Frontiers is scaling the world's oral knowledge of tech and science. It is focused on the open questions, on the pressing issues and the candid insights of the ambitious people working hard today to create a better tomorrow.
Today I’m speaking with Tessa Alexanian. Tessa is focused on steering towards nice futures for biotechnology. To that end, she works at iGEM; creating incentives and programs that encourage synthetic biology development that is responsible, responsive, safe, and secure. She used to spend her days wrangling robots to do biological engineering but now spends more time wondering how to get biologists to engineer the right things.
We cover everything from the fun to the glamourless realities of babysitting robots to the difficulties with balancing optimism and honesty in the face of great uncertainties; and also touch upon the 'Germy paradox' — why have we not seen more biological weapons used yet?
Today I’m speaking with Mario Klingemann, widely known under his artist name Quasimondo. Mario is one of the pioneers in using machine learning in the arts and combines neural networks, code, and algorithms to produce works that are able to surprise and show almost autonomous creative behavior - and to me pose fascinating challenges to our understanding of meaning and the role of humans in a world in which, as Mario thinks, "machine artists will be able to create more interesting work than humans". Our conversation spans themes reaching from the philosophical lessons AI can provide for humans to our roles as consumers and creators and the economic shifts in the arts funneled by cryptocurrency.
Today I’m speaking to Shriya Nevatia. Shriya has spent the majority of her life in pursuit of creating meaningful communities - these days she does so at OnDeck.
In our conversation, we discuss the difficulty in measuring success when it comes to human interaction, the role of groups in unlocking potential, the future of scouting for hidden talent, and much more.
Today I’m speaking to José Luis Ricón. José is currently investigating how to make science great again. Beyond analyzing in which ways scientific mechanisms like peer-review and funding are broken, he tries to formulate and propose better alternatives to speed up scientific progress. Currently, he is focused on biology - specifically the field of longevity.
We span everything from the uncertainties inherent in working on the frontiers, ways to excite people about biology, and the much underrated aspects of being online.
Today I am talking to Brian Heligman. Brian has spent the past years working on developing a new way of cheaply manufacturing batteries at scale - a problem of critical importance for the process of electrifying the world - while also allowing for the creation of brand new tech. This process has led him from his Ph.D. program to spinning out a startup trying to implement his approach in the real world.
Next to the wildly exciting future of electrification and its current bottlenecks, we cover everything from incentive problems in science to what makes for serious work in both academia and industry.
Today I’m speaking to Sonia Joseph. Sonia is a computational neuroscientist interested in the nature of intelligence - both in humans and machines.
She currently works at Janelia, a different kind of research institute, that has been dubbed the Bell Labs of Biology.
We cover everything from bottlenecks in the neuroscience space to new research paradigms for AI and the issues posed by tech in the current attention economy.
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