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This interview was originally published on BOSS Magazine’s website and digital magazine.

As an intrepid explorer of our digital future, the angel investor, mathematician, neuroscientist, and author Alex Bates entered fully into the public consciousness as the co-founder of Mtelligence (Mtell), whose machine learning and AI platform was created to “harness the deluge of sensor data in the industrial IoT, with a mission to create a world that doesn’t break down.”

Since the 2016 acquisition of Mtell by Aspen Technology, Bates has spearheaded Neocortex Ventures, uniting innovative business thinkers with the AI development community to achieve an abundant future where AI and human intelligence combine to elevate humanity’s potential for a safer, better, happier world. …

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I sat down with San Diego Voyager to discuss how my interest in technology developed, what I’m doing at Neocortex Ventures, and struggles along the way.

SD Voyager: Thanks for sharing your story with us, Alex. So, let’s start at the beginning, and we can move on from there.

My uncle was a professor and mathematician who triggered my curiosity about technical topics. I would steal my grandfather’s books, lots of biographies of mathematicians and scientists. I developed an unhealthy obsession with neurocomputation and artificial neural networks after that, and basically never freed myself. I took it to the next level and started a machine learning company, Mtell, which was later acquired by AspenTech. …

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I connected with Colin Morgan, host of The Daily Grind podcast, to discuss what the future looks like in the face of AI.

Here are a few topics discussed:

  • How to start preparing yourself for the future of AI
  • What I mean when I say we’re on the verge of being superhuman
  • How AI is going to change the 40-hour work week

Listen here:

I had the chance to speak with Sudipto Ghosh at AiThority about trends in artificial intelligence. This interview was originally published on AiThority.

Tell us about your interaction with smart technologies like AI and Cloud-based Analytics platforms.

We built our Machine Learning solution from the ground up to support the launch of Mtell. Nowadays you’ll see a lot more platforms offering Machine Learning as a service, Artificial Intelligence as a service, or APIs in the Cloud, like TensorFlow. There are more platforms available for people today building things, but they have certain limitations. …

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This was originally published on StartupNation.

After 10 years of running my company, Mtell, we sold it to a publicly traded company for $37 million.

It started in 2006: we bootstrapped our way to profitability by offering consulting services until we found a product-market fit. Because we were already generating revenue, that meant we got to fundraise on our own terms. We put it off as long as possible, raising just $2 million after 8 years in business.

Two short years later, the acquisition offer came through and we said yes. The process of selling my business was full of expected twists and turns. At times, it seemed like the deal would never go through, but things eventually clicked into place and I enjoyed a healthy exit. …

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This article was originally published on CIO.

What will we invent after we invent everything that can be invented?

Artificial intelligence stands to be the most radically transformative technology ever developed by the human race. As a former artificial intelligence entrepreneur turned investor, I spend a lot of time thinking about the future of this technology. Humans tend to develop everything to the nth degree, so I think there is a certain inevitability to the far-out techno-utopian visions of science fiction. Why shouldn’t AI change everything?

While we’ve come a long way in this field, it’s not unlike we’re at the base of a mountain right now. We have some compelling use cases for this technology in science and business, and there are even a number of consumer products boasting artificially intelligent technology inside them. But all the cool stuff we dream about — conversational computers with general intelligence, for example — is on the other side of the mountain. …

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This article was originally published on The Next Web.

Artificial intelligence technology is waiting for its Sputnik moment.

The Soviet Union put its infamous unmanned probe into orbit around our planet in 1957. Though Sputnik resembled a two-foot wide beach ball and barely weighed 200 pounds, it was a shot heard around the world. Sputnik signaled that there was new territory in play for world powers to jockey and improve their positions. The United States formed NASA the very next year, and manned space exploration became practical reality soon after that.

There’s a clear comparison between the space race of the 1960s and the present-day surge in national AI development. Where rocket design and space exploration were the hallmarks of any major country back then, the new battlefield for technological superiority is artificial intelligence. Countries that develop sufficiently advanced AI tools will gain access to a new category of tools to use for the benefit of their citizens and the disadvantage of their rivals. …

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This article was originally published in Forbes.

Centaurs are the future. Throughout myth and history, people have had uneasy relationships with the idea of being superhuman. Most world religions emphasize a clear distinction between God and man. Not only is the former more powerful than the latter, but mankind is inherently unable to achieve a godlike state. In those stories where a human somehow manages to cross the threshold and achieve supernatural power, it usually spells disaster.

Advanced artificial intelligence (AI) technology is not unlike a set of superpowers waiting for mankind to claim them as its own. AI represents an unknowable and impersonal “other,” but we already interact with it in the real world. This technology only gets more capable and powerful each day, so we’re going to reckon with it one way or another. …

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This was originally published on TechBullion.

I sat down with TechBullion for a discussion revolving around the idea of life after AI.

Check it out.

What is your background in AI?

Alex: I founded a company called Mtell in 2006, which implemented machine learning technology in the manufacturing space. We brought AI to the forefront of the industrial market and applied it for impact. Our technology could predict and prevent catastrophes by harnessing sensor data from different machines, so we could accurately identify when a machine might fail and injure people. After spending a decade on the front lines building machine learning systems, I started working closely on the adoption side with human users. …

I chat with Neil Ball on his podcast, The Entrepreneur Way, about how AI will transform us and society as a whole.

Quotes from our chat:

“immerse yourself, meet other entrepreneurs, go and watch them talk and absorb their energy”

“surround yourself with people that are going to lift you up that you want to emulate”

“secrets to success: one is definitely perseverance and tenacity and sometimes that overlaps passion in the sense that, in my case there was passion about the mind and the brain and that led me into this field of neural networks and artificial intelligence. …


Alex Bates

I’m the managing director at Neocortex Ventures.

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