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AI ethics/safety, applying AI to address societal challenges & becoming a board member

with Lake Dai

February 27, 2024
AI ethics/safety, applying AI to address societal challenges & becoming a board member
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Lake Dai is Founder and Managing Partner of Sancus Ventures, a VC firm focused on pre-seed to seed stage companies, investing in the next generation of software infrastructure for applications, such as distributed computing, AI model management, platform scalability, data privacy & safety, cybersecurity and more.

Lake has been an Adjunct Professor of Applied AI at Carnegie Mellon University since 2016. She was a keynote speaker on AI ethics, data privacy, real-world applications, and AI education topics at the UN, UK Parliament, California State, and leading tech conferences such as the MIT conference and VentureBeat.

"Students ask, 'Why do I have to study AI ethics? Why can't I just jump into how do I build this model?' If you imagine AI as a very powerful tool, there is no difference between teaching building AI tools from teaching people how to use a weapon. If you ever take any weapon training classes, the first thing people teach you is safety, which is really understanding how the weapon works and how much impact both on the positive and negative side to people surround you. That part is missing for a lot of AI technical training these days.”

<cite>- Lake Dai    </cite>

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  • Why VC fundraising is set to thrive in 2024 & beyond (2:14)
  • Eng leaders should focus on AI ethics (6:09)
  • The importance of starting with a safety check before implementing technology (8:14)
  • Lake’s recommendations for eng leaders to guide current & future AI dev (9:46)
  • Third-party involvement with internal building processes (12:22)
  • Strategies for helping engineers address AI dev in a mid or late-stage roadmap (14:06)
  • The concept of co-parenting AI & its implication for eng leaders (15:40)
  • Benevolent AI & feeding AI compassion information / data (18:50)
  • How to harness AI to address societal challenges & create positive outcomes (22:42)
  • Examples of AI addressing climate change & education-related issues (24:44)
  • Three reasons why Lake is passionate about serving on boards (28:33)
  • The positive impact of serving as a board member (31:40)
  • How to gain the right experience & demonstrate value to get on a board (33:21)
  • Why it’s important to let others know you’re looking for a board role (35:17)
  • Rapid fire questions (40:51)


  • Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity - Wouldn’t you like to live longer? And better? In this operating manual for longevity, Dr. Peter Attia draws on the latest science to deliver innovative nutritional interventions, techniques for optimizing exercise and sleep, and tools for addressing emotional and mental health.
  • The All-In Podcast - Chamath Palihapitiya, Jason Calacanis, David Sacks, and David Friedberg cover all things economic, tech, political, social, and poker.

This episode wouldn’t have been possible without the help of our incredible production team:

Patrick Gallagher - Producer & Co-Host

Jerry Li - Co-Host

Noah Olberding - Associate Producer, Audio & Video Editor https://www.linkedin.com/in/noah-olberding/

Dan Overheim - Audio Engineer, Dan’s also an avid 3D printer - https://www.bnd3d.com/

Ellie Coggins Angus - Copywriter, Check out her other work at https://elliecoggins.com/about/

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