Cristóbal Valenzuela — Machine Learning for Creators
Simplify your life. Do less, better.


Technologist and artist Cristóbal Valenzuela on powering your creative work with artificial intelligence, putting machine learning in the hands of creators, and his take on simple living and creativity.

Cristóbal Valenzuela is a technologist, artist and software developer interested in the intersection between artificial intelligence and creative tools. He is co-founder of Runway and researcher at New York University ITP.

Previously, he co-founded Latent Studio, a creative studio specializing in machine learning and artificial intelligence. He also contributes to OSS and helps maintain ml5.js. His work has been sponsored by Google and the Processing Foundation and his projects has been exhibited in Latin America and the US, including NeurIPS, Santiago Museum of Contemporary Art, ARS Electronica, GAM, ACADIA, Fundación Telefonica, Lollapalooza, NYC Media Lab, New Latin Wave, DOCLAB, Inter-American Development Bank, Stanford University and New York University.


Connect with Cristóbal on his website, Twitter (@c_valenzuelab), or GitHub (@cvalenzuela).


Favorite quotes

  • "For me, simplicity is anything that allows you to concentrate your energy on meaningful tasks so you don't spend time around things that are not necessary."
  • "Simple is hard to get and understand. There's no simplicity law."
  • "Being surrounded by people that are not in your field [and things] not related to what you do often, not common to your day to day [makes me more creative]."
  • "The main idea of Runway is to enable creative people to use and benefit from artificial intelligence in a way that's common to a language they understand."
  • "Anyone can do anything [with the right mindset and time]."

Episode links


People mentioned


Episode notes

  • Intro. [0:33]
  • Cristóbal Valenzuela. [2:29]
  • ml5 - Learn about the origins of ml5. [8:18]
  • Naming ml5 - How did the name come to be? [10:44]
  • Experiments. [11:50]
  • Open source. [13:07]
  • Runway. [14:17]
  • Exposing it to people - What would happen if I expose the scripts I use to automate my process to more people? [14:57]
  • Runway's roadmap. [16:43]
  • Projects. [18:28]
  • Machine learning. [20:44]
  • Visual artists. [22:19]
  • Other companies. [23:47]
  • Cristobal Valenzuela. [24:43]
  • Day-to-day. [24:58]
  • Commute. [25:44]
  • Exercise. [26:24]
  • Meditative moments. [26:54]
  • Simple living. [27:14]
  • Complexity. [27:41]
  • Hobbies. [28:20]
  • Book recommendations. [28:40]
  • Artificial intelligence on simplicity. [29:50]
  • Your contribution to artificial intelligence. [30:33]
  • Ideal work. [31:26]
  • Starting a startup. [31:57]
  • Focus, flow, and music. [34:33]
  • Distractions. [36:00]
  • Work-in-progress. [36:41]
  • Creativity. [37:13]
  • Serendipity? [38:32]
  • @c_valenzuelab [39:36]
  • Ideas. [39:52]
  • Deliberate practice. [40:35]
  • Digital tools. [41:11]
  • The sandbox folder. [42:23]
  • Favorite user interface. [43:10]
  • Simplicity. [44:31]
  • Intuitive. [45:02]
  • Healthy tech. [45:33]
  • Addictive tech - What decisions (and where should they be made) to make technology healthier? [47:10]
  • Measuring "success" [48:42]
  • Disconnect. [49:07]
  • Boredom. [50:25]
  • Email. [51:48]
  • Away from the screen. [52:29]
  • Money. [53:11]
  • A positive purchase. [54:07]
  • Clothing. [54:52]
  • Physical clutter. [55:30]
  • Traveling light. [56:10]
  • Personal success. [56:48]
  • A message to yourself. [57:31]
  • A sentence to the world. [59:01]
  • Worries. [59:44]
  • Impostor syndrome. [1:01:49]
  • Habit-changing software. [1:02:26]
  • Environment. [1:03:28]
  • Connect with Cris. [1:03:59]
  • New York vs Chile. [1:05:09]

Thanks for listening!


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Theme song Sleep by Steve Combs, under Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 US.

July 18, 2019

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