The reaction of Botanic Technology’s Mark Stephen Meadows to Google DeepMind’s latest AI announcement.


Google Deepmind’s AI system Alpha Go Zero has just surpassed human capability at the game of ‘Go’, using deep learning to master 1,000 years of human knowledge in just 3 days. However, shouldn’t we stop to consider a future where a handful of large corporations control the world’s AI systems?

Mark Stephen Meadows, CEO of Botanic Technologies believes we should. Mark has been involved with building AI systems for 15 years, has published four books and his company has built AI interfaces / bots for Fortune 100 companies and government agencies.

According to Meadows, “There are only around five mega-corporations today that control the world’s advanced AI systems. As users begin interacting with those systems via chatbots, assistants and avatars do they realise they’ll be transmitting as many as 200 new data points via their voice, body language and even their emotions? I very much doubt it.”

“We were asleep to the value of data we exchange with social networks simply for free use of the platforms. That data has created some of the world’s most valuable companies in Facebook and Google, AI interfaces will be like steroids for this situation.”

“What the world needs is an open source approach to AI where a whole host of developers and companies can access the data and Intellectual Property needed to build AI systems and bots. Not just the giant internet firms. User privacy needs to be built into this ecosystem and those users willing to exchange their personal data with AI platforms should be rewarded for doing so.”

“That’s why my company Botanic will shortly license our significant Intellectual Property to a not-for-profit Foundation known as ‘Seed Vault Ltd.’, which is seeking to build an open AI ecosystem where access to AI is open to all, not just the few. Seed plans to ensure AI bots are authenticated using blockchain technology so that users can understand who has created the AI systems that are advising them on evermore aspects of modern life.”

“Congratulations to Google for their technical achievement but this should be viewed as a warning not just a milestone.”

Mark  is available to meet to discuss AI and the vision for an Open Source AI future. If you would be interested in interviewing Mark, or finding out more about Botanic, please get in touch with Nick Ward: nward@fireoth.com / +44 (0)203 865 8136 at Fire on the Hill.