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Jack Dorsey

Jack Dorsey is an American entrepreneur and programmer, best known as a co-founder of Twitter, Inc., and Square, Inc. Born on November 19, 1976, in St. Louis, Missouri, Dorsey's interest in technology and programming emerged early in life. He developed a fascination with dispatch routing software, which later influenced Twitter's real-time information sharing concept. Dorsey launched Twitter in 2006, alongside Biz Stone and Evan Williams, transforming global communication with its microblogging platform. In 2009, he founded Square, a financial services and mobile payment company, aimed at helping small businesses accept card payments. Dorsey's innovative vision has significantly impacted how people communicate and conduct business digitally. Despite stepping down as CEO of Twitter in 2021, he remains influential in tech circles, advocating for decentralized systems and supporting cryptocurrency projects. His leadership and forward-thinking have cemented his status as a pivotal figure in the tech industry.

Bridging the Digital Divide: Jack Dorsey’s Vision for Square and Beyond

In an enlightening conversation with Lex Fridman, Jack Dorsey, the co-founder and CEO of Twitter and founder and CEO of Square, delves deep into the philosophies and technologies driving his ventures, particularly Square. Amidst the backdrop of Twitter’s leadership changes and the pre-pandemic world, Dorsey’s insights into cryptocurrency, artificial intelligence, and engineering at scale paint a picture of a future where digital access and financial inclusivity are paramount.

Square’s Commitment to COVID-19 Relief

A significant highlight of the discussion is Dorsey’s philanthropic gesture of moving $1 billion of his Square equity, which accounts for 28% of his wealth, into a fund dedicated to COVID-19 relief. This move, celebrated for its transparency and magnitude, underscores Dorsey’s commitment to social responsibility and the power of transparent philanthropy.

The Core of Square: Access and Inclusion

Dorsey articulates Square’s mission with a singular focus on “access.” The platform aims to democratize financial services, breaking down the barriers that traditional banking institutions have erected. Square’s approach, rooted in trust and innovative risk modeling, has drastically increased the acceptance rate of merchants looking to process credit card payments. By shifting the mindset from exclusion to inclusion, Square has enabled a broader spectrum of entrepreneurs to participate in the digital economy.

The Role of Machine Learning and Data Science

The conversation takes a technical turn as Dorsey explains the integral role of machine learning and data science in achieving Square’s mission. The company’s early adoption of data science, evolving into more sophisticated machine learning models, has been critical in identifying legitimate vendors and ensuring the integrity of transactions. This technological backbone supports Square’s vision of expanding access to financial services while maintaining the security and trustworthiness of the platform.

Engineering at Scale: Challenges and Solutions

Dorsey also shares insights into the challenges of engineering at scale. He emphasizes the importance of a holistic view that encompasses both hardware and software solutions, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. The discussion sheds light on the complexities of building robust, scalable systems capable of handling trillions of interactions daily. Dorsey’s approach to these challenges reflects a blend of technical prowess and philosophical inquiry, aiming for a balance that fosters innovation and inclusivity.

Looking Ahead: The Future of Economic Participation

As the conversation with Fridman unfolds, Dorsey envisions a future where the barriers to economic participation are further dismantled. He hints at the potential of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the monetization of personal data as avenues to deepen individuals’ integration into the digital economy. The future, as seen through Dorsey’s eyes, is one where technology serves as a bridge, connecting more people to the global economy and empowering them to contribute to and benefit from it.

Jack Dorsey on Square, Cryptocurrency, and AI: Shaping the Future of Finance and Technology

In an enlightening conversation with Lex Fridman, Jack Dorsey, the visionary behind Twitter and Square, delves into the realms of Square’s evolution, the transformative power of cryptocurrency, and the profound potential of artificial intelligence. This discussion offers a rare glimpse into the mind of one of the most influential figures in tech, revealing his philosophical approach to technology’s role in expanding economic access and reshaping societal structures.

Square: Democratizing Economic Participation

Dorsey’s journey with Square has been about breaking down barriers. Initially conceived to simplify transactions for small businesses, Square quickly identified a larger mission: increasing accessibility to the financial system. By reimagining credit checks and leveraging data science, Square has significantly expanded merchant participation in the economy. Dorsey emphasizes the importance of trust over skepticism, a philosophy that has allowed Square to onboard 99% of its applicants, compared to the industry average of 30-40%.

