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Dwarkesh Podcast

Dwarkesh Podcast

Author: Dwarkesh Patel

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Deeply researched interviews
70 Episodes
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Here is my conversation with Francois Chollet and Mike Knoop on the $1 million ARC-AGI Prize they're launching today.I did a bunch of socratic grilling throughout, but Francois’s arguments about why LLMs won’t lead to AGI are very interesting and worth thinking through.It was really fun discussing/debating the cruxes. Enjoy!Watch on YouTube. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or any other podcast platform. Read the full transcript here. Timestamps(00:00:00) – The ARC benchmark(00:11:10) – Why LLMs struggle with ARC(00:19:00) – Skill vs intelligence(00:27:55) - Do we need “AGI” to automate most jobs?(00:48:28) – Future of AI progress: deep learning + program synthesis(01:00:40) – How Mike Knoop got nerd-sniped by ARC(01:08:37) – Million $ ARC Prize(01:10:33) – Resisting benchmark saturation(01:18:08) – ARC scores on frontier vs open source models(01:26:19) – Possible solutions to ARC Prize Get full access to Dwarkesh Podcast at www.dwarkeshpatel.com/subscribe
Chatted with my friend Leopold Aschenbrenner on the trillion dollar nationalized cluster, CCP espionage at AI labs, how unhobblings and scaling can lead to 2027 AGI, dangers of outsourcing clusters to Middle East, leaving OpenAI, and situational awareness.Watch on YouTube. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or any other podcast platform. Read the full transcript here.Follow me on Twitter for updates on future episodes. Follow Leopold on Twitter.Timestamps(00:00:00) – The trillion-dollar cluster and unhobbling(00:20:31) – AI 2028: The return of history(00:40:26) – Espionage & American AI superiority(01:08:20) – Geopolitical implications of AI(01:31:23) – State-led vs. private-led AI(02:12:23) – Becoming Valedictorian of Columbia at 19(02:30:35) – What happened at OpenAI(02:45:11) – Accelerating AI research progress(03:25:58) – Alignment(03:41:26) – On Germany, and understanding foreign perspectives(03:57:04) – Dwarkesh’s immigration story and path to the podcast(04:07:58) – Launching an AGI hedge fund(04:19:14) – Lessons from WWII(04:29:08) – Coda: Frederick the Great Get full access to Dwarkesh Podcast at www.dwarkeshpatel.com/subscribe
Chatted with John Schulman (cofounded OpenAI and led ChatGPT creation) on how posttraining tames the shoggoth, and the nature of the progress to come...Watch on YouTube. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or any other podcast platform. Read the full transcript here. Follow me on Twitter for updates on future episodes.Timestamps(00:00:00) - Pre-training, post-training, and future capabilities(00:16:57) - Plan for AGI 2025(00:29:19) - Teaching models to reason(00:40:50) - The Road to ChatGPT(00:52:13) - What makes for a good RL researcher?(01:00:58) - Keeping humans in the loop(01:15:15) - State of research, plateaus, and moatsSponsorsIf you’re interested in advertising on the podcast, fill out this form.* Your DNA shapes everything about you. Want to know how? Take 10% off our Premium DNA kit with code DWARKESH at mynucleus.com.* CommandBar is an AI user assistant that any software product can embed to non-annoyingly assist, support, and unleash their users. Used by forward-thinking CX, product, growth, and marketing teams. Learn more at commandbar.com. Get full access to Dwarkesh Podcast at www.dwarkeshpatel.com/subscribe
Mark Zuckerberg on:- Llama 3- open sourcing towards AGI- custom silicon, synthetic data, & energy constraints on scaling- Caesar Augustus, intelligence explosion, bioweapons, $10b models, & much moreEnjoy!Watch on YouTube. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or any other podcast platform. Human edited transcript with helpful links here.Timestamps(00:00:00) - Llama 3(00:08:32) - Coding on path to AGI(00:25:24) - Energy bottlenecks(00:33:20) - Is AI the most important technology ever?(00:37:21) - Dangers of open source(00:53:57) - Caesar Augustus and metaverse(01:04:53) - Open sourcing the $10b model & custom silicon(01:15:19) - Zuck as CEO of Google+SponsorsIf you’re interested in advertising on the podcast, fill out this form.* This episode is brought to you by Stripe, financial infrastructure for the internet. Millions of companies from Anthropic to Amazon use Stripe to accept payments, automate financial processes and grow their revenue. Learn more at stripe.com.* V7 Go is a tool to automate multimodal tasks using GenAI, reliably and at scale. Use code DWARKESH20 for 20% off on the pro plan. Learn more here.* CommandBar is an AI user assistant that any software product can embed to non-annoyingly assist, support, and unleash their users. Used by forward-thinking CX, product, growth, and marketing teams. Learn more at commandbar.com. Get full access to Dwarkesh Podcast at www.dwarkeshpatel.com/subscribe
