Part 3 of 7- Identifying your ‘must’.
Tom Strange is on a mission to improve quality of life. His startup, Constellation AI, wants to enhance your ability to evaluate life, see your choices and make better decisions with a new app called imi.
In part three of seven insights, Tom describes his mission to help children fulfil their potential… and how resourceful he had to be to achieve it.
Tell us about how you entered the field of AI and your work on child data privacy regulation?
I set out with the intention to help every child in the world fulfil their potential. Even in the most developed parts of the world, the system for nurturing and enabling a child’s potential is broken, under-resourced and not fit for purpose. There is even less opportunity in under-developed areas. I didn’t think this was right, so I decided to change it. I quit my corporate career and used the first-home deposit I’d been saving to fund my idea.
I wanted to find a way to bring a positive force in to children’s lives. To educate, inspire and entertain them; whatever their upbringing or background. I envisioned doing this with AI. The idea was to create an AI agent for children that would better understand them. It would appreciate and celebrate their unique interests and abilities and become a coach, confidante and friend.
It soon became clear the biggest obstacle to our vision of creating breakthrough technology for children was the regulation surrounding children’s data. Specifically, the outdated ways parents could consent to their child participating in digital experiences using personally identifiable information. I decided to tackle this problem by negotiating with government to unlock the benefits and power of technology for children, in a safe and secure way.
I identified facial recognition and identity verification technology, typically used for fraud prevention, I could apply to solve the problem. By taking on the cost and risk of Federal negotiation and applying the technology to a new use case, I was able to negotiate for globally exclusive rights with the ability to modify it for verified parental consent. I then went to work on amending an 18-year old regulation to unlock the global market and improve technology for children, successfully negotiating a 4–0 approval with the U.S. Federal Government.
My entrance to AI and child privacy was a necessity — my ‘must’ — fuelled by the intensity behind my mission to help every child in the world fulfil their potential and a ‘whatever it takes attitude’ to learn and do things I initially knew nothing about. That meant learning about AI and negotiating with the U.S. Federal Government, which is no easy feat.
My learnings from this experience? Don’t be someone who sets limitations for yourself. Never be held back by the resources available to you. Get resourceful and try; because it might just lead somewhere incredible.
When you have identified your ‘must’, forget your limitations and do whatever it takes to achieve your goal.
This is part 3 of 7. Part 4 of the series will be available here on Friday 5th October.
imi is currently in beta testing stage. Sign up here for the wait list.