“What we’ve done at Scale is built the data platform for AI,” says Scale AI’s 22-year-old CEO, Alexandr Wang. “AI is really built on top of data and these algorithms require billions and billions of examples of labeled data to be able to perform in a safe or reliable way. What we’ve done is built a platform that allows these companies to get the data they need to be able to build these algorithms in a safe and reliable way. Then they use the data to build their self-driving cars.”
Alexandr Wang, Scale AI co-founder and CEO, discusses how his company has built the data platform for AI that enables safe and reliable autonomous vehicles. Wang was interviewed on Bloomberg Technology.
We Built the Data Platform For AI To Enable Safe Autonomous Vehicles
What we’ve done at Scale is built the data platform for AI. AI is really built on top of data and these algorithms require billions and billions of examples of labeled data to be able to perform in a safe or reliable way. What we’ve done is built a platform that allows these companies to get the data they need to be able to build these algorithms in a safe and reliable way. Then they use the data to build their self-driving cars. I think it’s very exciting that all these companies have really incredible technology and it’s getting better and better every single year. We’re really getting closer and closer to solving the problem.
One of the big problems in machine learning is perception, being able to fully understand the environment around you using machine learning. So we process a lot of image data, LIDAR data, radar data, map data, etc. for some of these companies. Then for other companies, we process tax data or tabular data or speech data. The work we do is critical to building safe autonomous vehicles, for example, because without the data that we’re able to provide to these companies they actually wouldn’t even be able to build algorithms that could perform in any manner that is safe and reliable.
AI Is Really About Augmenting Humans With Technology
AI is really about augmenting humans with technology and making them more effective and more efficient using technology. In particular, I think for a lot of the problems that we work on where AI plays a really critical role in self-driving or medical imagery, etc., you really want to make sure that humans are a part of the process to ensure that these systems are performing very safely and reliably.
One view that we really take in is, how do we solve this in the most tech-enabled way as possible? How do we use as much machine learning and technology on our side to make the process as efficient and high quality as possible? That’s a very differentiated view actually. Many of these other efforts are much more human-powered than technology powered.
You Don’t Need a Degree To Be Able To Accomplish Your Goals
I was really lucky I grew up in Los Alamos, New Mexico, but after high school, I was lucky to be able to come out here to the Valley to work as a software engineer. That really exposed me to a lot of these problems where AI and machine learning are really core. I went back to school for a year and then after that year at school, I dropped out and started this company.
I think if you know what you want to do, more and more these days, you don’t need a degree to be able to accomplish what you need to do. I think people care a lot more about what can you accomplish and what are your skills.