Dream A Little Dream Of Me
A news-making two-hour conversation on AI features an old friend
Sweet dreams 'til sunbeams find you
Sweet dreams that leave all worries behind you
But in your dreams, whatever they be
Dream a little dream of me
Dream A Little Dream Of Me has been recorded over 400 times: first in 1931 by Ozzie Nelson, and later by Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Doris Day, Eddie Vedder, Dean Martin, and most notably, by the Mamas and the Papas.
Dreams, and going in and out of a dream-like state, turns out to be an important topic in a new video I would describe as required viewing for anybody interested in AI.
When I was learning as much as I could about Amazon’s Alexa ecosystem several years ago, one of the first people I met was Brian Roemmele. Part scientist, part entrepreneur, part philosopher, Brian was way ahead of the curve on voice AI at the time, and possessed a clear vision for AI that was prescient. I have referred to him as “Silicon Valley’s modern Thomas Edison,” a nickname that has been repeated over the years and captures his adventurous spirit and thoughtful perspective.
He was always generous with his time and his thoughts, which led to being a repeat guest on multiple of my early podcasts, including this one back in 2017. Brian Roemmele also keynoted the Project Voice annual conversational AI conference, then known as The Alexa Conference before becoming our namesake and expanding significantly in purview, back in 2019. It was then that he gave a spellbinding and visionary keynote that people still talk to me about today. He and I have gotten to know each other well over the years and I count him as a friend.
Jordan Peterson is a clinical psychologist out of Canada who has risen to soaring heights of both popularity and controversy for reasons you can go look up on your own, but is someone best summarized as a left-wing academic that other left-wing academics like to call a right-wing non-academic. The question, of course, is whether this is a slur or actually a high compliment.
Any discussion of politics is muted, as far as this conversation is concerned, and what takes center stage is an exploration of AI that is simultaneously philosophical and cutting-edge.
In this video, which appears on Jordan Peterson’s own YouTube channel but was filmed by Nashville-based conservative media outlet The Daily Wire, Dr. Peterson invites Brian Roemmele to sit for a two-hour discussion on AI that seems more like twenty minutes. (The show currently sits at half a million views, with Peterson’s YouTube having nearly 7 million subscribers.)
We need local, private AI to combat against the threat of global, public AI. Roemmele argues in-depth for software and hardware-based approaches to allow human beings to utilize AI locally and privately, where they are in complete control over their data and their stories. This comes up throughout the two-hour interview as a recurring theme and stands in stark contrast to some of the more popular ideas discussed in the mainstream media on the topic of AI ethics.
We may very well be completely misinterpreting what is happening with so-called “hallucinations.” This topic covered significant ground over the course of the conversation, spanning discussion about hypnagogic states (the realm between being awake and dreaming) and thought-provoking interpretations of the underlying data powering tools like ChatGPT. If large language models have formed massive inter-connections to the point where they simulate a human brain, even to a modest degree, these hallucinations - these attempts by AI to reach for information that it does not possess, and then provokes a creative reaction to fill the void - demand further study with a very different set of eyes.
The discussion around privacy and security within AI intersects profoundly with the discussion around privacy and security in cryptocurrency in a way that surprised me when I was listening to these folks discuss it. Brian has been heavily involved in cryptocurrency for well over a decade, long before it was ever on any sort of mainstream radar, and he touches on some surprising points of intersection between the two realms that would merit a return visit to the topic at a later time.
I sat down with the intention of watching part of this show earlier this afternoon, and never stopped it as it played for two straight hours to completion.
If there’s a list of required viewing for those interested in AI or working in the field currently, this would be on it. Enjoy.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Brian Roemmele will be appearing tonight, Sunday May 21, discussing AI on the popular Coast to Coast radio broadcast.
We just completed an update to the Project Voice website, which now includes quite a bit of new information along with the ability to purchase event and marketing sponsorships from us without having to schedule meetings with me to discuss it first. This automation is important with some additional changes we’re making that will be announced soon.