The Future of AI and High-Performance Computing With Rishi Khan

Rishi Khan is the President of Extreme Scale Solutions and the Chief Technology Officer at AKOS Solutions, companies that specialize in large-scale simulation, analysis, and leveraging AI and high-performance computing to solve complex challenges. With a PhD in Computational Biology, Rishi has spearheaded transformative AI projects in collaboration with industry leaders like DARPA and Qualcomm. His expertise spans workload analysis, hardware simulation, and advanced toolchain development, significantly impacting DOE and DoD operations. Rishi’s active participation in the Entrepreneurs’ Organization enhances his experience, providing valuable opportunities to connect with and learn from fellow business leaders.


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Here’s a Glimpse of What You’ll Hear:

  • [2:09] Rishi Khan explains the meaning behind the acronym AKOS
  • [2:59] Rishi’s entrepreneurial stint during college
  • [4:20] Exporting cars to Russia and the complexities of international trade
  • [6:23] Insight into computational biology and its modern breakthroughs
  • [13:37] Evolution of AI
  • [20:04] How AI solutions can address operational issues
  • [25:04] Predictive AI’s important role in different industries like oil and healthcare
  • [30:29] How AI accelerates prospect research and improves lead generation
  • [36:35] AI in video production: its potential uses and limitations

In this episode…

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a buzzword, but how much of it is hype versus hope? Revolutionizing productivity and scaling capabilities with AI has become a trending topic across industries. And the stories are as varied as they are incredible, but what’s the real score?

Rishi Khan addresses these challenges by emphasizing the importance of utilizing AI in diverse industries, from high-performance computing to practical business applications. He highlights the transformative impact of AI in tasks such as workload analysis, hardware simulation, and the development of advanced toolchains. Rishi’s innovative approach includes pioneering Fourier Neural operators, which significantly enhance simulation speeds, demonstrating how AI can not only accelerate but also revolutionize various complex processes.

Tune in to this episode of the Smart Business Revolution Podcast as John Corcoran interviews Rishi Khan, Chief Technology Officer at AKOS Solutions, about harnessing artificial intelligence in modern business and government operations. They also discussed the use of AI for optimizing business operations, guiding drilling and carbon sequestration decisions in the oil industry, and accelerating prospect research and improvement of lead generation strategies.

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

Special Mention(s):

Quotable Moments:

  • “Computational biology moved us from a hypothesis-driven science to a discovery science genre.”
  • “The first real AI challenge was to recognize handwritten numbers, a breakthrough in 2008.”
  • “Predictive AI is useful when you are interested in predicting what will happen.”
  • “The future is in video creation and specialized AIs trained on specific fields or tasks.”

Action Steps:

  1. Incorporate an AI-driven content analysis tool for operational efficiency: It streamlines data entry and reduces human error in processing tasks.
  2. Implement predictive AI to optimize logistics and supply chain management: This improves decision-making with quick simulations and ‘what-if’ scenarios.
  3. Leverage video creation tools for innovative marketing and engagement: This enhances visual communication strategies with AI-driven content.
  4. Develop specialized AI models tailored to specific business functions: This boosts productivity by focusing AI capabilities on targeted tasks.
  5. Embrace AI-driven prospecting to refine sales techniques: Utilizing AI-curated information helps create more personalized and effective sales pitches.

Sponsor: Rise25

At Rise25, we’re committed to helping you connect with your Dream 100 referral partners, clients, and strategic partners through our done-for-you podcast solution. 

We’re a professional podcast production agency that makes creating a podcast effortless. Since 2009, our proven system has helped thousands of B2B businesses build strong relationships with referral partners, clients, and audiences without doing the hard work.

What do you need to start a podcast?

When you use our proven system, all you need is an idea and a voice. We handle the strategy, production, and distribution – you just need to show up and talk.

The Rise25 podcasting solution is designed to help you build a profitable podcast. This requires a specific strategy, and we’ve got that down pat. We focus on making sure you have a direct path to ROI, which is the most important component. Plus, our podcast production company takes any heavy lifting of production and distribution off your plate.

We make distribution easy

We’ll distribute each episode across more than 11 unique channels, including iTunes, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. We’ll also create a copy for each episode and promote your show across social media.

Cofounders Dr. Jeremy Weisz and John Corcoran credit podcasting as being the best thing they have ever done for their businesses. Podcasting connected them with the founders/CEOs of P90xAtariEinstein BagelsMattelRx BarsYPO, EO, Lending Tree, Freshdesk,  and many more.  

The relationships you form through podcasting run deep. Jeremy and John became business partners through podcasting. They have even gone on family vacations and attended weddings of guests who have been on the podcast.

