By Karen Márquez, CEO and Founder of Infantium
I write these lines from Boston, after a massive snowfall! Since we were featured as a SoS company, lots of good things have happened. Infantium uses brain-inspired computing to personalize learning of children (Neuroscience, machine learning and AI).
2014 was a promising one for Infantium. In summer, we were awarded with a scholarship (global impact competition) to attend the GSP at Singularity University (founded by Google) at NASA headquarters in Mountain View. It’s one of the most selective in the world, and among thousands of applications, 80 leaders and technology entrepreneurs from 35 countries are selected to analyze the major technological advances transforming the world.
In two decades, the people living in big cities will grow by two billion. This shift will put tremendous stress on healthcare, housing, education and other critical resources. The great transformation yet to come cannot be managed by political or economic tools, but with technological innovations. The mission of Singularity is identifying leaders and groundbreaking changing technologies that can impact the life of at least 1 billion of people.
So it is such a honor to be recognized as game-changers that can impact society through cognitive systems.
Reverse engineering the brain and Machine learning used by Infantium can really make the difference in transforming education. Education is the only way of changing human being’s lives; to fight against poverty and reach equality globally. It will be one of the important topics for humanity in the coming years: understanding the principles of human intelligence, understanding how the brain performs essential functions, and emulating those functions can mean a tool to emulate natural learning in people, overcoming the huge challenge of dropouts and frustration.
The second big news is that we made it into phase 2 of the SME instrument (EU’s Horizon2020), being the only educational Project for this phase. Exponential technologies will bring the issue in which large parts of the economy –most of them current students in K-12 -are underemployed, unemployed or unemployable, with machines replacing specific tasks and no marketable skills, acquired mostly through obsolete educational systems. Education is a pillar for the future of Europe, ensuring essential skills in a future where traditional curriculum will be far from enough. With the grant, Infantium will incorporate biometric feedback, computer vision and contextual data in our brain-inspired system to help children develop critical skills adapted to cognitive abilities, not based on curriculum-based demands.
Karen Márquez is the CEO and co-founder of Infantium, a multi-awarded start-up based on cognitive learning for young children using brain science and cognitive technology, selected as one of the 12 best start-ups of the EU by the European Commission (Tech All Stars). Karen has been awarded as MIT Young innovator under 35, with special mention as social innovator of the year, Google’s and NASA’s Singularity university global impact tech, and entrepreneur of the year by the professional Association of Computer Engineers (Catalonia, Spain).
We set up Infantium because we were sure that technology was ready to disrupt the very traditional sector that is education. Infantium uses brain-inspired computing to personalise learning for children and to deliver a tailored syllabus for every learner based on performance, learning style, level, preferences and motivation. This is education adapting to the child and not the other way round. We have had invaluable support from Telefonica at key stages in our journey, with which we hope to build the most valuable repository of the way children learn world wide, and ultimately give all children better learning opportunities, wherever they start from.
Governments in Europe should make it easier for businesses like mine to attract international talent; should create one-stop-shops for start ups (where they can pay their taxes and complete necessary forms); and improve access to EU RTD funding.
“Entrepreneurs are important to society because we bring innovation to the market and improve people’s lives.”
Start up capital: Savings, bank lending and angel capital
Mentor(s): Carles Grau; Bill Magill and Farly Duvall
Can you code? Learning
Education / Training: Marketing
Product / Service: E-learning