Podcast 36: TADSummit Innovators, Rob Pickering

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Rob Pickering is a Internet and Real Time Communication Software Expert, Innovator, Advisor, Investor. For me, he’s a touchstone on when a technology has moved beyond hype into having meaningful deployable applications. What Rob has to say around chatbots matters to me more than most of the vendors and analysts.

Rob reviewed his history across the internet and real time communications, his experiences of early Asterisk with IPCortex, where I got to know him. Rob took part in the first TADHack in 2014, here he is winning the Google Prize.

Rob showed 2 back to back ChatGPT agents discussing buying and selling donuts at TADSummit 2023. “LLMs on the telephone: useful tool, or hallucinating danger to humanity? Slides can be downloaded here. And here is Rob’s TADSummit presentation. This showed the potential, but also the shortcomings.

This lead to Rob’s current focus. He frankly shared the problems we’re seeing in most LLM implementation where prompt injection enables the training data to be exposed, which is often unredacted.

An analogy Rob used is in the human mind there is fast and slow thinking. LLMs do the fast part well, understanding intent. But can not be trusted with the slow part, the logic of implementing the intent. He referred to this as Gatekeeper Logic in his TADSummit presentation.

At FOSDEM Rob presented how he’s taking this forward, using Jambonz, and open sourcing some parts to accelerate the art of using LLMs in communications. There is a commercial side to this, and we’re looking forward to when Rob can share the details.

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