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An exploration into new digital products and experiences — and conversations with the people making them great.


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The next great thing podcast



Marissa Mayer on the AI revolution and why she wants to clean up your contacts


Marissa Mayer is one of the most successful and influential women in tech. As employee #20 at Google, she played a lead role in building the iconic products we use every day, like Google Search, Gmail, AdWords, and Google Maps. As President and CEO at Yahoo, she learned important lessons on leadership, growth, and engagement. Now, she's in a role she’s never had before: founder. As the Co-Founder and CEO of Sunshine, Marissa is focused on cleaning up our contacts and making us happier by improving our relationships -- with a little help from artificial intelligence. Marissa joins us to share how she’s seen AI evolve from her days as a Stanford student researching AI to now -- and why we might be on the eve of another technological revolution. She reflects on her experience in scaling and risk-taking at Google and always putting the user first. And, she discusses her long-term vision for Sunshine, why we should take a cautious view on AI regulation, and why search still has a long way to go.


  • Reasons why Marissa considers herself an AI optimist (and her response to AI pessimists)
  • The value of following human-centered principles when experimenting with AI 
  • Why, with AI innovation advancing so quickly and unpredictably, regulating it requires a collaborative partnership between industry and government
  • A brief history lesson of the evolution of artificial intelligence -- from John McCarthy’s first coining the term in the mid-1950s, to AI optimism in the late 1960s and early 1970s, to the “winter of AI,” to today’s exciting era of generative AI, where LLMs like ChatGPT are demonstrating AI's newfound ability to be expressive
  • Why “more screen time is a non-goal” at Sunshine, and how its suite of products -- including Sunshine Contacts and Sunshine Birthdays -- works to free up your time, not take more of it 
  • Why contact management and organization is foundational to Sunshine’s long-term growth strategy 
  • Why the tech industry needs to continue to push on including new voices, perspectives, and diversity in order to drive progress, inform new products, and create better outcomes
"What makes you happy isn't money. It isn't things. What makes people happy and what defines their happiness over time is a deep sense of connection with other people, really strong and healthy relationships with others. That's at the heart of what Sunshine is trying to do. We want to build software that makes it easier to build those deep connections, whether it's just keeping in touch with people, whether it's figuring out how to go and do something with them and get together with them, or how to reach out to them in a meaningful way on their birthday or on other days."
Marissa MayerCo-Founder & CEO, Sunshine


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