Episodes
Kai Marshland is the co-founder and chief product officer at WindBorne Systems. Kai's problem is this: How do you build weather balloons that can stay in the air for months at a time, and pair the data gathered by the balloons with AI to make weather forecasts that are way better than anything we have today? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 04/11/24
Published 04/11/24
Jonathan Hurst is a professor at Oregon State University, and co-founder and chief robot officer at Agility Robotics. Jonathan's problem is this: How do you design a robot that can walk and do useful tasks that companies will pay for? The solution begins with trying to understand how birds walk. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 04/04/24
The 2008 Global Financial Crisis was hard for almost everyone. Fuquan Bilal remembers it like it was yesterday. A real estate investor, among other things, he came home to the news of the crash and the sharp realization that he lost $2 million overnight. That could have been the end with advisors telling him to file for bankruptcy.    Join Ben and Tanya as they chat with Fuquan about how he fought to keep his companies afloat. Discover how he brought his business back from the dead,...
Published 04/02/24
The Happiness Lab’s Dr. Laurie Santos brings together other Pushkin hosts to mark the International Day of Happiness. Revisionist History’s Malcolm Gladwell talks about the benefits of the misery of running in a Canadian winter. Dr. Maya Shankar from A Slight Change of Plans talks about quieting her mental chatter. And Cautionary Tales host Tim Harford surprises everyone with the happiness lessons to be learned from a colonoscopy. Hear more of The Happiness Lab HERE. See...
Published 03/20/24
What does sickness sound like? Sometimes it’s obvious, like a cough, sniffle, or stuffy nose. But some conditions cause subtle changes that only a trained ear – or AI – can detect. Dr. Yael Bensoussan is a professor of otolaryngology and the director of the Health Voice Center at the University of South Florida. Her problem is this: How do you build a giant, public database of thousands of voice recordings, and use it to train AI tools that can hear when people are getting sick? See...
Published 03/14/24
Cement is, almost literally, everywhere. It is extraordinarily useful, which is why humanity makes 4 billion metric tons of it every year. But cement is also extremely carbon intensive to produce. Leah Ellis is the co-founder and CEO of Sublime Systems. Her problem is this: How can you make cement, at scale, without emitting carbon dioxide? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 03/07/24
Sam D'Amico is the founder and CEO of Impulse Labs, a company that makes induction stoves, with a clever twist. Sam’s problem is this: How do you build an electric cooktop that works just as well as gas, and can be installed without having to rewire the house? The solution that Sam found could eventually help transform not only kitchens, but the way homes draw power from the electrical grid.  See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 02/29/24
Tim Ellis is the co-founder and CEO of Relativity Space, a company with a unique approach to manufacturing rockets. Tim’s problem is this: How can you use 3D printing to make rockets more efficiently? Eventually, Tim wants to send a rocket – and printer – to Mars to build the first Martian industrial base.  See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 02/22/24
Every year in the U.S., tens of thousands of hospital patients die of preventable causes. For many of these patients, warning signs are subtle and easy for doctors to miss. Suchi Saria is the founder and CEO of Bayesian Health, and a professor at Johns Hopkins where she runs a lab focused on machine learning and healthcare. Suchi’s problem is this: How can you use AI to detect when hospital patients are at risk of potentially deadly complications – and how can you get doctors to listen? See...
Published 02/15/24
Gia Schneider is the co-founder and CEO of Natel Energy, a company that is trying to transform the way hydroelectric power works. Gia’s problem is this: how do you draw hydropower from rivers without damaging the ecosystem? As it turns out, we have a lot to learn from nature’s furriest engineers – beavers. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 02/08/24
Peter Chen is the co-founder and CEO of Covariant. Peter’s problem is this: How do you take the AI breakthroughs of the past decade or so, and make them work in robots? Peter was one of the first employees at OpenAI, the maker of ChatGPT. On the show, he talks about how AI has evolved, and why it's so difficult to teach a robot to fold a towel. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 02/01/24
Fei-Fei Li is a Stanford computer scientist and the former chief scientist of artificial intelligence/machine learning at Google Cloud. When Li entered the field of AI in the 2000s, researchers were making slow progress, optimizing algorithms to incrementally improve outcomes. Li saw that the problem wasn’t the algorithm, but the size of the datasets being used. So she built a massive database of images called ImageNet. It was a huge breakthrough, and helped lead the emergence of modern...
