I prefer to think of us as a group of people going after one common goal, not a corporation with a hierarchy of boss and employees. Our team works in a cooperative environment, and we are all focused on one mission: creating general artificial intelligence. I also want my colleagues to feel like co-owners of GoodAI, so I am planning to give them company shares in the near future. We operate on consensus and everything we do takes us closer to our goal.
That said, every member has a particular place in the team. We’re working towards multiple smaller milestones at any given time, which means that the group is often split into teams that tackle smaller goals. We’re also oriented towards incremental progress rather than making great leaps over longer periods of time. Instead of going after a single goal that takes us two years, we aim for 12 smaller milestones spaced two months apart. I know we achieve more this way, and hitting these incremental milestones allows us to be flexible in our approach and make real progress day by day. We are not afraid to fail, and we take a positive view of every setback we encounter on the way to reaching milestones. By failing fast, we can rethink and attack the challenge from a different angle. We want to find out what doesn’t work as quickly as possible in order to more efficiently find out what methods will succeed.
GoodAI team members are also given a lot of free time to try doing things their own way. We push hard towards a particular goal for two months, and then take one month where every team member explores their own individual ideas and interests related to general AI. We’ve found that this process allows us to keep hitting the milestones we need to hit, but also makes room for a lot of great ideas that emerge when researchers and programmers are given space to be creative.
My own role in the GoodAI team is to drive the direction of our research, push everyone to focus on the most important things and ignore what wastes our time and resources, and determine the best ways to achieve our goals. I would call myself a project architect. I keep the pressure on our teams to produce, but I’m careful to connect people and ideas and to let new approaches emerge.
My job is to understand what the teams can do and to know that they can always do better. It’s my responsibility and personal mission to teach the teams that they can do more than they ever imagined possible. My role is to tap their fullest potential.
If you’re curious about our “stay-the-course” approach, check out this article that perfectly describes the way I look at things I want to do in my life: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grit_(personality_trait)
Why general artificial intelligence?
For me, creating general AI is the greatest challenge I can imagine, and I know the risk of failure is high. But I also know that general AI will fix everything for humankind in the future – it will be a universal problem-solver. I also know myself. I’m the kind of person who needs to take on the hardest challenges that seem impossible to most people.
If something is too easy, I lose interest. If general AI was a simple challenge, I wouldn’t bother. I’m all about keeping a “no limits” mentality, being open to others and their ideas, and remembering that my team is my greatest resource in getting where we need to be.
In case you’re interested in joining us :-), here’s what my team members are saying about working at GoodAI:
Honza: “I’m very curious what GoodAI will be doing in two months, or in half a year. I have a feeling that even my craziest dreams are nothing compared to what we will really do. So it will be a dream come true, literally.”
Jarda: “A big change can be made by someone new (like Marek) who wants to do things in a different way and at the right time. Also, I’ve always wanted to work on a team like this, and I just had to wait until the company and position was available in the Czech Republic 🙂 ”
Phil: “I want to be able to contribute to all of these great challenges we have. I love the cutting edge technology at GoodAI, and I love the team with lots of smart people. You can always throw an idea out there, you can always get lots of input.”
Jiri: “I’m doing what I always wanted to do – my work is my hobby.”
Thanks for reading!