The Gradient
The Gradient: Perspectives on AI
2023 in AI, with Nathan Benaich

2023 in AI, with Nathan Benaich

A roundup of what happened in AI this year

In episode 104 of The Gradient Podcast, Daniel Bashir speaks to Nathan Benaich.

Nathan is Founder and General Partner at Air Street Capital, a VC firm focused on investing in AI-first technology and life sciences companies. Nathan runs a number of communities focused on AI including the Research and Applied AI Summit and leads to improve the creation of university spinouts. Nathan co-authors the State of AI Report.

Have suggestions for future podcast guests (or other feedback)? Let us know here or reach us at

Subscribe to The Gradient Podcast:  Apple Podcasts  | Spotify | Pocket Casts | RSS
Follow The Gradient on Twitter


  • (00:00) Intro

  • (02:00) Updates in Nathan World — Air Street’s second fund, spinouts,

    • (07:30) Events: Research and Applied AI Summit, State of AI Report launches

  • (09:50) The State of AI: main messages, the increasing role of subject matter experts

    • Research

      • (14:13) Open and closed-source

      • (17:55) Benchmarking and evaluation, small/large models and industry verticals

      • (21:10) “Vibes” in LLM evaluation

      • (24:00) Codegen models, personalized AI, curriculum learning

      • (26:20) The exhaustion of human-generated data, lukewarm content, synthetic data

      • (29:50) Opportunities for AI applications in the natural sciences

      • (35:15) Reinforcement Learning from Human Feedback and alternatives

    • (38:30) Industry

      • (39:00) ChatGPT and productivity

      • (42:37) General app wars, ChatGPT competitors

      • (45:50) Compute—demand, supply, competition

      • (50:55) Export controls and geopolitics

      • (54:45) Startup funding and compute spend

    • (59:15) Politics

      • (59:40) Calls for regulation, regulatory divergence

    • (1:04:40) AI safety

      • (1:07:30) Nathan’s perspective on regulatory approaches

      • (1:12:30) The UK’s early access to frontier models, standards setting, regulation difficulties

      • (1:17:20) Jailbreaking, constitutional AI, robustness

    • (1:20:50) Predictions!

      • (1:25:00) Generative AI misuse in elections and politics (and, this prediction coming true in Bangladesh)

      • (1:26:50) Progress on AI governance

    • (1:30:30) European dynamism

    • (1:35:08) Outro


The Gradient
The Gradient: Perspectives on AI
Deeply researched, technical interviews with experts thinking about AI and technology. Hosted, recorded, researched, and produced by Daniel Bashir.