Stephen Wolfram Livestreams


Business, Innovation & Managing Life Q&A (69 videos)

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

icon

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

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 »
View More »
Business, Innovation & Managing Life Q&A:
Do you think a PhD is worth it when you are later in your career? Or should you just self-learn if you can? As far as managing life, what has been your biggest takeaway in your career/personal life that you would like to pass on to the younger generation? How do you approach risk-taking in business, and what advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs about managing risk? Do you have any New Year's resolutions/big plans for 2024? I am a software engineer, and the field of quant + data science is very appealing to me. What advice do you have? I teach my first class tomorrow—what advice do you have? Do you have any advice on pricing software licences? I build bespoke design software and I'm kind of winging the licences. What do you think of subscription vs. one-time purchase for software? Imagine Mathematica with inline YouTube ads! What is the coolest thing your company has ever done? How much computational thinking and modeling do you do on the business itself, both for decision making and planning? Do you consider yourself a celebrity? What has been your coolest encounter/weirdest encounter? What do you think about ​organic education matters? Basically, can you use AI to figure out a fixed point for education (what you want to understand) vs. testing for knowledge? Can you ski? Can you picture AI creating an alternative legal system? I'm wondering how you imagine your symbolic language might interface with AI. I'm not sure about the implementation, but on a surface level, Wolfram Language feels closer to interfacing with an AI than text-based languages. Your mother was a major anthropologist and philosopher. Has she had any impact on you? ​It would be cool to live in that future where you talk to your AI in your house and it does things for you. When talking to ChatGPT, I ask politely and say thank you—way more than I should, too. Uncanny valley and all that! (Plus being Canadian, maybe.) Do you think there is harm in always learning? I think humans aren't built to be putting so much demand for energy on our brains. But darn, it feels good to learn! Would you want yourself to be automated, so that you would no longer need to exist? How far would you want yourself automated? View Less »
View More »
Business, Innovation & Managing Life Q&A:
What have been some of the most fascinating questions you have answered? Are there still topics to explore? What do you see as the biggest opportunities and challenges facing businesses in your industry in the next five years? What is the best approach to develop sound computational thinking? Are there really good books or courses? Are there fields you know have depth but don't interest you at all? I'm a person who gets easily distracted—a jack of all trades, but master of none. I envy people who dedicate their focus on a specific field to become an expert, but I fail to do so myself. As I'm getting older, I still dabble and try to find "my thing." Do you reckon there's an approach that could help me to get more focused on a single field without that initial spark? How do you keep track of what you want to learn? How do you manage your time effectively so you dedicate ample time to each of the things you want to learn? Do you have some activity to calm your brain (perhaps after a long day of concentrating), i.e. to wind down, before you go to sleep? Learn to surf, then wait for the right wave: what was the wave you would say you caught that kicked off your career? How has publishing as a singular author on innovative ideas changed your life trajectory? Do you feel like institutional authority was important for you to be heard, or was it truly the merit of your work? Have you ever thought about leaving the software world and producing hardware? ​Is it feasible for an individual to start a software company from scratch today the way you developed SMP into a viable, complete product? Are there other types of technology or software you would like to experiment with for future endeavors? I am a very big user of the Wolfram Cloud on mobile when I am out and about. I would love for the iOS version to be given more love. ​​Would you say that the accessibility of education on the internet is making universities obsolete? I work in logistics and we're FAR away from using AI. We actually took a step backward recently with an internal software solution that does not work for specific customers at all. I do have ideas, but I have to open tickets that are never resolved. I know for sure my ideas can be built into the system. I'm about to give up or write a better system (kidding). How would you approach a huge business about this? How do we encourage more people to study the difficult mathematics behind machine learning and robot process automation, especially when they're younger and more neuroplastic, so that many of the most groundbreaking developments are accessible to a greater contingent of global society? View Less »
View More »
Business, Innovation & Managing Life Q&A:
Business, Innovation & Managing Life Q&A:
How do you manage conducting deep/long-term innovation with short-term commercial and funding necessities to keep the lights on? How well would you say your current understanding of business and academics is today in comparison to when you first started your career? What is your perspective on AI's omnipresence and ability to introduce a universal basic income into the strata of societies/economies on Earth? What rules will be applicable? Do you think that with the disappearance of physical labor due to AI automation, it will make a comeback as a healthy hobby? ​​How do you anticipate AI-to-AI conversations? What sort of information and insights are likely to emerge from these conversations? ​​Do you ever take time off? Would you say that a person whose job is also their hobby is a happy person, or a person lacking in both the job and the hobby? ​Is game theory useful for running a business? Not necessarily business, but fun... ​Have you ever been to a magic show? How have interview processes changed since you began your career? Are there ways to improve application screening and potential candidates? Could VR/AR environments be a way to test candidates in the work environment? Should there be an AI system that does computational language design? The computational language could then be used to tackle problems of any kind and feed back to the language-design AI. Do ever worry you'll end up like Wittgenstein, solving philosophy and the boundaries of science with an innovative math-related system, then a couple years later decide you're wrong? View Less »
View More »
Business, Innovation & Managing Life Q&A:
How would you describe what you do? Can you contain it to a single sentence? What advice do you have for future programmers? Any advice for someone content to just "get by" financially, with zero interest in the usual understanding of "career" and probably no kids—just looking to focus on other things? Why don't you quit CEOing and commit full time to investigating whether nature is completely computable? Does running the everyday things help? Or do you just still find it fun? Do you think there will come a major shift in business planning with AI? ​How much control do you maintain over the Wolfram Institute? Do you find that loosening your grip on management of the fellows' research allows for a higher chance of success in discovery? There is this tension regarding remote working vs. being in the office. From my experience in remote-working teams, juniors/new starters take a few months before they are efficient. It appears you have mastered remote working with your teams. What do you think makes remote working a success? Whenever you were, or are, learning new stuff as part of your independent research efforts (whether that's directly related to your work at Wolfram Research or for your own purposes), do you have a structured purpose, i.e. "I will learn X subject, topic by topic," or do you take a looser approach to things? How do you know how much time to dedicate to your various research interests? How is innovating "outside the system" different from working within institutions? Is one better than the other for certain fields? View Less »
View More »