Had so much fun chatting with my good friends Trenton Bricken and Sholto Douglas on the podcast.No way to summarize it, except: This is the best context dump out there on how LLMs are trained, what capabilities they're likely to soon have, and what exactly is going on inside them.You would be shocked how much of what I know about this field, I've learned just from talking with them.To the extent that you've enjoyed my other AI interviews, now you know why.So excited to put this out. Enjoy! I certainly did :)Watch on YouTube. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or any other podcast platform. There's a transcript with links to all the papers the boys were throwing down - may help you follow along.Follow Trenton and Sholto on Twitter.Timestamps(00:00:00) - Long contexts(00:16:12) - Intelligence is just associations(00:32:35) - Intelligence explosion & great researchers(01:06:52) - Superposition & secret communication(01:22:34) - Agents & true reasoning(01:34:40) - How Sholto & Trenton got into AI research(02:07:16) - Are feature spaces the wrong way to think about intelligence?(02:21:12) - Will interp actually work on superhuman models(02:45:05) - Sholto’s technical challenge for the audience(03:03:57) - Rapid fire Get full access to Dwarkesh Podcast at www.dwarkeshpatel.com/subscribe
Here is my episode with Demis Hassabis, CEO of Google DeepMindWe discuss:* Why scaling is an artform* Adding search, planning, & AlphaZero type training atop LLMs* Making sure rogue nations can't steal weights* The right way to align superhuman AIs and do an intelligence explosionWatch on YouTube. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or any other podcast platform. Read the full transcript here. Timestamps(0:00:00) - Nature of intelligence(0:05:56) - RL atop LLMs(0:16:31) - Scaling and alignment(0:24:13) - Timelines and intelligence explosion(0:28:42) - Gemini training(0:35:30) - Governance of superhuman AIs(0:40:42) - Safety, open source, and security of weights(0:47:00) - Multimodal and further progress(0:54:18) - Inside Google DeepMind Get full access to Dwarkesh Podcast at www.dwarkeshpatel.com/subscribe
We discuss:* what it takes to process $1 trillion/year* how to build multi-decade APIs, companies, and relationships* what's next for Stripe (increasing the GDP of the internet is quite an open ended prompt, and the Collison brothers are just getting started).Plus the amazing stuff they're doing at Arc Institute, the financial infrastructure for AI agents, playing devil's advocate against progress studies, and much more.Watch on YouTube. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or any other podcast platform. Read the full transcript here. Follow me on Twitter for updates on future episodes.Timestamps(00:00:00) - Advice for 20-30 year olds(00:12:12) - Progress studies(00:22:21) - Arc Institute(00:34:27) - AI & Fast Grants(00:43:46) - Stripe history(00:55:44) - Stripe Climate(01:01:39) - Beauty & APIs(01:11:51) - Financial innards(01:28:16) - Stripe culture & future(01:41:56) - Virtues of big businesses(01:51:41) - John Get full access to Dwarkesh Podcast at www.dwarkeshpatel.com/subscribe
It was a great pleasure speaking with Tyler Cowen for the 3rd time.We discussed GOAT: Who is the Greatest Economist of all Time and Why Does it Matter?, especially in the context of how the insights of Hayek, Keynes, Smith, and other great economists help us make sense of AI, growth, animal spirits, prediction markets, alignment, central planning, and much more.The topics covered in this episode are too many to summarize. Hope you enjoy!Watch on YouTube. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or any other podcast platform. Read the full transcript here. Follow me on Twitter for updates on future episodes.Timestamps(0:00:00) - John Maynard Keynes(00:17:16) - Controversy(00:25:02) - Fredrick von Hayek(00:47:41) - John Stuart Mill(00:52:41) - Adam Smith(00:58:31) - Coase, Schelling, & George(01:08:07) - Anarchy(01:13:16) - Cheap WMDs(01:23:18) - Technocracy & political philosophy(01:34:16) - AI & Scaling Get full access to Dwarkesh Podcast at www.dwarkeshpatel.com/subscribe
