Inside the players and politics of the modern AI industry

Inside the players and politics of the modern AI industry


Guest host Alex Heath sits down with reporter Kylie Robison to discuss what it’s like to be fully immersed in the AI industry every day.

Image: The Verge

We’ve got a special episode of Decoder today — I was traveling last week, so Verge deputy editor Alex Heath and our new senior AI reporter Kylie Robison are filling in for me, with a very different kind of episode about AI.

We talk a lot about AI in a broad sense on Decoder — it comes up in basically every single interview I do these days — and then we also dive deep into very specific problems that AI is causing with things like copyright law, misinformation, and other various policy challenges

But we don’t spend a ton of time on the day-to-day happenings of the AI industry itself. And that’s for good reason: it’s been moving so rapidly and changing so often that it’s nearly impossible for the average person to keep up. Making sense of all the different players, who’s building what, and what people in the industry honestly think about where it’s all going — it’s a lot.

So, we thought it would be a good idea to take a beat and have Alex and Kylie break down the modern AI boom as it exists today: the companies you need to know, the most important news of the last few months, and what it’s actually like to be fully immersed in this industry every single day.

You’ll hear Alex and Kylie talk about OpenAI, the gravitational pull it’s had on the entire tech sector, and how Google is trying to challenge that — to mixed results. But they also got into the relationship between the overzealous hype driving AI funding and product development and the very real paranoia in the Bay Area around what you’ll hear Kylie refer to as p(doom), shorthand for the probability percentage that AI might actually kill us all.

They also break down all the most important AI companies, how likely it is some smaller AI startup unseats ChatGPT, the open vs. closed source debate, and — as Alex puts it — the “Wall Street-ification” of AI.  

Oh, and look out for a mention of an effective accelerationist rave where Grimes DJ’d for the CTO of OpenAI. Those are all real words, all in the same sentence together.

Nilay Patel

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