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 start-up 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 Natalie Massenet, who started Net-a-Porter, 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 start-up before or has risen up the ranks of a company very quickly.
"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 U.K. and whittled it down to 100. 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 start-up idea based on their history.
Soon it will be able to tell people the chance of their start-up surviving.
"It would get to that point in six months' time of having a percentage chance of survival rate of company," Bowles said.
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 which allows you to bet on different aspects of a start-up such as user growth or revenue estimates. Who knows?
Also, I would need a co-founder as I have no skills in coding or computer science. Is anyone available?