Jaan Tallinn

Special guest

Jaan Tallinn graduated from the University of Tartu in 1996 with a B.S in Theoretical Physics with a thesis that considered travelling interstellar distances using warps in space-time.

While working as a stay-at-home dad, Jaan developed FastTrack and Kazaa. Kazaa's P2P technology was later repurposed to drive Skype around 2003.

In 2014, he invested in the reversible debugging software for app development Undo Software. He also made an early investment in DeepMind which was purchased by Google in the same year.


Jaan Tallinn is a founding engineer of Skype and Kazaa.

He is a co-founder of the Cambridge Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (cser.org), Future of Life Institute (futureoflife.org), and philanthropically supports other existential risk research organisations.

Jaan is on the Board of Sponsors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (thebulletin.org), member of the High-Level Expert Group on AI at the European Commission, and has served on the Estonian President's Academic Advisory Board.

He is also an active angel investor, a partner at Ambient Sound Investments (asi.ee), and a former investor in and director of the AI company DeepMind (deepmind.com).


Tallinn strongly promotes the study of existential risk and has given numerous talks on this topic.

His main worries are related to artificial intelligence, unknowns coming from technological development, and biological risk.

He believes humanity is not spending enough resources on long-term planning and mitigating threats that could wipe us out as a species

Jaan Tallinn has been a guest on 1 episode.