In conversation with Sheryl Sandberg, plus open-source AI gene editing explained

In conversation with Sheryl Sandberg, plus open-source AI gene editing explained

Welcoming Sheryl Sandberg and remembering Dave Goldberg (00:00:00)

  • Sheryl Sandberg, a prominent business executive, joins the podcast as a guest.
  • Sandberg played a pivotal role in the growth of Google and Facebook, contributing to their substantial revenue increase.
  • Sandberg co-produced the documentary "Screams Before Silence," which highlights the violence committed by Hamas and addresses its denial in the media.
  • The podcast aims to foster open and respectful discussions about complex conflicts, acknowledging diverse perspectives without claiming expertise or final authority.
  • Sandberg and Jason Calacanis remember their late friend Dave Goldberg, a husband, father, and source of wisdom, on the ninth anniversary of his passing.
  • Sandberg reveals Goldberg's humorous tweets under the fake Twitter handle "fake jth," which gained popularity for its witty remarks.
  • The podcast welcomes Sandberg as the fifth bestie, ensuring no topics are off-limits and aiming for conversations like friends in a living room.
  • Discussions will cover the documentary, debates surrounding the October 7th attack, the ongoing situation in Gaza, and business insights from Sandberg.

What led Sheryl to get involved with "Screams Before Silence," reaction to sexual violence on and after 10/7 (00:11:10)

  • Sheryl Sandberg expresses surprise and disappointment at the denial of anti-Semitism and sexual violence by groups she previously supported, particularly the denial of reports and testimonies of sexual violence during the conflict in Israel and Palestine.
  • Despite progress in recognizing sexual violence as a war crime and a crime against humanity, instances of sexual violence still occur in conflicts worldwide, including in Gaza, Ukraine, Sudan, and Ethiopia.
  • Some feminist groups have aligned themselves with Hamas, which contradicts their core ideology of opposing sexual violence, while others privately acknowledge its occurrence but refrain from speaking out due to fear of backlash.
  • The UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence, Pramila Patton, has documented extreme violence and sexual violence in Israel, but critics question the validity of the UN report.
  • The filmmakers of the documentary "Sorry Screams Before Silence" argue that the victims of sexual violence are often dead, hence the title, and Amet Sana, a released hostage, is the only living witness speaking out about a specific incident of sexual violence and killings.
  • The systematic nature of the sexual violence meets the definition of a war crime and a crime against humanity, emphasizing the importance of documentation and evidence, such as rape kits, in proving crimes against humanity and reinforcing basic rights.
  • Ramy, a private citizen, rescued hundreds of people during a conflict and covered the bodies of approximately 30 women who had been raped and sexually brutalized to protect their dignity and prevent further trauma.
  • Eyewitness testimony from first responders can serve as evidence in international courts to prove crimes.

Paths forward, documentary decisions, involvement of women in protests (00:28:18)

  • Sexual violence during conflicts, such as in Gaza, is undeniable and should not be denied or apologized for.
  • Forgiveness is necessary for peace, but there must be a clear understanding of what is unacceptable, such as sexual violence.
  • Conspiracy theories denying atrocities hinder the path to peace.
  • The documentary chose not to show graphic photos out of respect for victims' families and due to restrictions imposed by first responders.
  • The documentary's interviewee, Shamat, spoke out against denialism despite the risks involved.
  • Polarization and narratives, including anti-Semitism, prevent a clear understanding of the situation in Gaza.
  • Young women are leading movements on campuses, advocating for Palestinian freedom and peace, but denying rapes and engaging in hate speech are unacceptable.
  • Colleges must ensure student safety and protect them from hate, while enforcing rules against hate speech and violence, but still allowing for open dialogue.
  • College students today face different challenges, with some resorting to extreme measures that hinder progress and dialogue, driven by a desire for community and belonging.
  • Thoughtful conversations, listening to different perspectives, and critical thinking are essential, as opposed to cancel culture and refusing to listen to opposing views.
  • Universities should foster thoughtful discussions and encourage meaningful dialogue among students.
  • Sheryl Sandberg emphasized empathy for suffering, particularly children, and highlighted women's unique experiences in understanding the value of family and suffering.
  • Outside agitators who incite violence and threaten students on campuses are unacceptable and should be expelled.
  • Male leaders speaking out against sexual assault is crucial, as their voices are needed alongside women's voices to drive change.

Post-interview debrief (00:53:03)

  • Chamath Palihapitiya emphasizes the crucial role of accurate and objective documentation of historical events to combat misinformation and disinformation.
  • He advocates for moving certain aspects of debates from conjecture to facts to facilitate meaningful discussions and perspective shifts.
  • Palihapitiya highlights the challenges of finding the truth in the current media landscape, marked by institutional credibility issues, conspiracy theories, and fake news.
  • He stresses the significance of documenting events and establishing common facts to enable objective analysis and understanding.
  • Deeply affected by the discussion, Palihapitiya underscores the importance of fundamental moral principles, such as protecting vulnerable groups and preventing sexual violence.
  • He expresses a desire to avoid choosing between horrific events and believes that all suffering should end.
  • Palihapitiya suggests the necessity of collective action to address these issues and work towards conflict resolution.

Science Corner: Open-source AI gene editing with OpenCRISPR-1 (00:59:45)

  • CRISPR-Cas proteins are used for targeted DNA editing in various organisms, enabling applications such as correcting genetic diseases, reprogramming T cells for cancer treatment, and improving plant yield and disease resistance.
  • The Broad Institute holds the original foundational patents for CRISPR-Cas9, leading to royalties and fees for its use in medical and agricultural applications.
  • Ongoing research has resulted in the discovery of improved Cas proteins with enhanced efficiency and reduced off-target effects.
  • Profluent Bio, a Berkeley-based startup, developed an open-source AI gene editor called Profluent Bio, which utilizes a protein language model to create novel Cas proteins not found in nature.
  • OpenCRISPR-1, an open-source AI gene editing tool, was created by simulating new Cas proteins using 26 trillion letters of assembled genomes.
  • OpenCRISPR-1 is publicly available without patent or IP restrictions, allowing anyone to use it freely.
  • The AI model identified a new Cas protein that significantly outperforms existing Cas proteins and is 400 mutations away from anything found in nature.
  • Open-source AI gene editing tools, like Profluent's, aim to remove patent barriers and accelerate advancements in gene editing.
  • The efficacy of the large language model (LLM) trained on 26 trillion base pairs of publicly available genome data has shown promising results, outperforming CRISPR-Cas9 in lab tests.
  • The open-sourcing of the best output from the LLM promotes collaboration and innovation within the startup community, similar to the impact of open-source software like Linux and HTML5.
  • The availability of open-source gene editing tools democratizes access to powerful technologies, enabling researchers and startups to contribute to advancements without patent restrictions.

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