London Futurists

Investing in AI, with John Cassidy

August 02, 2023 London Futurists Season 1 Episode 50
London Futurists
Investing in AI, with John Cassidy
Show Notes

Our topic in this episode is investing in AI, so we're delighted to have as our guest John Cassidy, a Partner at Kindred Capital, a UK-based venture capital firm. Before he became an investment professional, John co-founded, a precision oncology company which exited to Dante Labs in 2019.

We discuss how the investment landscape is being transformed by the possibilities enabled by generative AI .

Selected follow-ups:

Topics addressed in this episode include:
*) The argument for investing not just in "platforms" but also in "picks and shovels" - items within the orchestration or infrastructure layers of new solutions
*) Examples of recent investments by Kindred Capital
*) Comparisons between the surge of excitement around generative AI and previous surges of excitement around crypto and dot-com
*) Companies such as Amazon, Google, and Microsoft kept delivering value despite the crash of the dot-com bubble; will something similar apply with generative AI?
*) The example of how Nvidia captures significant value in the chip manufacturing industry
*) However, looking further back in history, many people who invested in the infrastructure of railways and canals lost lots of money
*) Reasons why generative AI might produce large amounts of real value more quickly than previous technologies
*) The example of Cradle Bio as enablers of protein engineering - and what might happen if Google upgrade their protein folding prediction software from AlphaFold 2 to AlphaFold 3
*) Despite the changes in technological possibilities, what most interests VCs is the calibre of a company's founding team
*) The search for individuals who have "creative destruction in their being" - people with a particular kind of irrational self-belief
*) The contrast between crystallized intelligence and fluid intelligence - and why both are needed
*) Advantages and disadvantages for investors being located in the UK vs. being located in the US
*) Why doesn't Europe have tech giants?
*) Complications with government regulation of tech industries
*) The example of Scarlet as a company helping to streamline the regulation of medical software that is frequently updated
*) Why government regulators need to engage with people in industry who are already immersed in considering safety and efficacy of products
*) Wherever they are located, companies need to plan ahead for their products reaching new jurisdictions
*) Ways in which AI is likely to impact industries in new ways in the near future
*) The particular need to improve the efficiency of the later stages of clinical trials of new medical treatments

Audio engineering by Alexander Chace.

Music: Spike Protein, by Koi Discovery, available under CC0 1.0 Public Domain Declaration