From Doom to Boom
AI is slowly re-energizing San Francisco
Parts of San Francisco are still shells of their original glory three years after the onset of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. After the loss of foot traffic, restaurants and cafes closed, some retailers left and many companies downsized or relinquished their office leases because of hybrid or remote-work policies.
But on sporadic weeknights, hundreds of AI enthusiasts crowd into a downtown office, lured by nothing more than pizza, beer and the main draw: a conversation about artificial intelligence.
"You can't pay for that kind of inbound traffic," said Dev Rishi, the host of the meetups and a founder and the chief executive of the AI start-up Predibase. "There is palpable excitement and energy in this space."
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