Of course, our mission is to share the monetary outcomes from the value created out of our collaboration with entrepreneurs and our investors. Because we are dealing with Technology, there are consequences.
Technology is such a powerful force that it shakes up and deeply affects not only fragile societal equilibriums [think automation and the workforce, democracy, privacy] but also our very individual behaviours [think social media]. We agree with Prof. Illah Reza Nourbakhsh, of Carnegie Mellon University that “Technology is not intrinsically good or neutral from a human perspective”. He is supported by Prof. Ben Kuipers’ statement (University of Michigan) who says that : “It has no sense of what’s appropriate and what’s not”.
That is why, as entrepreneurs and investors inventing and financing new technologies, we believe that we bear a responsibility to steer their evolution in a direction that is both ethical, societally beneficial to the larger population and respectful of our environment.
Making such calls may not always be clear or easy. Technologies may have unintended consequences. For example, promoting addictive habits (such as pushing screen use, stealing users time) is tempting but is it making our lives better? Sometimes. Not always. We ought to be mindful of the temptation to wrap deception or control technologies in seemingly innocuous services.
We think that properly harnessing such a strong political force should not be underestimated.
Automation capabilities brought about by Artificial Intelligence are pushing down the cost of experimentation and driving simulation speeds to levels unseen before, meaning entrepreneurs can now dramatically expand their trial and error discovery process and efficiently serve ever increasing numbers of customers. The opportunities offered by the expanding AI-set of capabilities are endless and choices made by entrepreneurs can take both good and bad directions.
At the same time, the world continues to be plagued by significant issues and challenges in education, energy, environment, food, water, health, habitat, governance and security (see United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals). We believe that these present opportunities to both positively change the world and generate value for those who participate in the ventures addressing these with ground-breaking solutions.
Indeed, we at Expon Capital believe that technology is not an objective in and of itself. We believe that technology is a means to provide valuable services and make our lives easier, more meaningful, allowing us individuals/humanity to focus on what is important to us individuals/humanity. Technology as a force of true freedom We wish technology could make people more free, possibly better versions of themselves, not slave to useless habits. We see technology as a way to open possibilities for everyone, foster better sharing and collaboration.
We believe in empowering people and citizens, not in overwhelming them nor generating anxiety or technophobia. Recent political turmoil across the Western world can be seen as the first sign of future pushbacks. Unless a fresh approach is taken, we can only expect the proliferation of neo Luddite movements. We want technology to help us live our lives fully by creating valuable experiences and jobs which contribute to the elevation of people and society.
That’s why we believe it is important to make technology more human, more simple, more intuitive and not showing off fearful superhuman capabilities. We deeply believe technology should become so transparent and fluid that it disappears, becomes invisible and helps us put people and their objectives back to the center of humanity’s preoccupations.
We are thus here to help entrepreneurs solve real meaningful problems with pertinent solutions.
Because of the accelerating pace of change, the scope, rhythm and depth of uncertainty is widening. The pace of evolution is so unprecedented that it has become crucial to comprehend not if but how we can cope with it. Throughout our history, against all odds, our specie has been the most adaptable to change. Humans have seen epochs of drought, cold, floods and global volcanic ash coverage. Our species has actively contributed to the transformation of earth’s ecosystem into the Anthropocene.
Now, how is humanity going to cope with the rise of artificial general intelligence, drones and bots of all kinds, synthetic biology, gene therapy, social networks, blockchain and nanotechnologies?
This is indeed a very special time in the history of mankind.
If you have discovered something extraordinary to make people’s lives better, uncovered a secret that seamlessly unites people and machines; Let’s talk.
If you are driven by the will to make this world a better place, convinced that the duty lies with you and not with some form of government.
If you want to make our world a more inclusive one. Let’s do it together.
Jerome, Rodrigo, Marc, Alain
The Expon Capital Team © 2016