Podcast production has a lot of moving parts and is a big commitment on our end; we only want to work with people who are committed to their business and to cultivating amazing relationships.

Are you considering launching a podcast to acquire partnerships, clients, and referrals? Would you like to work with a podcast agency that wants you to win? 

Contact us now at [email protected] or book a call at

Rise25 Cofounders, Dr. Jeremy Weisz and John Corcoran, have been podcasting and advising about podcasting since 2008.

Episode Transcript

John Corcoran 0:00

Today we’re talking about how everything from businesses to the government are using AI to improve productivity and improve capabilities. Basically do things faster, easier, better, cheaper. Today, my guest is Rushdie Khan. I’ll tell you more about him in a second. So stay tuned.

Chad Franzen 0:18

Welcome to the Smart Business Revolution Podcast, where we feature top entrepreneurs, business leaders and thought leaders, and ask them how they built key relationships to get where they are today. Now let’s get started with the show. All right.

John Corcoran 0:35

Welcome everyone. John Corcoran here, I am the host of this show, and you’re in for a treat today, because one of the most hot topics we’re talking about today, and people are focused on, is AI and its impact on business. And of course, if you listen before, you know, I’ve talked to other guests about this, as well. And some of our guests on previous shows range from, you know, CEOs, founders and entrepreneurs from Netflix to Kinko’s, YPO, EO, GrubHub activation, Blizzard. Check out the archives. You can check out some of those episodes. And of course, this episode brought to you by our company, Rise25 where we help B2B businesses to get clients, referrals and strategic partnerships with done for you podcasts and content marketing, and you can look and learn about well, everything we do at, or email us at support at and first quick shout out to past guest, AB DeWeese, who’s the founder of good automation, who recommended today’s guest. Some of our best guests come from past guest recommendations. 

And my guest today is Rishi Khan. He’s the chief technology officer at AKOS Solutions. I’ll ask him what that means. But in a second, it’s funny. And also President, Chief Technology Officer at Extreme Scale Solutions as well. And he has a wealth of experience in the world of AI. Really interesting guys. Got a PhD in computational biology. I don’t even know what that is, so hopefully he will school me on what exactly that is. And we connected through AB and through the world of EO Entrepreneurs Organization, which we’re both members of, and so Rishi, it’s such a pleasure to have you here today. And first of all, AKOS, what does that stand for? I love, love that one.

Rishi Khan 2:09

Yeah. So there’s a lot of people out there who are hacking different AI things, and they don’t know what they’re talking about. So when I came up with AKOS with my friend AB, we started this business together. Like, what do we want to call it? We’re like, well, we don’t know what he calls, don’t know what he calls it, but there’s all these people out there saying they understand AI, but we’re the only, we’re one of the few that actually know our stuff. So we thought we’ll call it AKOS, A, K, O, S actually knows our stuff, and that’s where the name came from.

John Corcoran 2:38

And you guys are not like, new to the world of AI. You guys have actually been immersed in it, doing it for a long time, so I think that’s a perfectly fitting name for you. And I love to ask people about stuff they did as a kid or in high school or college. And you built a website called wizards at work back in 1999 what was that? 

Rishi Khan 2:59

Yeah, actually. So I actually found two investors, and a friend of mine and myself, we basically started a website building company. So we built websites for other companies. This was back in 1999 when, you know, the internet was just coming around, and people were really hot to websites. So yeah, so as any good entrepreneurial college kid would do, learn some HTML, build some websites.

John Corcoran 3:27

And do you recall what you used? Did you use Dreamweaver? Did you use it?

Rishi Khan 3:31

So it was a combination of things. We did use Dreamweaver a little bit, but a lot of it actually was just raw HTML at the time. So what we did is we made little templates for the nav bar and for the top and the bottom, and then you kind of just copy and paste them together. So Dreamweaver came around a little bit later. But Dreamweaver is actually better for, like, chopping up an image and putting it on the website. It’s not so great for actually doing all the internal things like, you know, JavaScript and stuff like that, which was just coming out around that. 

John Corcoran 4:03

Yeah, and you, you had another business too, which was, and I don’t know how you got into this, shipping cars from the US into Russia. You found there were a lot of new money Russians that wanted us cars. This sounds like not an easy business to start. How’d you get started with that?

Rishi Khan 4:20

So I had a friend who was a car dealer at Mannheim, and he would get a bunch of cars, and he’s like, I’m trying to sell these cars. One of my friends who actually we started the wizards at work together with, knew a bunch of Russians who wanted cars but couldn’t get them because they couldn’t get them through Germany because of export reasons and things like that. And so what we were doing initially was just sending pictures. We would literally just take pictures and then just mail them over to the other side, and they would look at those pictures and be like, hey, I really like this car. 

