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Highlights

 

Welcome to another episode of Category Visionaries — the show that explores GTM stories from tech’s most innovative B2B founders. In today’s episode, we’re speaking with Jonathan Dambrot, CEO and founder of Cranium, an AI security and trust platform that has raised $32 million in funding.

Key topics discussed in this episode:

  • Jonathan’s entrepreneurial journey, from building and selling Prevalent, a leader in third-party risk management, to incubating Cranium within KPMG’s innovation studio.
  • The glaring lack of visibility and security controls around enterprise AI and ML systems, despite the sensitivity of the data being processed and the magnitude of the decisions being made.
  • Cranium’s four-pronged approach to AI security: discovery and visibility, adversarial risk monitoring, automated compliance, and third-party risk management.
  • The importance of building a community of practitioners, regulators, and industry leaders to establish consensus around AI security best practices and taxonomies.
  • The challenge of navigating a rapidly evolving regulatory landscape, with the risk of fragmented and inconsistent requirements stifling innovation.
  • Jonathan’s advice to plan for exponential change in the AI space, as advances in generative AI and quantum computing accelerate the pace of disruption.

Actionable
Takeaways

Collaborate with Stakeholders to Define Best Practices:

To help establish AI security as a recognized discipline, Cranium has worked closely with industry groups like the Isaacs and the Global Resilience Federation to develop practitioner guides in collaboration with a diverse set of organizations. By bringing together experts from across sectors to codify best practices, taxonomies, and frameworks, the company is positioning itself as a thought leader and helping to create a shared language for the field. Founders should seek out opportunities to convene stakeholders and drive consensus around the key tenets of their category.

Engage Regulators Early and Often to Shape Policy:

With the regulatory landscape around AI evolving rapidly, Jonathan and his team have proactively engaged with policymakers at the state and federal levels to educate them on the risks and opportunities associated with the technology. By providing a practitioner's perspective on the technical, operational, and ethical considerations of AI governance, Cranium aims to help craft smart, balanced regulations that protect consumers without stifling innovation. Founders operating in regulated industries should view government relations as an essential component of their go-to-market strategy.

Plan for Lumpy, Fragmented Regulation Across Jurisdictions:

As different countries and regions adopt their own approaches to AI regulation, ranging from the comprehensive EU AI Act to India's hands-off stance, companies will need to navigate an increasingly complex patchwork of requirements. Jonathan advises founders to anticipate this regulatory fragmentation and build flexibility into their products and processes to adapt to divergent standards across markets. At the same time, advocate for harmonized, principles-based frameworks that provide clarity and consistency for innovators.

Design for Exponential Change and Recursive Improvement:

With the pace of progress in AI accelerating from linear to exponential, thanks to advances in generative models, problem-solving engines, and quantum computing, Jonathan stresses the importance of architecting products and business models that can keep up with the rate of change. Cranium has had to modify its roadmap and capabilities to accommodate the radical shifts in the AI landscape over the past two years, and the company is building with an eye towards a future of recursive, self-improving systems. Founders must internalize the exponential trajectory of AI and design for a world where the only constant is change.

Prioritize Adoption Today to Avoid Disruption Tomorrow:

Jonathan warns that organizations that fail to embrace AI and start integrating it into their operations risk being left behind by competitors that are leveraging the technology to drive productivity gains and business model innovation. While the short-term impacts on jobs and processes may be disruptive, the long-term costs of inaction are likely to be far greater. Founders should help their customers understand the urgency of adoption and provide them with the tools and guidance to implement AI in a secure, responsible, and strategically sound manner.

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