Stephen Wolfram Livestreams


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

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

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

Business, Innovation & Managing Life Q&A:
Will startups survive using AI and ML technology? If so, how to compete with big industries? How often do you find yourself stuck on what to do next? How do you decide on what project to move forward with? How do you prepare for conference talks? Do you ever get nervous/stage fright? Someone asked E. W. Deming how he felt about his speech and he responded with, "I know what I said, but I am not sure what they heard." I bring my cats to talks so they can look cute if I bomb. Any thoughts to what a leader or manager can do to support team members to learn and manage stress? I understand this is a very context-dependent question, but lately a lot of large organisations earning profits in the billions have been scaling down their workforce. As a CEO, what would you say are common drivers/motivators behind these trends of scaling down? What would you say is your favorite aspect of being CEO? What is your least favorite? I would like your advice. I will retire in about 3-4 years; do you think it is too late to start learning ML, data science, the entire artificial intelligence environment, with all the mathematics that entails? I was thinking of dedicating part of my day to streaming as a hobby—something to keep my mind active. I am in the software QA and testing industry. One of my challenges is convincing decisions makers about investing in early testing approaches to reduce project and product risks later. As a CEO, how would you be convinced to add priority to testing in an organisation? Any advice on being prolific/focusing as a college student, specifically, the tradeoff between open-ended exploring and focusing? ​​I think a huge amount of the value of college is having informal discussions with small groups of people you care like. Obviously not compatible if you're focused on GPA. Hermits acquire cats, not children! View Less »
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Business, Innovation & Managing Life Q&A:
What do you think is the most important aspect to focus on or dedicate the most effort to when running a business? You were a speaker at the All-In Summit 2023, which was a conference aimed mostly at venture capital folks. What were your impressions of this summit and its attendees? Did you attend parties at the All-In Summit? Do you get demotivated to do things that AI might be able to do in a fraction of the time in the relatively near future? What's your take on privacy, especially for digital services and devices (regarding companies using data to manipulate people and things similar to that)? Could you imagine the web being washed away as it did to other technologies? How has the concept of "intellectual property" evolved? Is land a good analogy for IP? Do you know about the recent anti-trust cases brought against Google and Amazon? If yes, what kind of opportunities do you think would open up for competitors if they lose? ​​Have you ever gone through the patent process personally? ​​Maybe ChatGPT can make patenting things easier. Maybe the ambiguity is a feature of natural language instead of a negative, and it's purposefully not specific to allow more expansive, unpredictable scopes of use. With LLM lawyers, the patent disputes will end up just being a bunch of robots arguing all the time. Is diversifying my professional ventures a worse outcome than focusing on one or two occupations that I'm really good at? There are somewhere between five hundred thousand and two million cuneiform tablets just sitting in warehouses. Untranslated, unscanned, inaccessible. What can we do other than lament? When you first started making sales with Mathematica, was it mostly to academics or companies? And how did you find these customers? Let's say an amateur claims to have found a big breakthrough. How do you judge if it is worth the read? View Less »
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Business, Innovation & Managing Life Q&A:
Is writing the same as thinking? After reviewing your Wikipedia page, I noticed that you left undergraduate/postgraduate study before graduation for whatever reason. My question pertains to how you found the application process and background study for being accepted into a PhD program. If you could give some background into how much studying you had completed by that point and how you demonstrated your ability to be accepted, I would be very grateful. ​​Great piece about Doug Lenat and CYC. Any further thoughts about such intrinsically driven, lifelong research pursuits—including your own—be it their significance, their risks or anything in between? ​I'm finishing my PhD. There are so many industries/groups! Much more than I know, for sure... How can one find "the one" in the ocean? What made you and Jonathan decide to go on a livestream? Was it planned, or do you just randomly decide to do a livestream if the discussion is interesting enough? ​​How do you determine whether a decision should be decided short term or long term? How did you allocate your time across strategy, product development, operations, etc., during the early stages of Wolfram Research, and how has that evolved as the company has grown? If you could create and design a school, how would you structure the curriculum? Would it be different for elementary, middle and high school vs. college? Do you have a favorite of your livestream series? Are there other types you'd be interested in? ​​Would you suggest working for a startup that is building on an idea from a renowned research institution, or working directly at that institution? That's basically what they teach you when learning to ride a motorcycle. You trend toward where you're looking. Along these lines, is it better to say "This is going to be difficult" or "Don't worry, it's not complicated"? Do you have any advice for people who want to be independent researchers? View Less »
