The PRQL: How Can Large Language Models Revolutionize Decision-Making? Featuring Amr Awadallah of Vectara

September 25, 2023

In this bonus episode, Eric and Kostas preview their upcoming conversation with Amr Awadallah of Vectara.


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Eric Dodds 00:05
Welcome to The Data Stack Show prequel where we replay a snippet from the show we just recorded. Kostas, are you ready to give people a sneak peek?

Kostas Pardalis 00:14
Let’s do it.

Eric Dodds 00:17
Let’s do it. I’m trying to process this span, or the expanse, maybe have that conversation with Omer from vector era. I mean, what a heavy hitter, right? Like, started a company, sold it to Yahoo did data science stuff at Yahoo. Founded Cloudera went to Google, and then started a company that’s doing stuff, you know, on MLMs. I mean, heavy hitter might be an understatement for you know, someone who has that track record. But what an approachable guy, first of all, right, I mean, just conversational. Very helpful. I think one of the things that was really helpful for me was him breaking down the academic side, sort of the technical academic advancements that have enabled modern AI, as it is sort of manifests in MLMs, right, like one, you know, people like to talk about, they just, you know, it’s like, they scraped the whole internet, right. And like Microsoft, you know, just provided unlimited compute power. He really defined sort of the academic calendar, starting in 2013, of the major breakthroughs and algorithms that enabled what we are experiencing today, which was, that was really helpful. To me, at least I hope for our listeners. But I think the other thing was that, you know, I guess, if I had to describe one of my big takeaways is that Omer really seems like a steward of technology, if that makes sense, right? He’s not blindly forging ahead. And he’s thinking about what is being built. Right. And I think that actually is expressed in what his company vector provides, which is just starting out. It’s it’s an API, right? It’s an endpoint. But I think that’s reflective of his approach to how we wield these technologies. So I don’t know lots to think about, what do you think?

Kostas Pardalis 02:37
Well, I want to emphasize only one thing, I will leave the breasts for, like our audience to go and listen to the episode. But I want to share with everyone that we spent about an hour with someone who came to the United States from Egypt, in 1995, did the PhD in Stanford, started the company got acquired by Yahoo. After that, started cloud era, company that went public, right was the CTO. They’re one of the founders, VP of developer relationships at Google. And today, he’s starting something, again, from zero rights. And the most important thing, which I don’t know, for me, at least, was like probably the most unique and exciting thing of the whole, this whole conversation was like his energy and his excitement. Thinking about like, you have like, a person who has done all these things. And after doing all these things, has this energy and this excitement about starting something new? I don’t know, I find it something very unique, something that you can find with people in technology. And it’s, I have no doubts for that. I would suggest to anyone I like to get these episodes, and they will be surprised with the things that they will learn from.

Eric Dodds 04:14
Yeah, I agree. I agree. Someone who has done all that if they start something new, you probably should pay attention to it. Because they’re not going to make a light bet. All right, well, definitely listen to this one. Really fascinating conversation. We get into the details of alums on a technical level, how do you actually go to market with that, but a great history as well. If you have not subscribed, definitely subscribe. You can get datasets show wherever you get your podcasts, tell a friend and we’ll catch you on the next one.