AI Business Podcast 23: Where's Spot?

Discussing the latest robot from Boston Dynamics, and the latest AI project funded by Eric Schmidt

Max Smolaks

April 7, 2021


Hello and welcome to yet another episode of the AI Business podcast! This week, we look at Boston Dynamics as it faces the dreary task of commercializing its incredible robot tech, and the amazing career of Eric Emerson Schmidt – who has just donated $150 million to fund a center dedicated to AI for biological research.

AI Business · AI Podcast 23: About Schmidt

And if you ever wanted to look at our beautiful, bearded faces while listening to the podcast, you're in luck! Starting with Episode 24, we will be releasing our episodes on video. It's an experiment, let's see if it catches on.

We begin with the latest from Boston Dynamics: having recently charged ownership, the robotics wunderkinder have launched what could be considered their first true commercial product – Stretch the warehouse robot.

What about Spot the robot dog, I hear you say? While its served as a brilliant demo of the company’s capabilities, sales of robot dogs – still mostly seen as a novelty - are unlikely to offset whatever Hyundai paid for an 80 percent stake in a venture valued at $1.1 billion.

Hence, the need for a product that can be sold at scale. And what better place to start than the exploding warehouse automation market?

Next we talk about a brand new research center that will study the intersection of machine learning and biology. Set up by the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, the Eric and Wendy Schmidt Center was funded with a $150m endowment from its namesakes, as well as a matching $150m from The Broad Foundation.

Who is Eric Schmidt? How did he make his money, and what is he doing at the moment? All these questions (and many more) are answered by our dedicated billionaire-watcher Sebastian Moss.

We also cover: Vaccine envy! ODEX 1! Anderson Cooper!

As always, you can find the people responsible for the circus podcast online:

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