This is a narration of my blog post, Lessons from The Years of Lyndon Johnson by Robert Caro.You read the full post here: https://www.dwarkeshpatel.com/p/lyndon-johnsonListen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or any other podcast platform. Follow me on Twitter for updates on future posts and episodes. Get full access to Dwarkesh Podcast at www.dwarkeshpatel.com/subscribe
This is a narration of my blog post, Will scaling work?. You read the full post here: https://www.dwarkeshpatel.com/p/will-scaling-workListen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or any other podcast platform. Follow me on Twitter for updates on future posts and episodes. Get full access to Dwarkesh Podcast at www.dwarkeshpatel.com/subscribe
A true honor to speak with Jung Chang.She is the author of Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China (sold 15+ million copies worldwide) and Mao: The Unknown Story.We discuss:- what it was like growing up during the Cultural Revolution as the daughter of a denounced official- why the CCP continues to worship the biggest mass murderer in human history.- how exactly Communist totalitarianism was able to subjugate a billion people- why Chinese leaders like Xi and Deng who suffered from the Cultural Revolution don't condemn Mao- how Mao starved and killed 40 million people during The Great Leap Forward in order to exchange food for Soviet weaponsWild Swans is the most moving book I've ever read. It was a real privilege to speak with its author.Watch on YouTube. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or any other podcast platform. Read the full transcript here. Follow me on Twitter for updates on future episodes.Timestamps(00:00:00) - Growing up during Cultural Revolution(00:15:58) - Could officials have overthrown Mao?(00:34:09) - Great Leap Forward(00:48:12) - Modern support of Mao(01:03:24) - Life as peasant(01:21:30) - Psychology of communist society Get full access to Dwarkesh Podcast at www.dwarkeshpatel.com/subscribe
Andrew Roberts is the world's best biographer and one of the leading historians of our time.We discussed* Churchill the applied historian,* Napoleon the startup founder,* why Nazi ideology cost Hitler WW2,* drones, reconnaissance, and other aspects of the future of war,* Iraq, Afghanistan, Korea, Ukraine, & Taiwan.Watch on YouTube. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or any other podcast platform. Read the full transcript here. Follow me on Twitter for updates on future episodes.Timestamps(00:00:00) - Post WW2 conflicts(00:10:57) - Ukraine(00:16:33) - How Truman Prevented Nuclear War(00:22:49) - Taiwan(00:27:15) - Churchill(00:35:11) - Gaza & future wars(00:39:05) - Could Hitler have won WW2?(00:48:00) - Surprise attacks(00:59:33) - Napoleon and startup founders(01:14:06) - Robert’s insane productivity Get full access to Dwarkesh Podcast at www.dwarkeshpatel.com/subscribe
Here is my interview with Dominic Cummings on why Western governments are so dangerously broken, and how to fix them before an even more catastrophic crisis.Dominic was Chief Advisor to the Prime Minister during COVID, and before that, director of Vote Leave (which masterminded the 2016 Brexit referendum).Watch on YouTube. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or any other podcast platform. Read the full transcript here. Follow me on Twitter for updates on future episodes.Timestamps(00:00:00) - One day in COVID…(00:08:26) - Why is government broken?(00:29:10) - Civil service(00:38:27) - Opportunity wasted?(00:49:35) - Rishi Sunak and Number 10 vs 11(00:55:13) - Cyber, nuclear, bio risks(01:02:04) - Intelligence & defense agencies(01:23:32) - Bismarck & Lee Kuan Yew(01:37:46) - How to fix the government?(01:56:43) - Taiwan(02:00:10) - Russia(02:07:12) - Bismarck’s career as an example of AI (mis)alignment(02:17:37) - Odyssean education Get full access to Dwarkesh Podcast at www.dwarkeshpatel.com/subscribe
Paul Christiano is the world’s leading AI safety researcher. My full episode with him is out!We discuss:- Does he regret inventing RLHF, and is alignment necessarily dual-use?- Why he has relatively modest timelines (40% by 2040, 15% by 2030),- What do we want post-AGI world to look like (do we want to keep gods enslaved forever)?- Why he’s leading the push to get to labs develop responsible scaling policies, and what it would take to prevent an AI coup or bioweapon,- His current research into a new proof system, and how this could solve alignment by explaining model's behavior- and much more.Watch on YouTube. