Today, we have a double episode for you — two conversations from the Cerebral Valley AI Summit last week.
Part 1: My Conversation with Stability AI CEO Emad Mostaque
I didn’t know what to make of Stability AI and its CEO Emad Mostaque heading into my conversation with Mostaque Thursday at Cerebral Valley.
Mostaque’s company has wrapped its arms around the wildly successful open-source artificial intelligence project Stable Diffusion.
Last year, Mostaque’s company, Stability AI, raised about $100 million from investors. Lightspeed led an investment in the company a $1 billion valuation. Coatue led the previous round.
On the other hand, the company has publicly scuffled with fellow Stable Diffusion co-creator Runway. Stability AI got sued by Getty Images. And it’s hard to understand exactly how Stability AI plans to profit off its proximity to Stable Diffusion. Is it just a really hyped AI consulting company?
Mostaque himself is a man of mystery. He’s a former hedge fund investor who has situated himself at the heart of generative AI. He makes big pronouncements. There are whispers that Stability AI is raising another big funding round and is in talks with a big tech company partner.
On stage, Mostaque didn’t dismiss the idea that the company might partner with Apple.
Mostaque also said that he intended to take Stability AI public, insisting that the public markets want to get behind the AI trend. Bloomberg wrote about it.
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Some people afterward told me that they were impressed by Mostaque’s performance and conviction. Mostaque had signed the letter calling for a pause in AI development — a surprising stance for someone who helped launch the generative AI craze. He was among the most electric speakers at Cerebral Valley.
At the same time, some well-connected attendees told me off the record that they don’t believe Mostaque’s pronouncements. He can be short on specifics and big on promises. I found it hard to pin him down on many of the details of his business.
The AI world is watching to see what happens next. Give it a listen.
Part 2: My Conversation with General Catalyst’s Deep Nishar
Starting at 30:33, you can listen to my interview with General Catalyst’s lead growth investor Deep Nishar.
A former executive at Google and LinkedIn and then one of the top investors at the SoftBank Vision Fund, Nishar has had a front seat at the table for many of the developments in the technology industry.
Human health — and how artificial intelligence can shape it — was at the heart of our conversation. It’s easy to get lost in chatbots and image generation tools but the promise of artificial intelligence is far larger.
We also talked about Google’s standing in the AI race and I got his reflections on SoftBank’s AI strategy.
Find the Podcast
We’ll have a bonus episode for you on Thursday so watch out for that. We’re also posting all the on-stage conversations on our YouTube channel over the next few days.
Right now, you can watch: