AI Can Predict If You’re the Next Zuckerberg



What if a computer could pick the next Mark Zuckerberg?

Two entrepreneurs have created an artificial intelligence (AI) system that has been designed to recognize the early signals that someone could become a successful startup founder.

The software is part of Founders of the Future, an initiative looking to spot the next big business person using AI.

Computer science expert Tom Bowles and Richard Segal created the AI platform after input from Skype founder Niklas Zennstrom and Net-a-Porter founder Natalie Massenet, about what makes a successful entrepreneur. The AI software also takes into account public information such as whether a person has worked at a fast-growing startup before or if they have quickly risen up the ranks of a company.

“What I’m trying to identify is leading indicators, which may not have been spotted by anybody else,” Bowles told CNBC during an interview at an event hosted at 10 Downing Street, the U.K. Prime Minister’s house.

But Bowles said the system doesn’t take into account what university or school you’ve been to in order to strip out bias.

The system picked a group of 10,000 potential entrepreneurs but for this first test, Bowles said he restricted it to the UK and whittled it down to 100. The key to the AI is its ability to learn and improve in order to be more successful at picking entrepreneurs.

From the cohort selected, the software will check if it was right against a number of different metrics and therefore improve its ability. Currently the AI system can select a person and suggest to them a startup idea based on their history.

Soon it will be able to tell people the chance their startup will survive.

“It would get to that point in six months’ time of having a percentage chance of survival rate of company,” Bowles said.

Am I the Next Zuckerberg?

So am I going to be the founder of the next billion-dollar company?

I got Bowles to run the software on my profile and the AI system suggested a startup idea—“a sports betting app for spotting good startups.” It doesn’t give ideas about how this would work, but it’d be an app that allows you to bet on different aspects of a startup such as user growth or revenue estimates. Who knows?

Also, I would need a cofounder as I have no skills in coding or computer science. Is anyone available?



Reprinted by permission.

Image credit: CC by Chris Marchant

About the author: Arjun Kharpal

Arjun Kharpal is a News Assistant for CNBC in London. He took on the role after interning at the company for three months. Arjun has previously written for the Times, the Telegraph, the Guardian and the Mirror in London.

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