You are probably reading this on a mobile device.
There is no doubt that technology has revolutionised our lifestyles. However, how has it affected us? Is it a boon or a bane?
Take for example – food delivery services. All you’ve to do is to click a few buttons for your next hot meal to arrive without even leaving the confines of your home.
“You never have to interact with other people. Is that building a society that you want? Where everyone orders their food, sits in their rooms by themselves without having to interact?” questions Mahdi Shariff, 31, co-founder and CEO of guanxi.ai, a data science and machine learning platform based in China.
It’s definitely not something Mahdi wants. The 2017 Forbes 30 under 30 winner has a vision that’s seemingly different from other technology thought leaders and CEOs.
His vision? To make Artificial Intelligence (AI) accessible to everyone.
With guanxi.ai, the Briton is currently building tools to empower more people to responsibly and ethically leverage data and AI to equalise opportunities in the next phase of applied AI.
Mahdi explains that even though we’re just getting started in the world of AI, there has already been a massive impact on society and “its entire fate is predominantly leveraged by a very small group of individuals”.
He stresses that in the next 10 years, there will be approximately nine trillion dollars of economic displacement and these economic opportunities will shift to that tiny amount of people.
“We want to help distribute economic opportunities to everyone by making AI as accessible as possible,” says Mahdi. He relates it to the computing revolution – “if it wasn’t for people like Bill Gates who said ‘a PC in every home so everyone can unlock their potential’, most people can never benefit from the computing revolution. That’s the same thing with what we’re doing with AI now.”
However, Mahdi’s journey at shaking up the AI game is not all about technology. The relationships and networks built along the way are crucial to solving problems – hence the name guanxi (关系), which means ‘relationship’ in Chinese.
“If you find the right people, you can solve the problem,” says Mahdi. After all, people drive communities and societies.
AI need not be an enigma – at least that’s what Mahdi and guanxi.ai hopes to achieve.