AI + a16z

Open Models (w/ Arthur Mensch) and Video Models (w/ Stefano Ermon)

Anjney Midha, Arthur Mensch, and Stefano Ermon

Posted May 24, 2024

For this episode, we’ve stitched together two archived episodes from the a16z Podcast, both featuring General Partner Anjney Midha. In the first half, from December, he speaks with Mistral cofounder and CEO Arthur Mensch about the importance of open foundation models, as well as Mistral’s approach to building them. In the second half (at 34:40), from February, he speaks with Stanford’s Stefano Ermon about the state of the art in video models, including how OpenAI’s Sora might work under the hood.

Both discussions cover a lot of ground across multiple topics relating to generative AI, but here’s the gist of Arthur’s argument for why regulating models themselves might be a bad idea:

“I think the battle is for the neutrality of the technology. A technology, by a sense, is something neutral. You can use it for bad purposes. You can use it for good purposes.

“If you look at what an LLM does, it’s not really different from a programming language. It’s actually used very much as a programming language by the application makers. And so there’s a strong confusion made between what we call a ‘model’ and what we call an ‘application’ . . .

“There’s no point in regulating something that is neutral in itself, that is just a mathematical tool.”

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Artificial intelligence is changing everything from art to enterprise IT, and a16z is watching all of it with a close eye. This podcast features discussions with leading AI engineers, founders, and experts, as well as our general partners, about where the technology and industry are heading.

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