Notes from Molly’s presentation:

  • Radical exclusively invests in early stage AI
  • Firm’s origins are in Toronto, the location of many key players, institutions, and events in the AI histroy, including Geoff Hinton of the University of Toronto, winner of the Turing competition.
  • They see themselves at the center of the center of the AI research and talent ecosystems.
  • They look for researchers coming out of a lab.
  • Radical is on their second fund of $500M. They invest across the AI stack.
  • They’ve helped portfolio companies ike Cohere and Reka transition from research to commercial.
  • Velocity is their accelerator program.
  • If you’ve ever tried to hire AI or ML talent in the past, you know how hard that is.
  • Radical helps with AI compute as well as unit economics. They know startups need talent and compute.
  • They invest across the AI spectrum, from application areas to digital infrastructure.
  • 2023 is the year of computer. Computer power is increasingly available and affordable. Stable Diffusion only took about $600k to train.
  • 2024 may be the year of the AI application.
  • There’s a lot of lobbying and regulation in the US and beyond around foundational models, especially as they apply to finance and healthcare.
  • Macrofund’s changing thesis is that AI will be software, and software will be trained by AI.
  • Radical likes technical moats in the application layer. There was some audience Q&A around open source and the potential of miniaturized models that run on mobile.
  • Future applications will need security, privacy, and ease of use.
  • Q&A around watermarking, especially with AI created synthetic media. This is a problem a lot of people are working on. Molly does not currently see anyone using blockchain technology to watermark synthetic media.
  • They’re looking for the “Attention is All You Need” paper of today.

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