This is part of our ‘Meet Our Delegates’ series where we introduce you to social scientists and technologists who are attending the conference. Nemo will also be giving a PechaKucha talk in the morning.
MEET NEMO D’QRILL
Nemo, you’re the CEO and Founder of an AI company, Sigma Polaris. You have an amazing academic background in mathematics (BSc), behavioural economics (RA), logic (MA), and rationality theory (PhD). What made you decide to venture from academia into the industry?
Hi! That is an interesting question. At the core of it I guess I felt I had spent enough years solving theoretical problems and decided it was time to tackle some real-world problems and do my bit for the world. My academic background and contacts gave me the access and skillset to do so.
Tell us about Sigma Polaris. What inspired you to start your company?
A professor in mathematics’ diploma was from Vietnam and wasn’t recognised in Denmark. As such he picked strawberries.
I got my first job as a speaker in the industry even before getting my first diploma. I was a 19 year-old kid, straight out of the army, and I only got called to interview because they lost my CV. I was qualified and smashed the interview and two months later they chose me from amongst all my colleagues to present to visiting royalty. I always realised that many recruitment processes were broken. When I was 14 years old I worked on an orchard with a professor in mathematics, however his diploma was from Vietnam and wasn’t recognised in Denmark. As such he picked strawberries. Later I lived with a great guy with Asperger’s who struggled finding work even though he was immensely qualified. We all know these kinds of stories, there is a great systematic problem about meritocracy. After discussing and exploring these problems with multiple industry experts, I started Sigma Polaris to do my bit solving these problems whilst optimising multiple other processes because they were low-hanging fruits.
AI is starting to play a greater greater role in recruitment. People may be sceptical about this especially after the failed Amazon project. What’s different about your offering?
AI finds correlations. If you do statistical analysis on biased data sets, then you will find bias (if you know what you are doing). At Sigma Polaris we use the performance in our online assessments as our input data to provide meritocratic shortlists based purely on candidates’ performance and candidate-vacancy fit. As such, our AI cannot factor in e.g. age, gender, ethnicity, etc., and sidesteps the immediate problem of AI-discrimination.
Why are you excited to attend the conference and what do you hope to get from attending?
It is at gatherings like the Anthropology + Technology conference that the global agendas are first voiced and then set.
I believe the conference will bring together a set of sharp critical minds to explore the opportunities and challenges of utilising data driven methods to solve a range of problems we are facing in our current society. I hope to have stimulating conversation with these peers and bring awareness of both exciting opportunities and difficult challenges we are currently facing. It is at gatherings like the Anthropology + Technology conference that the global agendas are first voiced and then set.
In your opinion, why do you think other technologists should attend the conference?
Again, it is at gatherings like the A+T conference that the global agendas are first voiced and then set.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us or say?
So long, and thanks for all the fish (Douglas Adams).
Thanks so much, Nemo, we look forward to your PechaKucha talk and meeting you in October!