Demis Hassabis

Demis Hassabis illustration by Patrick Morgan
©Patrick Morgan

The DeepMind founder’s aim is to make ‘machines smart’. Over seafood dim sum, he tells Murad Ahmed about computers acting like humans, joining forces with Google, and why eating is time wasted

Illustration by James Ferguson of Stephen Wall
©James Ferguson

Sir Stephen Wall

Over a long diplomatic career, the former ambassador gave advice to British prime ministers. Then, in his sixties, he abandoned his religion and finally came out to his family as gay

Illustration of Marc Andreessen
©James Ferguson

Marc Andreessen, entrepreneur

The Netscape founder and tech investor talks about the trouble with stock markets, what he looks for in entrepreneurs and why illegal immigration is good for America

Richard Plepler
©James Ferguson

Richard Plepler, businessman

Amid growing challenges from rivals, HBO’s chief has to keep the hits coming. Over chicken in New York, he talks about creativity, the future of TV, and venting while running

Illustration of Pedro Almodóvar
©Patrick Morgan

Pedro Almodóvar, film director

Over tea in London, the director talks about the stage musical of his breakthrough film and reveals the title of his next movie

Brian Chesky, businessman

Over steak with peppers in San Francisco, Airbnb’s chief talks about turning his room-rental idea into a $13bn business, convincing lawmakers it is legal and what he wants to do next

Mikhail Khodorkovsky
©James Ferguson

Mikhail Khodorkovsky, businessman

After 10 years in prison, the oligarch who crossed Putin is poised for a fresh foray into politics, and tells Neil Buckley why the current Kremlin master cannot keep power for ever

David Miliband Lunch with the FT illustration
©James Ferguson

David Miliband

The former British foreign secretary, now head of the charity supported by FT’s seasonal appeal, talks about the perils of intervention, the EU, and his brother Ed

Esa-Pekka Salonen illustration
©James Ferguson

Esa-Pekka Salonen, musician

Over king crab salad, the Finnish conductor-composer talks about heavy metal and why classical music should be at the centre of political debate

Illustration by James Ferguson of Donald Tusk
©James Ferguson

Donald Tusk, politician

Over fish and shots of Goldwasser, the new president of the European Council talks about why ‘Russia is our strategic problem’

Mikhail Baryshnikov, dancer

Over Dover sole in London, the ballet legend talks about watching other people dance, and hanging out in the White House

Katherine Boo, writer

Over pizza in London, the journalist who lived in a Mumbai slum while researching her book on its residents tells Jan Dalley how it feels to see their stories on stage

Guo Guangchang, businessman

The billionaire behind China’s biggest private conglomerate talks to Patti Waldmeir about Cultural Revolution-era cuisine and about what tai chi and investing have in common

Richard Branson, entrepreneur-adventurer

This interview was conducted before Virgin Galactic announced on Friday that a serious ‘in-flight anomaly’ had resulted in the loss of SpaceShipTwo in a test flight

Russell Brand, comedian-activist

In a cafe for the homeless, the actor tells Lucy Kellaway about capitalism, revolution and why he finds the FT ‘hard to understand’

Kevin Pietersen, cricketer

As a world-class batsman, admiration for his skill was universal but respect was more elusive. He tells Matthew Engel about being England’s outsider

Delphine Arnault, LVMH heiress

Can the Louis Vuitton EVP fulfil her wish for a quiet life? Over sashimi in Paris, she talks about celebrating luxury and her father Bernard’s ‘almost magical’ instincts

Roberto Unger, philosopher

The occasional politician talks about being radical and who he’s backing in his country’s presidential election

Jeremy King, restaurateur

The man behind some of London’s top restaurants talks about finding his vocation, the secret of long partnerships and seeing himself onstage

Sir John Sawers, spy chief

The head of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service talks to Lionel Barber about risk, the Snowden revelations and reforming MI6


This column is a weekly interview in the Life & Arts section with leading cultural and business figures.

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