and a spreadsheet

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

(In case you came here looking for the spreadsheet, here it is. However, I recommend you continue reading to help you understand the overall framework.)

I am often surprised that many folks I talk to, even those working at startups, have very little understanding of how to think about the value of their equity. I should credit Chip Huyen for her post about working on a startup. While I do feel in order to make justice to that post I need to write a much broader write-up about working in a startup, the current one is addressing the discussion of…


In case you are not familiar with it, the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) is a federal agency of the Department of Health and Human Services. that is responsible for the control and supervision of food safety, drugs, vaccines, medical devices, and the likes. In recent times the FDA has been thinking about how to regulate medical devices that are driven or based on AI as a result of several recent efforts, they published their Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML)-Based Software as a Medical Device (SaMD) Action Planin January 2021. To understand this action plan, you need to go and…


(This is an adaptation of an internal talk I gave a few days back to our engineers at Curai)

Everything is connected

You have probably heard of the butterfly effect: a distant butterfly flapping its wings can have a hard-to-predict effect on a future event. Everything seems to be connected in the world, and tech companies, let alone startups, are microcosms where that seems to be even more the case.

Startups make a big effort to have people focused and aligned (i.e. on the same boat). A small team means that people need to understand “everything” and be flexible to…


Curai’s mission is to “provide the world’s best healthcare to everyone”. In order to do so, we strive to scale the reach of an individual physician by creating tools that automate large portions of a medical interaction under their supervision. While our end-goal is to provide full end-to-end medical care to everyone, we initially focus on primary care.

Primary care is an essential component of improving healthcare access and outcomes, and its benefits have been shown in many studies. For example, in his 2012 meta study, Leiyu Shi reports that “In both developed and developing countries, primary care has been…


I recently had a candidate I was interviewing to ask about my leadership style. I gave a short answer, but I was left thinking that I would have liked to continue talking about this for a much longer time. My “style”, if there is such a thing, is composed of several approaches and techniques that I have added through the years. Some of them come from direct experience and trial and error, but others come from reading books. I missed not having had the time to go into more details about some of my favorite leadership “tricks”. …


Few would disagree that there are big inefficiencies and deficiencies in healthcare systems across the world, many of which were known before this pandemic. Those include lack of accessibility to healthcare services, physician shortage and burnout, and medical errors. Covid-19 has not only exposed, but also augmented all these shortcomings, putting the whole medical system through an unprecedented stress. Because of this extraordinary situation, many are now looking to telemedicine services and the magic bullet that they promise. Traditional telemedicine, however, where a patient is connected to a physician over video chat, is mostly a different medium for the same…


It has become somewhat of a tradition for me to do an end-of-year retrospective of advances in AI/ML (see last year’s round up for example), so here we go again! This year started with a big recognition to the impact of Deep Learning when Hinton, Bengio, and Lecun were awarded the Turing award. You might think that after a few years of neck-breaking speed in innovation, this kind of recognition might be signaling that we are getting near some sort of plateau. Well, think again. That is nowhere in sight yet. It is true that hot areas have clearly shifted…


This summer, we had a great class of interns at Curai. We accept interns on all our different teams all year round. As a matter of fact, we currently have a few interns for the fall and winter. This post focuses on the work done by the wonderful engineering interns we had over the summer. We will update this blog with future intern work, and you should look forward to reading publications from other interns in the coming months.

In this post, we include work done by Markie and Andrea, who study at Stanford, Dylan and Mesi from MIT, Kyle…


Nobody would probably argue that it is important for any organization to make the “right” decisions. However, if you ask anyone you know how are decisions made at their company, you will most likely get vague answers at best. Maybe something like “we empower everyone to make good decisions” or “we have a distributed decision-making process”. Ask them, “What does that actually mean? Who makes a decision? When and how?” and you are likely to get a silent stare for an answer.

Of course, strong well-oiled cultures like Netflix go a step beyond and describe a few more details of…


There is a long history of debate about how much of human knowledge is innate and how much is learned from experience/data. This is also known as the nature vs. nurture debate (See for example some of Gary Markus’ recent papers for more details on this). Traditional Bayesian methods explicitly model these two components with a prior component that can be derived from existing knowledge and a likelihood that is learned from the data.

The recent rapid advances in deep learning continue to demonstrate the significance of end-to-end training with no apriori knowledge (such as domain-aware feature engineering) in many…

Xavier Amatriain

Cofounder/CTO at Curai (AI for healthcare). Former Quora VP, Netflix Director. Software, Machine Learning, Data, Recsys... From Barcelona, in the Valley

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