Can I get that car and then we then move on to it? Actually building a website that they could see all the pictures of the cars, all of the information about the cars. They could choose a car, and then they could watch it go from Manheim up to Elizabethtown, New Jersey, on a, on a, on a truck. And then it would go to Kotka, Finland, by boat. And then, after many different bribes, it would end up in Moscow, and then they would get their car. So there was probably a spread of about $10,000 between what we could buy it for and what they would pay for it, and then about $5,000 in costs, including, you know, transportation and smoothing the skids along the way. So it sounds like something per car.

John Corcoran 5:42

It sounds like a business that would at some point go horribly awry and be like a movie, basically. But how did you manage to run that business? And you’re actually, I think, full time in school at the time. 

Rishi Khan 5:54

Yeah, yeah, I was, I was in, I believe I was in my graduate school at that time, it was around like, 2001 2002 we did it. It was basically a side business. We did it for about a year. We probably shipped, I don’t know, 20 cars. And then, you know, we decided that, you know, we wanted to move on to other things. 

John Corcoran 6:13

Yeah, yeah. So you’re at the time, you’re studying computational biology at the time. Yes, that’s right. Okay, so what is computational biology? 

Rishi Khan 6:23

So computational biology is so normal biology, at least at that time, I’m going to study some gene, and I’m going to look at how this gene affects, you know, in certain conditions. So like I I have a rat and I scare him, and I look at whether this gene was on or off when that happened, and what was just coming around the bend was the ability to measure all the genes. So there was this technology called microarrays, where you can measure everything all at once. And so computational biology kind of came out. It’s also called bioinformatics, which kind of came out of that technology, from the ability to measure everything, biologists didn’t know what to do with all of that data. 

So we moved from a hypothesis driven science of I hypothesize gene five is the gene of interest, let me go study that, to what’s called a discovery science genre, where I’m just going to measure everything and see what changes, and that brings up a whole bunch of problematic statistical things. And you have to almost rethink the philosophy of science to a certain degree, because you end up finding patterns that aren’t there. If you look at everything, you’re going to find patterns. And how do you verify those patterns?

John Corcoran 7:38

So in the world of sciences, this is not like you’re studying physics or chemistry or something that’s been around for a long time. Sounds like this is like kind of a whole new field of study that you’re kind of on the cutting edge of, of studying. What was it like, you know, going through a doctorate program on something that was so new, so cutting edge?

Rishi Khan 7:57

Well, I mean, the whole point of a PhD, right? Is to do something that nobody else did and cut your own space out of that. It was a lot easier for me, because there were a lot of things that people didn’t do in this area because the technology was just coming out. Kind of like how AI is now, right? Like AI is really burgeoning, and there’s so many avenues of research that are available to people right now, whereas, if you go into physics, I mean, like, if you’re looking at, like, say, high energy physics, there’s, there’s only a few things that that you can really look at. Computational biology was a whole new, or still is, to a large extent, a whole new world where you can measure all the genes, all the proteins, all the metabolites, and try to build mechanistic mathematical models of how all that works.

John Corcoran 8:46

And did you see yourself eventually going, like into academia? Did you see yourself becoming an entrepreneur and blazing your own path at this point when you’re going

Rishi Khan 8:56

through your program? Not really. So I honestly just glom onto interesting stuff. Like, my entire life has been about like, what’s cool? Let me work on that, and I’ll figure out what that means later. So at the time when I was doing that, I was really cool. And then, and then for my postdoc, I realized that the technology to measure the genes wasn’t very good, and I came up with a new technology to do that better. And so my postdoc was actually a startup called perfect expression, where we tried to make that technology work. It turns out that I was unable to do that, not necessarily because of the technology, more around just funding and having the right team, but the basic idea was, instead of trying to measure a group of RNAs coming over to a specific area, you know, on a slide, what we were doing is we were we were putting RNAs on individual beads and then measuring those beads. On a high density CCD camera. 

And so our big bet was, and this was back when your camera had, like, if you had a one megapixel camera, you were awesome, right? Like, remember those days? So, like, our big bet was that megapixels are going to become cheap, and it turns out that that’s what happened. And the technology that we developed is kind of around the basis of what everybody does nowadays, to do DNA sequencing. So we were on the right track. Didn’t have the right team and then I moved on to do other things that I thought were cool and interesting. So it’s really been just jumping from one field to another and finding synthesis over all of these different areas, and

John Corcoran 10:42

What was the origin of such extreme scale solutions? Is your company that you started in 2014 How did that come about so