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or any other podcast platform. Read the full transcript here. Follow me on Twitter for updates on future episodes.Open PhilanthropyOpen Philanthropy is currently hiring for twenty-two different roles to reduce catastrophic risks from fast-moving advances in AI and biotechnology, including grantmaking, research, and operations.For more information and to apply, please see the application: https://www.openphilanthropy.org/research/new-roles-on-our-gcr-team/The deadline to apply is November 9th; make sure to check out those roles before they close.Timestamps(00:00:00) - What do we want post-AGI world to look like?(00:24:25) - Timelines(00:45:28) - Evolution vs gradient descent(00:54:53) - Misalignment and takeover(01:17:23) - Is alignment dual-use?(01:31:38) - Responsible scaling policies(01:58:25) - Paul’s alignment research(02:35:01) - Will this revolutionize theoretical CS and math?(02:46:11) - How Paul invented RLHF(02:55:10) - Disagreements with Carl Shulman(03:01:53) - Long TSMC but not NVIDIA Get full access to Dwarkesh Podcast at www.dwarkeshpatel.com/subscribe
I had a lot of fun chatting with Shane Legg - Founder and Chief AGI Scientist, Google DeepMind!We discuss:* Why he expects AGI around 2028* How to align superhuman models* What new architectures needed for AGI* Has Deepmind sped up capabilities or safety more?* Why multimodality will be next big landmark* and much moreWatch full episode on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or any other podcast platform. Read full transcript here.Timestamps(0:00:00) - Measuring AGI(0:11:41) - Do we need new architectures?(0:16:26) - Is search needed for creativity?(0:19:19) - Superhuman alignment(0:29:58) - Impact of Deepmind on safety vs capabilities(0:34:03) - Timelines(0:41:24) - Multimodality Get full access to Dwarkesh Podcast at www.dwarkeshpatel.com/subscribe
I had a lot of fun chatting with Grant Sanderson (who runs the excellent 3Blue1Brown YouTube channel) about:- Whether advanced math requires AGI- What careers should mathematically talented students pursue- Why Grant plans on doing a stint as a high school teacher- Tips for self teaching- Does Godel’s incompleteness theorem actually matter- Why are good explanations so hard to find?- And much moreWatch on YouTube. Listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or any other podcast platform. Full transcript here.Timestamps(0:00:00) - Does winning math competitions require AGI?(0:08:24) - Where to allocate mathematical talent?(0:17:34) - Grant’s miracle year(0:26:44) - Prehistoric humans and math(0:33:33) - Why is a lot of math so new?(0:44:44) - Future of education(0:56:28) - Math helped me realize I wasn’t that smart(0:59:25) - Does Godel’s incompleteness theorem matter?(1:05:12) - How Grant makes videos(1:10:13) - Grant’s math exposition competition(1:20:44) - Self teaching Get full access to Dwarkesh Podcast at www.dwarkeshpatel.com/subscribe
I learned so much from Sarah Paine, Professor of History and Strategy at the Naval War College.We discuss:- how continental vs maritime powers think and how this explains Xi & Putin's decisions- how a war with China over Taiwan would shake out and whether it could go nuclear- why the British Empire fell apart, why China went communist, how Hitler and Japan could have coordinated to win WW2, and whether Japanese occupation was good for Korea, Taiwan and Manchuria- plus other lessons from WW2, Cold War, and Sino-Japanese War- how to study history properly, and why leaders keep making the same mistakesIf you want to learn more, check out her books - they’re some of the best military history I’ve ever read.Watch on YouTube, listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or any other podcast platform. Read the full transcript.Timestamps(0:00:00) - Grand strategy(0:11:59) - Death ground(0:23:19) - WW1(0:39:23) - Writing history(0:50:25) - Japan in WW2(0:59:58) - Ukraine(1:10:50) - Japan/Germany vs Iraq/Afghanistan occupation(1:21:25) - Chinese invasion of Taiwan(1:51:26) - Communists & Axis(2:08:34) - Continental vs maritime powers Get full access to Dwarkesh Podcast at www.dwarkeshpatel.com/subscribe
Here is my conversation with Dario Amodei, CEO of Anthropic.Dario is hilarious and has fascinating takes on what these models are doing, why they scale so well, and what it will take to align them.Watch on YouTube. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or any other podcast platform. Read the full transcript here. Follow me on Twitter for updates on future episodes.Timestamps(00:00:00) - Introduction(00:01:00) - Scaling(00:15:46) - Language(00:22:58) - Economic Usefulness(00:38:05) - Bioterrorism(00:43:35) - Cybersecurity(00:47:19) - Alignment & mechanistic interpretability(00:57:43) - Does alignment research require scale?(01:05:30) - Misuse vs misalignment(01:09:06) - What if AI goes well?(01:11:05) - China(01:15:11) - How to think about alignment(01:31:31) - Is modern security good enough?(01:36:09) - Inefficiencies in training(01:45:53) - Anthropic’s Long Term Benefit Trust(01:51:18) - Is Claude conscious?(01:56:14) - Keeping a low profile Get full access to Dwarkesh Podcast at www.dwarkeshpatel.com/subscribe
