Hi everybody. Happy to be writing you from the cool PNW air after spending the first part of the week at the Microsoft Inspire Conference in Vegas.
Inspire was a fantastic opportunity to get face-time with colleagues from the Microsoft Partner Network’s startup ecosystem. I made fantastic business contacts, had great discussions, and most importantly, got a few days to dedicate my focus to DefinedCrowd’s long-term growth next to a lot of smart people with firsthand knowledge of the pains startups experience when they begin to scale.
I also had the opportunity to attend presentations and think about the AI revolution we spend our day-to-day grinding toward on a macro-level. I was—I’ll just say it— inspired by a presentation on Microsoft’s AI Earth initiative and the development of ML models that improve conservation, farming practices, and understandings of diverse ecosystems. At DefinedCrowd, we’re proud to be leading the way to a future where AI plays an essential role in solving some of our biggest societal ills.
That’s not just some line I’m being fed from marketing. For us, it’s a pillar. Before founding DefinedCrowd, our CEO Daniela spent years developing and advocating for widespread use of speech interfaces as the basis of assistive technologies (Cortana and Alexa have since proved her right) mainly because she saw the benefits to the blind, elderly and infirm. We believe in what we’re building and in the possibility for a world where fateful calls from freeway shoulders disappear, and no doctor has to say “if only we’d caught it earlier” ever again.
However, we know the AI revolution only gets us to that future if there’s a moral code at its foundation. That’s why I want to close with the idea of a “Hippocratic Oath” for AI, first proposed by Microsoft’s Brad Smith and Harry Shum in their book The Future Computed, and further drawn out by Oren Etzioni at TechCrunch (If you don’t read them you should. Right now. Start here, or here, or even here to see what they’ve been saying about us.)
I won’t lay it out entirely. Instead, here are some lines that stuck with me:
“1. [We] will apply, for the benefit of the humanity, all measures required, avoiding those twin traps of over-optimism and uniformed pessimism.
2. [We] will remember that there is an art to AI as well as science, and that human concerns outweigh technological ones.
3. My [Our] AI will seek to collaborate with people for the greater good, rather than usurp the human role and supplant them.”
DefinedCrowd will grow this year. A lot. At Inspire, I heard a ton of buzz surrounding “new” use cases for AI in industries like Fintech, Food & Drink, Retail, and more. None of those use cases surprised me. Because our product offering is, and always has been, industry agnostic, we’ve been doing work across industries like these since day one. We’re in a fantastic position as more kinds of businesses find more solutions in AI and ML models. Just know that as we grow, we’re thinking hard about how to do it the right way.
Thanks to everyone at Microsoft who helped put Inspire on, and who took some time to meet me in Vegas. I can’t wait to see where we are this time next year.
In the meantime, if you want to know how AI can solve problems for you, Check out our solutions. And, speaking of growth, we’re hiring. A lot. Check out our Careers page for opportunities to build incredible things with us at DefinedCrowd.
We’re looking forward to hearing from you.