Discover"The Cognitive Revolution" | AI Builders, Researchers, and Live Player AnalysisE31: Where are the Moats in AI? With Nathan Labenz and Erik Torenberg
E31: Where are the Moats in AI? With Nathan Labenz and Erik Torenberg

E31: Where are the Moats in AI? With Nathan Labenz and Erik Torenberg

Update: 2023-06-01


Nathan and Erik analyze the moats of the most powerful companies in AI. The paradigm-shifting technology has led to a flourishing open-source community with market share. Yet, the big players have key competitive advantages that can be examined from many different angles.


Nathan’s Twitter thread on AI moats that sparked this discussion:

Read about the 9 moats at length in our newsletter:

Leaderboard for AI rankings:


We're hiring across the board at Turpentine and for Erik's personal team on other projects he's incubating. He's hiring a Chief of Staff, EA, Head of Special Projects, Investment Associate, and more. For a list of JDs, check out:


The HR industry is at a crossroads. What will it take to construct the next generation of incredible businesses – and where can people leaders have the most business impact? Hosts Nolan Church and Kelli Dragovich have been through it all, the highs and the lows – IPOs, layoffs, executive turnover, board meetings, culture changes, and more. With a lineup of industry vets and experts, Nolan and Kelli break down the nitty-gritty details, trade offs, and dynamics of constructing high performing companies. Through unfiltered conversations that can only happen between seasoned practitioners, Kelli and Nolan dive deep into the kind of leadership-level strategy that often happens behind closed doors. Check out the first episode with the architect of Netflix’s culture deck Patty McCord.


(00:00 ) Episode Preview

(01:36 ) Where are the moats in AI?

(07:31 ) Open source vs. closed

(15:24 ) Recommendation: The AI Breakdown Podcast

(16:39 ) Sponsor: Omneky

(20:46 ) AI Safety

(33:00 ) Which players are going to win? 9 Moats.



@labenz (Nathan)

@eriktorenberg (Erik)


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Thank you Omneky for sponsoring The Cognitive Revolution. Omneky is an omnichannel creative generation platform that lets you launch hundreds of thousands of ad iterations that actually work, customized across all platforms, with a click of a button. Omneky combines generative AI and real-time advertising data. Mention "Cog Rev" for 10% off.

This show is produced by Turpentine: a network of podcasts, newsletters, and more, covering technology, business, and culture — all from the perspective of industry insiders and experts. We’re launching new shows every week, and we’re looking for industry-leading sponsors — if you think that might be you and your company, email us at

Music Credit: MusicLM

More show notes and reading material released in our Substack:

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E31: Where are the Moats in AI? With Nathan Labenz and Erik Torenberg

E31: Where are the Moats in AI? With Nathan Labenz and Erik Torenberg

Erik Torenberg, Nathan Labenz