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Business, Innovation & Managing Life Q&A:
Just saw your new blog about Ed Fredkin—what an interesting read! What was writing the blog like? Do you enjoy these more biographical pieces vs. more purely technical pieces you've written? ​​When you first created Wolfram Language and the other products around it (Mathematica), how did you develop a team of engineers/scientists to work on building your vision? Any advice for students returning to school in the coming weeks? ​​Any advice regarding trying to promote technology "from the future"? I really would like to program, but I feel like I need to grasp every concept before moving forward. Should I give up? It seems like there's always something I don't know, and sometimes others can't explain it, either. Do you deal with this? Any tips? Do you think it's harder to kick-start a business today than it was 40 years ago? Agree: Finance, especially quantitative finance, is a black hole for talent/smart minds. Picking a major that determines your life/career at 18 seems daunting. What advice do you have? I worry about picking something and regretting it later, or feeling like I've wasted my time if I decide to change my major after a year or two. Some industries just squeeze the juice out of bright young people until there's nothing left and you're replaced: finance, consulting, law, advertising, etc. How do you avoid this? Regarding: Picking a major that determines your life/career at 18 seems daunting. What advice do you have? I worry about picking something and regretting it later, or feeling like I've wasted my time if I decide to change my major after a year or two. What do you think is the best way to organize creative work? Personally, I don't think much of creative work is possible to formulate in a step-by-step plan off the bat. I envy cats with their 18–20 hours/day of sleep. If you are running a business, is it necessary to have the knowledge or ability to run any aspect of that business yourself, or can you rely on people to run those areas for you? If you read books, you get better at reading books. If you program, you get better at programming. If you program with a book next to you, you get better at finding relevant examples in that book. But you don't learn to program by reading a book. Do you think philosophy is still relevant in all these areas? How would you deal with falling down the recursive rabbit hole too much? Because this makes learning about a specific subject extremely slow. What do you make of company governance? Is there a "best way to set up a company board" etc.? I'm really curious on your thoughts about these UAPs as a leader in your field. What is your opinion on what's going on? View Less »
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Business, Innovation & Managing Life Q&A:
Business, Innovation & Managing Life Q&A:
Did you see the Oppenheimer movie? If so, what were your thoughts? What are the things one should do to prepare oneself to become a scientist regarding education path, ideas and tools in the upcoming age of computation and AI? Can the "Kelly criterion," AKA calculating the sizes of bets to place in markets, also be a good tool to manage life? Which is to say, you limit the size of your experiments by design? ​​Are you using any LLM functions for managing your daily workflow? If so, which ones? What's the "next big thing" in business? How will virtual spaces (like Apple's new headset) gaining popularity impact the workplace, if at all? I'm a software engineer with about eight years of professional experience. I'm interested in transitioning into the field of AI/machine learning. I've found it quite difficult to find careers in the marketplace that don't require 5+ years of experience in AI/machine learning. Any advice on how best to make this transition? What would you say to people who are scared to lose their jobs to AI? There are a lot of young professionals in the tech sector that are just getting started in becoming data analysts, project managers and engineers. We are starting to hear a lot of bustle about these careers not being good investments in the long term. A bit of a funny lifestyle question. What's your opinion on living off grid (living in a rural, quiet area) in modern times? Given the computational limitations of the human brain, are there drawbacks in thinking computationally? Do we risk losing track of high-level patterns with too many parts to count? When you were starting SMP, if someone else had already made significant progress in building a full-scale computational language, what would you have done? Any cool projects you enjoyed working with during the Wolfram Summer School? Science somewhat requires integration of many disciplines, but in academia, almost the only way to progress in your career is to publish stuff in your "area of expertise." View Less »
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