjoy.

You'll naturally do more of what you like and find your calling.

1 Quote to Share

Steve Jobs’ advice on choosing what to work on:

“Don’t be a career.

The enemy of most dreams and intuitions, and one of the most dangerous and stifling concepts ever invented by humans, is the “Career.”

A career is a concept for how one is supposed to progress through stages during the training for and practicing of your working life.

There are some big problems here.

First and foremost is the notion that your work is different and separate from the rest of your life.

If you are passionate about your life and your work, this can’t be so.

They will become more or less one.

This is a much better way to live one’s life.

Many people find what they believe to be safe harbors (lawyers and accountants), only to wake up ten or fifteen years later and discover the price they paid.

Make your avocation your vocation.

Make what you love your work.”

1 Question to Ponder

“What’s preventing you from achieving your ten-year goals inside of six months?” — Peter Thiel

What are the real obstacles that are preventing you?

Don’t arbitrarily try to achieve goals in predetermined time frames.

Compress your timelines.

In six months, you'll be thanking yourself.

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

See you next week,

Alex Banks