Published 01/25/24
Tim Latimer is the CEO and co-founder of Fervo Energy, a company that is using a new approach to produce carbon-free geothermal energy. Tim and his company are drawing on innovations from the oil and gas industry to expand geothermal energy production to new places like the Utah desert, and maybe one day, to Mars. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 01/18/24
Manolis Kellis is a professor of Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He works in computational biology, taking giant datasets relating to genetics and health outcomes and tries to understand what’s going on. Manolis’ research focuses on genomics, and a related field called epigenomics. Manolis’ problem is this: What are the cellular mechanisms of a disease? And how can we intervene to keep people healthy? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 12/28/23
After working as a chef for decades, Anthony Strong’s dream came true: He opened his own restaurant. His problem was a classic one: Restaurants are bad businesses. So he set out to open a new kind of restaurant, with a new business model. In this episode, he tells us about how he accomplished that with his latest venture, Pasta Supply Co. in San Francisco. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 12/21/23
Selling hydrogen to make fertilizer is a huge business. It also drives tons of carbon emissions. Rob Hanson, the co-founder and CEO of a company called Monolith is trying to create hydrogen without emissions -- and to do it at scale, at a competitive price. A key tool he’s using: The biggest plasma torch ever built. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 12/14/23
Frances Frei and Anne Morriss are the co-founders of a training and consulting company called The Leadership Consortium. Together they specialize in helping leaders build trust within their companies. They also co-host a podcast called Fixable, which is a TED show produced by Pushkin Industries. Also, Frances is a professor at Harvard Business School. In today’s show, Frances and Anne share the story of their work with Uber. It started back in 2017, when a Harvard Business School alum who...
Published 12/07/23
When a Dutch crime reporter makes an unbelievable discovery, a small-town murder case begins to look like an international assassination plot. Enjoy this episode from Hot Money: The New Narcos, a podcast from Pushkin Industries and the Financial Times.  See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 12/05/23
A few weeks ago, Jacob Goldstein sat down with a writer and a composer on a stage in Chicago to talk about artificial intelligence. The conversation, which was part of the Chicago Humanities Festival, aimed to answer a big question: will AI kill creativity? The writer, Stephen Marche, is the author of several nonfiction books and novels. Earlier this year he tried something new: he used AI to help him write a novel called Death of an Author. (That book was published in audio form by Pushkin...
Published 11/30/23
Jigar Shah is the director of the Loan Programs Office at the U.S. Department of Energy. Last year, as part of the Inflation Reduction Act, Congress allocated hundreds of billions of dollars for Jigar’s office to lend out. The loans are supposed to go to companies that are helping the U.S. economy move away from fossil fuels. That can mean everything from building new nuclear plants to creating a giant hydrogen battery in an underground salt cavern. Jigar’s problem is this: What’s the best...
Published 11/23/23
Pushmeet Kohli is vice president of research at DeepMind, an AI research group that is part of Google. Every protein has a unique shape. And understanding a protein’s shape is key to understanding how proteins work to keep us healthy, and what goes wrong when we get sick. But, for decades, figuring out the shape of a protein was a hard problem that could take years of work. Then Pushmeet and his colleagues built an AI model called AlphaFold that could accurately predict the shape of...
Published 11/16/23
Forrest Meyen is the co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Lunar Outpost, a company that builds machines that go to places like Mars and, if everything goes according to plan, the moon. The company is betting that the private space boom of the past decade will soon go beyond Earth’s orbit to the moon and beyond. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 11/09/23
Brannin McBee is the co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer at CoreWeave. A few years ago, he and a few friends started buying hardware to mine cryptocurrency. It turns out, the same hardware -- chips known as GPUs -- is essential for running state-of-the-art AI models. Today, Brannin and his friends have turned their hobby into a company that’s competing against some of the biggest companies in the world to provide the hardware and computing power to run AI. See omnystudio.com/listener for...
Published 10/19/23
Sam Bankman-Fried, the former crypto mogul, is on trial for fraud. On today’s show, we talk to Lidia Jean Kott, who is covering the trial for another Pushkin show, about a dramatic day in court. Caroline Ellison, former co-CEO of Alameda Research and Sam Bankman-Fried’s ex-girlfriend, took the stand. She recently pleaded guilty to fraud, and is cooperating with the prosecution. Hear Against the Rules with Michael Lewis: The Trial of Sam Bankman-Fried wherever you get your podcasts. See...
Published 10/12/23