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Daniel Gross: Diverse Artificial Intelligence
Courtesy of Y Combinator13/25

Daniel Gross: Diverse Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is often associated with dystopian scenarios – from job loss to robotic overlords – but for Daniel Gross, who guides AI startups at Y Combinator, one of the most frightening is a handful of conglomerates controlling a world of thinking computers. At 22, Gross led a machine-learning group at Apple and saw how tech giants dominated the field. "That is bad for the world," he says. The imbalance of power could lead to groupthink, data control and extreme social inequality. "I'm personally on this holy mission to ensure there are many startups that are competing, not just five monolithic companies," he says. Earlier this year, he co-founded AI Grant, a nonprofit for experimental projects – fellows are working on everything from file compression to brain scans. "The weirder or more novel," says Gross, "the more excited we are." He believes that once-tedious or dangerous work, like job-applicant screening and crop harvesting, will be entirely performed by machines. But it's going to take a diverse group of developers. "Every generation needs its existential worry," Gross says. "We can't have just one Borg company doing everything from search results to trucking." BPE

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