Behind the complexity of robotics and AI, there are groundbreaking stories like that of AI and robotics expert for the Obama administration, Eric Daimler, who joins this episode of Before IT Happened to tell us all about his journey from being an entrepreneurial engineering student who found massive success before hitting his twenties to leading the charge for the U.S. on how to regulate and develop AI and data infrastructure. Are we adapting or adopting? Listen for Eric’s answer and more!
Before any world-changing innovation, there was a moment, an event, a realization that sparked the idea before it happened. This is a podcast about that moment — about that idea. Before IT Happened takes you on a journey with the innovators who imagined — and are still imagining — our future. Join host Donna Loughlin as her guests tell their stories of how they brought their visions to life.
JUMP STRAIGHT INTO:
(01:52) - Growing up in a basement surrounded by computers - “My aspirations were Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mitch Kippor. Those were actually three faces I literally had in my high school locker.”
(08:19) - Eric’s college experience at Carnegie Mellon - “I demonstrated the ability of a personal computer at that time to have a cheap robotic arm do its thing. I wanted to do robotics at an early age”
(11:44) - Dropping a PhD program and moving to London for work at 18 - “As a young kid, I was able to buy my first Porsche, which is some sort of an accomplishment for a boy”.
(17:46) - Studying two PhDs simultaneously while running a company - “If you looked at the flight, whether it was going to Pittsburgh from Silicon Valley, I was probably the only one on that flight doing machine learning problem sets.”
(21:54) - Explaining why AI is the economic engine of the future - “It's often said that every company is a data company. It's not really just the data, it's that what you learn from the data and getting even more precise, it's in the data relationships”
(28:04) - Machine intelligence and robotics at the White House - “I was just motivated really to serve the country. It was a pay cut, a substantial pay cut, but my father and my brother had served in the military”
(33:40) - Eric’s advice on how to apply AI in a safe way - “This is a big deal. It's a national imperative, maybe even saying a Western civilization imperative that everybody is involved.”
Learn more about Eric’s data consolidation company Conexus
Watch Eric’s SALT talk: AI, Robotics & Consciousness
Read Alvin Toffler’s 1984 book “Future Shock”
Before IT Happened is produced by Donna Loughlin and StudioPod Media with additional editing and sound design by Nodalab. The Executive Producer is Katie Sunku Wood and all episodes are written by Jack Buehrer.