Stephen Wolfram Livestreams


Business, Innovation & Managing Life Q&A (68 videos)

Biweekly ask-me-anything about business, innovation & managing life

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New episode streaming Wednesday, June 5, at 3:30pm ET. Submit your questions

Business, Innovation & Managing Life Q&A:
​​​​Can you patent an algorithm? Machine learning models? Will we need a new division of law for AI cases? What is the precedent? ​​​​Can blockchain mitigate the AI "facts," or is it its own threat to communications and liberty? ​​​​Can you rationalize a world where "free-to-use" AI services utilize licenses that allow free use, but then the operating company can capitalize on the content that they generate? What is a good process for knowledge transfer from employee to employee? If you had the chance to redo your life, would you choose differently in terms of what choices you made academically? Have you written any books or do you have any thoughts on childhood education? Now that I have three kids at different stages, I find it challenging that the school curriculums are trying to make conforming students while lacking effort in individual talent discovery. What's your experience and how have you approached it? Do you still check your emails regularly? I find it a distraction for productivity and originality due to the bombardment of emails, text and all of it. I see this as a potential area for AI to personalize, and it could be simple to make. What do you think? Wolfram's writings are actually often a quite good read and have a unique humor. MUCH better than most papers that came out in the last 20 years. ​​​​I want to do something that should be an internet-based business, and thermodynamics and its applications should be a central part of the business. Do you have any tips? View Less »
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Business, Innovation & Managing Life Q&A:
How do businesses adapt to changing technology? Are there existing strategies to combat roadblocks in development? Is Wolfram Language much faster today than it was 35 years ago? What has been the biggest or most notable technological advancement in your lifetime? ​​​​How do you think about the "buy" vs. "build" dilemma—notably for one so opinionated and driven to have it one's way as yourself, as opposed to being more compromising? How do you think about and handle competition, be it business or technological competition (say LLMs vs. the Wolfram Language symbolic approach)? Do you think having middle management in high-tech companies hinders innovation? ​​​​You just mentioned that someone can't build something that took 30 years to build. Do you think that will change with AI advancing enough to cut build timeframes by orders of magnitude? ​​​​Speaking of that area, what innovation and business lessons can be learned from Thinking Machines and such failed ventures? Do you agree that technology is brimming with ideas and resources, many of which are free? This shift has transformed business approaches, with today's opportunities primarily centered around services. I appreciate your approach to making software easy to use. I've used Oracle, SAP and JD Edwards ERP software and so much of it is overly complicated. We were tethered to them for support. Any advice on starting a career in tech with everything moving at such a fast pace? ​​I've read about your endeavors, from writing books at 13 to earning a PhD at 20. How did you manage such accomplishments and cultivate the imagination needed for complex topics? View Less »
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Business, Innovation & Managing Life Q&A:
What advice do you have for young entrepreneurs? Can children be successful in business? Is it good to have variety in my resume when applying for jobs? How valued are long-term employees of one company vs. an applicant who has had many different jobs? How does one generate a succession plan for a company? Do you think the software market is over-saturated? It feels like there are many untapped innovations in areas like materials sciences and hardware. What's the best way to get funding for a physics-based R&D company? I am starting one and need help. What are some benefits to an internship? Is the AI development just a short-term fashion, like in the 80s? ​​​​Will owning/running private businesses ever be superseded as an economic form? I think the best advice for young entrepreneurs is "Don't do it." If they do it anyway, that's real entrepreneurship. What would you say to individuals who are interested foremost in making a difference in the world rather than a monetary incentive? How would you weigh the choices between pursuing traditional academia, working on the cutting edge within the private sector or pursuing research in one's own time independently (assuming their life allows such freedom)? How about setting up non- or not-for-profit R&D? How much do you think businesses will have to adjust to account for AI workers if they take off? What about one-person corporations? Zero-person corporations? It seems to me that public libraries should offer access to journals as well as books. Thoughts? ​​​​There is already an inundation of LLM-written, peer-reviewed papers, adding to your point. In Sweden, we have a book bus that drives around with books to suburban areas. View Less »
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Business, Innovation & Managing Life Q&A:
What advice do you have for business investors to pick the right ideas? ​​​​​​What about repetitive herds like AI, and especially VR? ​​​​VCs don't care to move science forward, in my opinion. How could a knowledge-based economy be structured, and is it possible for AI and cryptocurrencies to assign value to goal-oriented AI systems that enhance human survival and curiosity? Just as all true innovations change something in the world for the better, is it true that all innovations can, if properly organized and packaged, make a lot of money? What are the intersections of innovation and business? What responsibilities appear when one generates a successful tech company? So what you're saying is that we need an AI tutor tutor? Innovation in technology is often putting a double-edged sword in the hands of many. How can I come to terms with it morally if someone abuses the power of the technology I invented? How would you foster repeated innovation in a company, especially for a company with an established product or service? ​​​What's the best/worst thing about owning a company to you? How do you market or demo a product that is a vast improvement over existing methodologies but takes a massive effort to learn? What do you do in a situation where you have a new idea, but the tech isn't there yet? I'm joining a very large law firm to help them think through what the firm will look like as they adopt LLMs and GPTs. If you got charged with this task, how would you approach it? ​​​​Have you thought in the past to buy a company instead of developing your own? ​​ ​​How far is AI from setting its own goals/objectives? View Less »
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Business, Innovation & Managing Life Q&A:
Business, Innovation & Managing Life Q&A:
Have you had a chance to try Apple's new VR headset? You previously discussed the role of AI in the future of science. What about the role of AI in the future of business, innovation or managing life? ​Have you ever determined your Myers–Briggs personality type? Ever considered hiring based on a personality test? ​​What's some good advice for starting work on a super-novel thing where there is almost no literature about it? At this stage in your career, has your vision for your legacy reified fully, and if so, what do you imagine it being? Eliminating computational irreducibility within the ruliad and maximizing its positive impact on the world, for example? ​​How have your experiences in education influenced your approach to innovation? Einstein is attributed as having said, "If I had an hour to solve a problem, I'd spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and five minutes thinking about solutions." Do any of your businesses have plans to build blockchain solutions? How does blockchain technology fit into your vision of the future? What is a fun business idea you have had but never executed? Do you think we'll get to a point of textbooks by AI? Wolfram was one of the pioneers in using notebooks for scientific programming, i.e. literate programming. Do you think new programming languages will be more expressive? Do you think philosophy and psychology (or an applied version of these for those less theoretical) should be taught throughout the school years just like English and math (in addition to everything else)? View Less »
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