This revolutionary approach is not just about technology but a broader vision of inclusivity. Dorsey highlights how Square’s success is deeply intertwined with open source communities and a commitment to learning from collective experiences. This ethos extends beyond mere transactional relationships, aiming to build a more interconnected and accessible economic landscape.

The Future of Currency: Bitcoin and Beyond

Dorsey’s belief in Bitcoin as the internet’s native currency underscores his conviction in cryptocurrency’s potential to redefine global finance. He argues that the universal adoption of a digital currency like Bitcoin could eliminate the barriers to entry for businesses worldwide, fostering innovation and speed in product deployment. Dorsey sees cryptocurrency as a catalyst for a more inclusive, efficient, and innovative global economy, particularly highlighting its impact on entrepreneurs in Africa and other developing regions.

The conversation with Fridman also touches on the philosophical and technical beauty of Bitcoin’s design, emphasizing its role as a decentralized, principled, and inclusive financial system. Dorsey envisions a future where digital currency not only simplifies transactions but also fundamentally changes societal interactions and the distribution of power.

Artificial Intelligence: Navigating Uncharted Waters

Dorsey’s insights into artificial intelligence (AI) reflect a nuanced understanding of its potential and pitfalls. He underscores the importance of explainability in AI systems, particularly as they become integral to decision-making in finance, healthcare, and other critical sectors. The challenge, according to Dorsey, lies in developing AI that can justify its decisions, a task complicated by the inherently opaque nature of deep learning models.

Moreover, Dorsey speculates on the evolving relationship between humans and AI, pondering whether it’s possible for AI to simulate deeply human experiences, such as love or companionship. He suggests that the future of AI is not just about technological advancement but also about exploring new forms of interaction and understanding between machines and humans.

Navigating the Intersection of AI, Cryptocurrency, and Society with Jack Dorsey

In a comprehensive dialogue on the Lex Fridman Podcast, Jack Dorsey, a luminary in the realms of social media and fintech, unpacks the complexities and potential of artificial intelligence (AI), cryptocurrency, and their impact on society. This conversation extends beyond the confines of technological innovation, touching on philosophical inquiries and the human condition.

The Externalization of Self-awareness

Dorsey expresses concern over the outsourcing of self-awareness to algorithms and digital platforms. He underscores the paradox where AI systems, designed to refine our decision-making, might inadvertently diminish our introspective capabilities. Meditation emerges as a crucial practice for Dorsey, a means to reclaim this dwindling self-awareness and ensure that individuals remain conscious of their reliance on external decision-making aids.

AI’s Dual Edged Sword: Recommender Systems

While acknowledging the utility of AI in navigating the vast sea of information, Dorsey emphasizes the importance of conscious engagement with these technologies. Recommender systems, he notes, can significantly aid in personal and intellectual growth, provided users are aware of and consent to their influence.

Employment and UBI in the AI Era

Dorsey aligns with concerns about AI and automation’s potential to displace jobs, drawing parallels with trends observed within Square’s ecosystem. He champions Universal Basic Income (UBI) as a foundational support, enabling individuals to adapt to the evolving job market without the existential threat of financial instability. This perspective resonates with the broader discourse on the need for societal and economic structures that can accommodate the rapid pace of technological change.

Diet, Lifestyle, and Mental Performance

Exploring personal habits, Dorsey shares his unconventional approach to diet—eating once a day—and its impact on his mental clarity and performance. This practice, rooted in a broader philosophy of embracing discomfort, underscores a deliberate effort to transcend conventional norms and explore the limits of personal health and productivity.

Contemplating Mortality and Meaning

Dorsey’s meditation on mortality serves as a poignant reminder of life’s transience, influencing his daily priorities and actions. He views the acknowledgment of death not as a morbid fixation but as a tool for fostering a deeper appreciation for the present moment and the finite nature of existence.

The Simulation Hypothesis and Collective Consciousness

In closing, Dorsey entertains the simulation hypothesis, reflecting on the inherent connectedness of humanity and the importance of recognizing and nurturing these bonds. He advocates for a heightened collective consciousness that transcends individual ego and societal divisions, suggesting that such unity could redefine our interactions within this presumed simulation and beyond.


Jack Dorsey’s conversation with Lex Fridman traverses the spectrum of technological advancements and their philosophical implications, offering a unique lens through which to view the future of AI, cryptocurrency, and their societal impact. Through introspection, innovation, and a forward-looking gaze, Dorsey invites us to consider not only the technological landscape we’re sculpting but also the kind of beings we aspire to become within it.

Books Mentioned in the Lex Fridman Podcast with Jack Dorsey: