As adults we rarely outgrow the things that we loved as children. Our attention may wane temporarily, but somehow we always find a way back to what interested us most. Take for example, Kean Graham, the founder of MonetizeMore. His love of gaming systems as a child fueled his curiosity to learn more about how things function and ways to make daily operations more efficient. Fast forward to adulthood, one trip of personal reflection revealed to him that he had the power to use AI in transformative ways.
Tamara: Can you share a story that inspired you to get involved in AI?
Kean: I have always been fascinated with AI since I was young and immersed in video games. I wanted to know things such as: How could the computer predict my movements? Is it possible for AI to replicate human thinking? How complex could it get in the future?
Since playing video games, I’ve always gravitated towards devices that have AI components to learn about the new AI advancements. Naturally, that fascination grew from an interest to a direct involvement. I started an ad tech business that now incorporates AI to maximize ad revenues for AdSense publishers.
Tamara: Describe your company and the AI/predictive analytics/data analytics products/services you offer.
Kean: MonetizeMore offers an ad tech platform for publishers called PubGuru that includes:
Unified reporting of ad revenue sources
Recommendation engine based on ad tech diagnostic and real-time auction analysis
Machine learning that optimizes ad revenues via auction dynamics like auction timeout, bid floors and bidder combinations & order
Tamara: How do you see the AI/data analytics/predictive analysis industry evolving in the future?
Kean: AI will be more present in everyday life via a wider breadth of products. As a result, the public will be more favourable towards AI because they will grow comfortable with the idea and see the clear benefits. As AI becomes more of a part of everyday life, the public will become more dependent on AI. This public dynamic will only accelerate the innovation of AI and the spread of its function.
Tamara: What is the biggest challenge facing the industry today in your opinion?
Kean: The biggest challenge to AI is public opinion. While the benefits of AI to society are vast, they do pose the below fears:
Make millions of jobs redundant
Lead to the extinction of the human race.
There will be consequences to “Playing God” by creating self-aware intelligent beings
Tamara: How do you see your products/services evolving going forward?
Kean: While the major fears of AI innovation may not be completely rational, they still will be the derivatives of public outcry to inhibit AI innovation. The key to circumventing this public skepticism is by introducing AI into everyday functions that contribute major value to society. Once the public is comfortable with AI being involved in their everyday lives, there will be nothing to stop the growth of AI.
The tipping point of AI prevalence is a matter of time, rather than “if”. AI will no longer be reserved to videogames, voice & chat assistants, or self-driving cars. AI will be present in everyday offline activities like shopping, education, sport training, matchmaking, fashion and much more. Once AI hits that tipping point, society will not be able to reasonably function without it.
Tamara: What is your favorite AI movie and why?
Kean: My favorite AI movie is Deus Ex Machina. This movie does an incredible job bringing the viewer through the explorative phase of AI development and the human intentions. It pokes at fascinating comparisons between AI and human psychology. It draws the viewer to be empathetic for the AI while still being fearful. Overall, it’s an incredible watch for any AI philosophy enthusiast.
Tamara: What type of advice would you give my readers about AI?
Kean: AI is going to change the world more than the internet has changed everyday life. The benefit is too great to heed the dangers of AI. Most of the readers are involved in AI development. The ethical considerations of AI development are very real. AI architects should be very careful about their innovations. They should think long-term, be principled and should be involved for the ultimate betterment of society. The power to create AI innovations must be met with great responsibility. Without meticulous planning, architecting and surveillance, the AI could spiral out of control to the detriment of society.
Tamara: How does AI, particularly your product/service, bring goodness to the world? Can you explain how you help people?
Kean: PubGuru offers the power of AI to recommend ad revenue optimizations based on their ad tech setup and the shifts and flows of their auction. It involves billions of data points every day. A manual analysis could not be done as quickly or to the same level of sophistication.
PubGuru will change the way publishers look at ad inventories. Currently, publishers associate ad inventory management with unending problems and headaches. The function of PubGuru’s AI will simplify the ad inventory management for publishers so they merely need to follow the actionable recommendations provided on the platform.
Tamara: What would be the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you during your company’s evolution?
Kean: I originally fell in love with the online industry when working for a large online classified network. The job was an immense learning experience but once the recession hit, the company decided to lay off the marketing department. I lost the best job I ever had, but I was determined to turn the bad into something great.
Five days later, I’m on a plane to South America to go on a life changing trip. Four months into my backpacking trip I was on a four-day trek through the incredible Inca trail towards Machu Picchu. By the end of it, I was sitting on top of Wayna Picchu reflecting on my experiences throughout my trip. I have had the most fulfilling time of my life and it finally clicked:
I will work and travel when I want, where I want.
My revelation told me that I have to start a digital business to enable this autonomous lifestyle. Seven months later I started the ad tech company called MonetizeMore which now offers this autonomous lifestyle to every member of our team and rapid AI innovation. Since then, the company has grown to $17M in revenues that is a Google Certified Partner with 100+ full-time team members remotely based across the planet.
Tamara: What are the 3-5 things that most excite you about AI? Why? (industry specific)
Kean: Automation: AI will dramatically improve standard of living initially for those who can afford it and eventually for the general population. Menial tasks will be automated and free-time will be abundant.
Seamless Problem Solving: AI will be applied to problems that humans are bad at solving like error analysis, conflict resolution and discretionary decisions that are usually bogged down by human bias.
Elimination of Bureaucracy: Bureaucratic organizations will unfortunately be the last ones to integrate AI, but it will happen eventually. Needless bureaucratic practices will be eliminated like applying for visas, getting certifications, tax management and many more brain curdling tasks that plague society today.
Tamara: What are the 3-5 things worry you about AI? Why? (industry specific)
Job Loss: AI will make millions of jobs redundant from truck drivers to cashiers to lawyers. Jobs per capita will hit all-time lows thanks to AI.
Unintended Results: The dynamics of machine learning are exciting and scary at the same time. When innovation of technology is out of human hands, and into the control of the AI itself, the results could be vastly different. If the AI architects aren’t careful, they might not even be able to intervene on the unintended results.
Threat to the Human Race: The advent of a hyper-intelligent self-aware being, could be a real threat to the human race. If humans do not keep control and surveillance of AI development, it could spiral out of control to the detriment of the human race.
Tamara: Over the next three years, name at least one thing that we can expect in the future related to AI?
Kean: Customer interaction will see a big shift thanks to AI. People in major cities of first world countries will have consistent interaction with AI via customer interaction. AI will become much more sophisticated than your simple self-checkout terminals. Integrations with IOT data will become more common which will make the customer interactions more intelligent, relevant and ultimately offer more value vs. human customer interaction.
People will eventually see the unparalleled value offered by AI versus human customer interaction in the next 3 years. This will be a big step towards winning over public opinion of AI.