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Sequoia partner: ChatGPT is "like a smart overconfident intern"

It’s no surprise that AI startups are catching the eyes of top VC firms, but just how popular are they? For industry giant Sequoia Capital, it’s been a big thing for decades.

Konstantine Buhler, a former AI engineer himself, spoke at the 2023 Sifted Summit, professing the fund’s passion for AI. “Sequoia first invested in AI with NVIDIA back in 1993”, he says; NVIDIA are now a 1.1 trillion dollar industry leader. 

Some have called it the biggest thing since crypto, others the biggest since the phone. Buhler has gone back even further, saying “it reminds me the most of the PC revolution,” in the way its tools are “an accelerant of everything you do.” His key analogy for it is that “AI is going to be the automobile of the mind.”

Why go so far back? Buhler says this is one of the rare few technological developments where “the incumbents are onto this major track.” Something like the internet revolution, he says, was “incredibly inconvenient for the incumbents,” but AI might widen the gaps between the established and "the little guys" even further.

He asks his companies, “how do we get clever and creative?” A solution that seems ineffective at present is trying to get ChatGPT involved. He says consumers “interacted with ChatGPT as a bit of a novelty” at its height, and to this day he iterates with it now “like a smart overconfident intern as opposed to a peer.”

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AUTHORAlex McMurray Editor

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