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Interview with Idris Mootee of urbancoolab: Creative collaborations between Humans and AI Machines

Authority Magazine on Medium | Fotis Georgiadis | Jun 4, 2021

idris mootee - Interview with Idris Mootee of urbancoolab:  Creative collaborations between Humans and AI MachinesFotis Georgiadis:  As a part of our series about cutting edge technological breakthroughs, I had the pleasure of interviewing IDRIS MOOTEE of urbancoolab.

Idris is the co-founder of Urbancoolab, a company focuses on advancing applied AI in computational creativity. Prior to that he was the co-founder and global CEO of Idea Couture for 12 years until the firm was acquired.

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Idea Couture has built its reputation as the most sought after innovation firm for Fortune 500s with offices in Toronto, San Francisco, London Amsterdam, New York City, Mexico City and Sao Paulo. Idris has a proven executive management track record and over 25 years of experience building business from scratch, he is passionate about building high performance teams to drive product innovation, velocity and scale.

What cutting-edge technological breakthroughs are you working on?

Urbancoolab’s mission is to employ machine intelligence toward various aspects of the creative fields. Because it is involved with creativity, the recurring theme around the concept is that it will somehow take away human jobs. But that’s really mostly a myth. Yes, there are industries in which automation can replace certain operational procedures but new jobs will inevitably be created. The renowned computer scientist Kai Fu Lee’s is convinced that given AI’s limitations when it comes to performing humanistic tasks and believes:

Tasks that are personal, creative, and compassionate — these are the jobs that will be safe from displacement. But this too may not entirely be true either.

Right now, we are pushing true creative collaborations between Humans and AI Machines. It is not the scenarios that one is the master and the other becomes the tool. The biggest limitation is subjectivity. How can machines perform subjective mapping between senses and sensual qualities to illustrate the dynamics between computing and consciousness?

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It is unknown how our senses (e.g., vision, audio and olfactory) are translated into subjective human feelings and emotional responses that lead to creative outcomes. One scenario is that our machine will be able to translate visuals and sounds (and we’re already doing that), but the emotional responses we are getting from it might not be the same as they might be for humans. Either way it is a breakthough. And we can argue for another 50 years whether machine art is art or machine feelings are feelings because, clearly, we haven’t arrived at any consensus about what constitutes as art and which feelings are valid.

How do you think this might change the world?

We are optimistic that there is a version of the future in which humans and machines live, work, co-create and even play side by side. For instance, we enjoy driving a lot but there are times when we may wish the machine can self-drive, because we need a power nap or make a video call. We enjoy cooking a lot and there are times some of us would rather the AI kitchen can decide and cook something while we are finishing up work.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why

  • 50% of business out there is a scam and don’t create customer value. You can find that in financial services when all they do is sell you funds and made commissions but have no value add.
  • 50% of business out there are operating on an expired business model. Think about auto insurance and when you won’t be the driver anymore, so it will be Tesla or Google.

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  • 50% of customer out there have no idea what they want. As they say ask people what they want for their horse carriages, they’d a faster horse. But one wanted a car. No one wanted a self-driving car.
  • 50% of all large companies simply cannot innovate they way into the future. They have too much vested interests in the past. Think Kodak as a chemical company and never wanted digital to work even they invested the first digital camera.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Interview with Idris Mootee of urbancoolab:  Creative collaborations between Humans and AI MachinesThe National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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