A few weeks ago, I sat beside Andy Matuschak to record how he reads a textbook.Even though my own job is to learn things, I was shocked with how much more intense, painstaking, and effective his learning process was.So I asked if we could record a conversation about how he learns and a bunch of other topics:* How he identifies and interrogates his confusion (much harder than it seems, and requires an extremely effortful and slow pace)* Why memorization is essential to understanding and decision-making* How come some people (like Tyler Cowen) can integrate so much information without an explicit note taking or spaced repetition system.* How LLMs and video games will change education* How independent researchers and writers can make money* The balance of freedom and discipline in education* Why we produce fewer von Neumann-like prodigies nowadays* How multi-trillion dollar companies like Apple (where he was previously responsible for bedrock iOS features) manage to coordinate millions of different considerations (from the cost of different components to the needs of users, etc) into new products designed by 10s of 1000s of people.Watch on YouTube. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or any other podcast platform. Read the full transcript here. Follow me on Twitter for updates on future episodes.To see Andy’s process in action, check out the video where we record him studying a quantum physics textbook, talking aloud about his thought process, and using his memory system prototype to internalize the material.You can check out his website and personal notes, and follow him on Twitter.CometeerVisit cometeer.com/lunar for $20 off your first order on the best coffee of your life!If you want to sponsor an episode, contact me at dwarkesh.sanjay.patel@gmail.com.Timestamps(00:00:52) - Skillful reading(00:02:30) - Do people care about understanding?(00:06:52) - Structuring effective self-teaching(00:16:37) - Memory and forgetting(00:33:10) - Andy’s memory practice(00:40:07) - Intellectual stamina(00:44:27) - New media for learning (video, games, streaming)(00:58:51) - Schools are designed for the median student(01:05:12) - Is learning inherently miserable?(01:11:57) - How Andy would structure his kids’ education(01:30:00) - The usefulness of hypertext(01:41:22) - How computer tools enable iteration(01:50:44) - Monetizing public work(02:08:36) - Spaced repetition(02:10:16) - Andy’s personal website and notes(02:12:44) - Working at Apple(02:19:25) - Spaced repetition 2 Get full access to Dwarkesh Podcast at www.dwarkeshpatel.com/subscribe
The second half of my 7 hour conversation with Carl Shulman is out!My favorite part! And the one that had the biggest impact on my worldview.Here, Carl lays out how an AI takeover might happen:* AI can threaten mutually assured destruction from bioweapons,* use cyber attacks to take over physical infrastructure,* build mechanical armies,* spread seed AIs we can never exterminate,* offer tech and other advantages to collaborating countries, etcPlus we talk about a whole bunch of weird and interesting topics which Carl has thought about:* what is the far future best case scenario for humanity* what it would look like to have AI make thousands of years of intellectual progress in a month* how do we detect deception in superhuman models* does space warfare favor defense or offense* is a Malthusian state inevitable in the long run* why markets haven't priced in explosive economic growth* & much moreCarl also explains how he developed such a rigorous, thoughtful, and interdisciplinary model of the biggest problems in the world.Watch on YouTube. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or any other podcast platform. Read the full transcript here. Follow me on Twitter for updates on future episodes.Catch part 1 hereTimestamps(0:00:00) - Intro (0:00:47) - AI takeover via cyber or bio (0:32:27) - Can we coordinate against AI? (0:53:49) - Human vs AI colonizers (1:04:55) - Probability of AI takeover (1:21:56) - Can we detect deception? (1:47:25) - Using AI to solve coordination problems (1:56:01) - Partial alignment (2:11:41) - AI far future (2:23:04) - Markets & other evidence (2:33:26) - Day in the life of Carl Shulman (2:47:05) - Space warfare, Malthusian long run, & other rapid fire Get full access to Dwarkesh Podcast at www.dwarkeshpatel.com/subscribe
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