Gen AI Summit 2023: Open or Closed - A Comprehensive Review

Fellows Fund
June 13, 2023

Fellows Fund hosted the insightful and thought-provoking Gen AI Summit 2023: Open or Closed, on May 25, 2023. Held in partnership with HubSpot and Zoom at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, the event provided a unique platform for in-depth discussions on the trajectory of AI, centering on a critical question: Open AI or Closed AI? Over 300 AI leaders, founders, and investors joined the event, marking a pivotal moment in the field of artificial intelligence.

Check out the video playlist here.

Distinguished Guests and Thought Leaders

The summit served as a gathering for esteemed figures and visionary leaders in the AI field, including notable individuals such as Eric S. Yuan, the founder and CEO of Zoom, and Yamini Rangan, the CEO of HubSpot. Their valuable insights enriched the discussions, providing fresh perspectives on the transformative impact of AI on technology, businesses, and society at large. Attendees were captivated by the compelling keynote speeches delivered by distinguished personalities like Stanford University professor and cofounder at, Percy Liang, Anthropic cofounder Jared Kaplan, and other AI leaders who participated as panel speakers from organizations such as OpenAI, Snorkel, Fiddler, Fireworks, Anthropic, Zoom, ServiceNow, Instacart, Jasper, Spectrum Labs and Google. The event also attracted renowned investors from A16z, Coatue, 8VC, and other prominent firms.

Enlightening Keynote Speeches

The keynote speeches set the stage for the thought-provoking discussions that followed. Percy Liang, a leading AI researcher and professor at Stanford University, emphasized the significance of benchmarking in assessing the performance of AI models. He introduced HELM (Holistic Evaluation of Language Models), an ambitious project aimed at standardizing benchmarking of language models. HELM represents a significant advancement in the AI field, providing researchers with a uniform, reliable way to measure and compare the capabilities of language models.



Meanwhile, Jared Kaplan, co-founder of Anthropic, delved into the crucial trends driving AI progress. He underscored the paramount importance of safety and reliability in AI systems. Introducing Anthropic's new AI assistant, Claude, Kaplan shared his vision of AI's future, where intelligent systems would work seamlessly alongside humans, offering assistance, reducing errors, and improving overall productivity.



Candid Fireside Chat

The fireside chat between Yamini Rangan and Eric S. Yuan, moderated by Alex Ren, founding partner at Fellows Fund, highlighted the transformative power of AI. The two industry titans candidly shared their personal experiences as immigrants and entrepreneurs, providing a unique perspective on the AI revolution.

Yamini spoke about how HubSpot leverages AI to improve customer experiences, underlining the potential of AI to drive customer-centric strategies. On the other hand, Eric shared his vision of Zoom's future, stressing the importance of adopting AI to improve the platform's efficiency and reliability. Together, they painted a vivid picture of a future where AI integrates seamlessly into our work and lives, driving innovation and improving overall productivity.



Panel Discussions: Diving Deeper

Four panel discussions were organized to delve deeper into various aspects of the AI landscape. Each panel brought together industry leaders and academics, fostering rich conversations that highlighted key challenges and opportunities in the field. The variety of viewpoints offered invaluable insights into the complexities and potential solutions in the ever-evolving AI landscape.

Panel 1: Navigating the AI Landscape: Open or Closed

The first panel discussion tackled the contentious question: Should we lean towards open-source or closed-source AI ecosystems? Featuring representatives from Zoom, OpenAI, Stanford, Anthropic and Fellows Fund, the discussion offered insights into the implications of choosing between open and closed approaches for AI.

Speakers underscored the importance of balancing the benefits of open-source systems, such as transparency and widespread collaboration, with the privacy and competitive advantages often associated with closed-source systems. The conversation made it evident that the answer is not a simple binary choice but rather a nuanced balance that respects the societal values of transparency, inclusivity, and security.



Panel 2: Dissecting the Modern AI Stack

The second panel took a deep dive into the burgeoning world of MLOps and FMOps. Key leaders from Zoom, Fireworks, Google, ServiceNow, and Instacart participated in this enlightening discussion. Panelists spoke about the practical challenges of deploying machine learning models in production and the shift towards using foundational models, which can be customized for specific tasks.

The consensus was that MLOps and FMOps would likely coexist for some time, but with the maturing of AI, a shift towards foundational models replacing specialized models is on the horizon. This trend could dramatically alter the landscape of AI development, opening up new opportunities for innovation and efficiency.



