A new beginning

One day you wake up in a brand new world. It's no different than what it looked just yesterday, but it feels like a new era, like the rules of the game changed overnight and the past is fading away, leaving relics and artefacts that just yesterday were amazing advancements.

Just yesterday we had (very useful) saltpetre, coal and sulphur, but today we combined them together, and got gun powder, and that began a new era.

We have these elements around us for awhile now, all of them. It's combination of existing elements and purpose of final construction, that make them different. Artificial intelligence moved a long way since 1970s (and even longer since Andrew Markov described his probability model in year 1900, giving start to modern neural networks), and principles of machine learning evolve rapidly, making us wonder what's next. It's amusing process, because every time something new appears - we wonder, haven't seen this coming.

One day you wake up and see that you have become the part of it. Turbulent environment, and that's what we may call the world today, is washing you away to a new shore, and it may well look like home. A brand new one, where everything is logical and in equilibrium.

When I started "playing" with cognitive services back in 2015, I started with what couldn't possibly be made by one person, and surely repeated someone else's experiment, but it was incredible to see a neural network running (or rather crawling) in search for an answer to, or rather a meaning of, my question. Once I've got my answer, I figured that it's not what I am looking for. No, the answer was correct, and even surprisingly philosophical, but I realised that it wasn't the answer I was looking for. I was looking for a question.

The real A.I. is not the one that can answer your question. It's the one that can find the question to your answer. And that's when my work with neural networks paused, as I realised the limit of my knowledge and capacity. It was like dreaming about object recognition by photo, the one we have today, but back in 1970s, when the first character was recognized by Ray Kurzweil. We just weren't there yet.

The global pandemic shifted many things. We've got new problems, while some other issues went into the shadow. The way we thought A.I. could help us in daily lives became even less realistic. But new challenges appeared.

We started to consume more digital content than ever before. Sometimes - more, than we can handle. Meetings, presentations, discussions... A shower of information, questions, white noise. We need to get quick response to basic questions, get transcript of what was said, and perhaps even narrate your presentation in a way that wouldn't hibernate or alienate others.

When I figured that meetings 9 to 5 are enough to drive people (me included) crazy, I created SoundWorks. I looked around and saw that many people work in inhumane conditions today, and there IS a way to help them out. One helping hand at a time. With modern cognitive services, some of which are only literally weeks old, we can, in essence, let people live their lives and enjoy it more than they do now. Eventually - as much as they really should, but there is a long way ahead.

The plan for SoundWorks is way beyond of what you see now. This is a rudimentary embryo of future monster, standing on guard of your mental wellness. A being that is able to listen, speak and most importantly - understand. When I think of it - I still want to hear its question. What will it be? Only time will tell.