Check out iki.ai, a new professional growth ecosystem

Value of information decreases as its volume grows, and time is more precious than ever so we have the ambition to provide the most efficient ways of spending your time for professional growth.

The future is here

Technology progress comes at an exponential rate. The humankind now stands at the threshold of the fourth industrial revolution which will bring together achievements of biotechnology, physics, robotics and IT. Artificial intelligence, the blockchain, quantum computing, biohacking, next-generation human-computer interfaces will cause disruptive changes in world economy. These global processes change labor market. Today cycles of technology trends come faster than a classical academy course. When you were entering university there was little demand for AI scientists, AR designers or blockchain engineers. In order to keep being a competitive professional, you have to live in the lifelong education paradigm. People will be changing several industries during their lifespan and globalisation is enhancing competition, so you better get ready for this marathon.

Education has always defined person’s life path and his social class. Education has always been a very powerful social elevator. Today this elevator has opened its’ doors for everyone. World’s top level academy courses and the foremost technologies are accessible for everyone having access to the Internet by means of such educational platforms as Coursera, EdX, Udacity, etc, or technology resources such as Github or StackOverflow. This counts up to 3 bln people around the globe. Even language barriers are obliterated with recent advances in speech recognition and Natural Language Understanding.

There are only two main barriers left — the excessive amount of information available and lack of personal motivation and self-confidence to step on the right track.

Ikigai philosophy

But why the education track is the right one? Maybe there is too much competition — the higher you get, the higher the stakes are, with management consultants and investment bankers on top working 16 hours a day, sleeping in their office or Silicon Valley engineers spending their lives looking at the blue screens 70% of their awake time?

The answer is quite simple — because you have to find your ikigai — the reason for your being. This is a concept from Japanese philosophy (to be more exact, from Okinawa), meaning the reason to wake up every morning.

Ikigai is the intersection of the things that you love, you are good at, of things that world needs and of the ones that are paid for. In order to find it, you need to try various things in life — traveling, going in for sports, reading and starting relations. But the main point is trying to create something, be that a painting, a computer program or a new business process. I would call this concept “modern” or “western” ikigai.

iki.ai service was invented to help people enroll in this process of trials and errors, to push barriers of their knowledge and skills in a more systematic and engaging way than people usually do. iki.ai is your personal career advisor powered by machine learning and artificial intelligence related technologies.

Professional growth algorithm

iki.ai service has two main use cases. First is helping a young professional or a student to navigate through various career options, set a career goal and providing him with all the tools needed to achieve it. This case also includes professionals willing to make a major pivot in their career such as switching industry — it will be much easier to make the decision having clear understanding of needed skills and career options in the new field. The second scenario is for experienced professionals willing to excel — they get carefully filtered content and news feed from the selected areas of professional expertise.

Let’s go a little deeper and see how exactly this works and what value is delivered.

All data analysis is based on your professional experience provided by Linkedin login or CV upload along with a single screens’ tags selection mechanic resembling Apple Music experience.

Career graph for IT industry with path from intern to product VP (left). Personal development plan leading to portfolio manager position in Financial industry (right)

In the first scenario, user explores career graph — typical industry positions with the routing function using real-world career statistics. Once one of the positions is set as career goal the route is broken down into a list of career steps with key skills and responsibilities at each position. iki.ai shall calculate your personal route from a junior developer to the head of a research group or to the managing partner of a hedge fund. Your personal development plan will include recommendations of the most relevant online courses and trainings, platforms and local communities. Personal news feed covering topics of interest and needed skills powered by a custom recommending system will be with you on the chosen track, fetching carefully filtered fresh blogposts, news and publications in selected professional areas on daily basis.

Motivation cannot be underestimated, that is why we unite people on the same career track in a community. Within this group members will see each other’s progress, feedback on content and will share achievements. We shall be tracking your progress and showing your peer’s successes. Your peers will be your team — share your insights and help each other to improve.

Social line showing your peers and their most recent achievements with Y coordinate representing each user’s progress (left). Achievement card (position change) shown in user’s feed (right).

The second scenario is designed for seasoned professionals looking more for insights than for motivation — these guys are provided with content feed directly without any career goal setting.

Our feed is smart — you can chat with it and specify your particular interest, goal, expertise level or type of the content fetched for you from the web. Our intention here is to save user’s time by cutting informational noize and secondary publications with careful information aggregation, filtering, and ranking both with ML algorithms and user ratings.

Featured technologies & innovation

AI now is the hot trend, machine learning and data science becoming a casual approach. All major features of iki.ai service are empowered with machine learning algorithms starting from user’s experience processing (vectorizing text data) and classification in one of the points on the career graph (which is built by clustering of a large amount of career data within each industry to form position clusters with similar job description) continuing with machine learning ranked courses recommendations and the smart content feed. Daily feed is generated via automated web data collection and processing with an advanced ih-house developed deep learning recommending system on top. A chat-bot mechanic will be integrated for a more interactive feeling and precise recommendations. Technology stack and UX design ideas will be described in more details in further publications.

Conclusion

Our motivation to build this product was quite simple — both founders missed an egocentric interactive service focused on user’s professional growth, bringing together education, career goals, and personal development. Ivan was a little puzzled trying to find his way in the variety of open possibilities after defending his Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics. Max was really busy working as CEO and Creative Director of ONY agency which he founded 17 years ago, having little time left for self-improvement. We both felt that knowledge delivery job could be optimized and automated, that now there is little time left for scrolling Facebook newsfeed as well as for checking dozens of good quality blogs every couple of days. We also presumed that automatically formed new social groups of professionals with similar aspirations pushing each others expertise would make that painful self-improvement process more engaging and meaningful for each member.

Due to the past industrial revolutions, people got more free time and the unlimited access to information. We have the ambition to help you use this information in order to find your ikigai and to fulfill your potential. To help people move at modern world’s pace, running with technology’s exponential acceleration.

A public beta will be released soon, please keep in touch to be among the first adopters. Check out our web page about.iki.ai and subscribe to updates on Facebook: fb.me/ikiservice