Panel 3: Opportunities for Hyper Growth in Gen AI

The third panel discussion focused on the challenges and opportunities in hyper-scaling within the AI field. Hyper-scaling, or the rapid scaling of business operations fueled by technological innovation, is a defining characteristic of many successful AI startups. This panel featured leaders from Snorkel AI, Spectrum Labs, Fiddler AI, Jasper and Coatue, who have successfully navigated this complex journey, sharing their insights and experiences.

Key takeaways included the need for a careful balance between innovation and pragmatism, the crucial role of maintaining focus on the customer's real problems, and the importance of maintaining team morale during periods of rapid growth. This discussion emphasized the importance of human elements, such as empathy and team cohesion, even in a field dominated by cutting-edge technology.



Panel 4: Investing in AI: Balancing Hype and Real-World Impact

The final panel discussion turned to the financial aspects of the AI landscape. Experts from Emergence Capital, 8VC, Andreessen Horowitz, and Fellows Fund shared their views on AI investment strategies. They stressed that successful AI startups often excel in understanding the job to be done, building broader workflow elements for defensible applications, and taking into account factors like compliance and data privacy in driving AI adoption.

The panelists agreed that while there is considerable excitement around AI, there is also a need for strategic and thoughtful investment. They emphasized that successful AI startups not only innovate in terms of technology but also demonstrate a deep understanding of market dynamics, regulatory landscapes, and user needs. The discussion provided budding AI entrepreneurs with a roadmap for success, highlighting the importance of coupling technical innovation with strategic business acumen.



AI Startup Lightning Round

One of the most exciting segments of the summit was the AI startup showcase, which featured 11 promising startups from the portfolios of Fellows Fund, Lightspeed, and YCombinator. This segment gave attendees a glimpse into the future of AI, showcasing how innovative startups are leveraging AI to transform industries ranging from healthcare to entertainment.

Each startup had the opportunity to present the problem they are solving, their solution, the business model, share their achievements, and discuss their vision for the future. The diversity of applications and the transformative potential of the showcased technologies underscored the boundless possibilities of AI. This segment left the audience inspired and eager to explore the myriad ways AI could reshape our world.

The following AI startups were featured in this session: CodeComplete, Kyber, Space and Time, Truewind,, TaraAI, Juji, Cuein, ChainML, and Osmos.

AI Solutions for Enterprise SaaS


In a fireside chat, Zoom's Chief Product Officer, Smita Hashim, discussed the strategic positioning of Zoom in the AI landscape. She emphasized Zoom's focus on empowering users, improving productivity, and leveraging AI for transformative collaboration experiences. Smita highlighted the importance of transparency, data privacy, and user education, and expressed excitement about the evolving applications of AI. She also mentioned Zoom's goal of leveraging AI to improve meeting efficiency and information absorption for knowledge workers. Overall, the conversation showcased Zoom's commitment to customer-centric AI solutions and addressing customer concerns.




Rong Yan, VP of Engineering at HubSpot, discussed AI solutions for enterprise SaaS, emphasizing HubSpot's mission to empower customers with a leading CRM platform. He highlighted the paradigm shifts brought by the internet and social media, and the challenges faced by SMBs with disconnected solutions and data. Rong Yan presented use cases of AI solutions in lead scoring, anomaly detection, AI-powered content generation, and chatbot integration. He emphasized the importance of managing customer expectations and focusing on actionable insights and actions. Rong Yan concluded by emphasizing the need to prioritize solving customer problems with AI and leveraging proprietary data for a competitive advantage.



Wrapping Up

The Gen AI Summit 2023 served as a melting pot of ideas, dialogues, and revelations about AI's present and future. It reaffirmed that the AI revolution is well underway, with breakthroughs being made in all sectors. With the constant advancements in AI and the insightful conversations fostered at events like the Gen AI Summit, one thing is clear: the journey of AI is only getting more exciting. As we anticipate the next edition, we remain committed to our mission of pushing the boundaries of AI, fostering open conversations, and nurturing the next generation of AI innovators.

Call to Action

AI enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, and founders are encouraged to get involved in future discussions by reaching out to Fellows Fund at Whether you want to attend our conversations or engage in AI startups and investments, don't hesitate to connect with us. We look forward to hearing from you and exploring the exciting world of AI together.

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