In an interview with Insights Success, Ruggero Gramatica, CEO of Yewno, Inc. shares his insights on how artificial intelligence is transforming the relationship between information and knowledge, and what that means for a multitude of industries.
Below are highlights from the interview conducted with Mr. Gramatica:
Give a brief overview of your background and role in Yewno.
I have over 20 years of experience in startups and company turnaround. Bringing strategic leadership as well as technological and operational expertise to bear, I have contributed to the growth and expansion of 5 successful start-ups both in the United States and across Europe. I’ve operated successfully in both blue chip and early stage environments. I bring to these roles a strong technology background, financial and quantitative analysis skills, strategic thinking, operational expertise, and commercial and business acumen.
In addition to a PhD in Applied Mathematics from King’s College London, I hold an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School Of Business, an Engineering degree from the Politecnico di Milano University and a Certificate in Quantitative Finance.
How does today’s economy affect your business?
Over the last 50 years, a variety of industries have heavily relied on the Information Economy. This encompasses everything having to do with organically producing and making information available, or with accessing structured information. Around 2005 there was a revamp of the Artificial Intelligence paradigm where new frameworks were devised, thanks to the breakthrough of cloud parallel computing and storage. Machine Learning techniques and deep neural networks became a practical tools to model complex data, and we officially entered into the Knowledge Economy era. Information, albeit a fundamental building block, is no longer sufficient. Knowledge – seen as actionable, intelligent, and correlated information – has become an important element of most business practices.
At Yewno, we transform Information into Knowledge by processing hundreds of millions of unstructured sources, from scholarly to financial, economic, political, and social data. We construct an ever-growing Knowledge Graph of correlated information where relationships are interpreted, tracked in real time, and processed to serve an intelligent framework.
How necessary is it to align business with technology and what are its outcomes?
We are now living in a world where technology is a fundamental component of our everyday life. As companies seek better operations efficiencies, market penetration, and/or consolidation, being aligned technologically often represents gaining an edge. There is always a need for this.
What were the past experiences, achievements or lessons that shaped your journey?
Throughout my entrepreneurial journey, I have thrived on the ability to accurately determine the driving variables of a business or industry. I pride myself on catching the mobile business revolution in the very early days, as I did with the broadband explosion, and now with Artificial Intelligence. Nothing came for free. It required years of observation and hard study to become competent and like anyone, I had to go through much trial and error to hone this skill.
According to you, what is the importance of the ability to develop comprehensive strategies in the role of CEO?
In order to succeed, you must pay obsessive, maniacal attention to the driving factors of whatever business you are in, or want to pursue. The ability lies in mapping and constantly observing what variables are changing, thus determining opportunities and risks. Listening to others and learning from other success stories (and failures) is also important. Finally, pay attention to the similarities between different types businesses and industries – they are stronger than one might think.
What were some of the primary challenges and roadblocks that you faced during the initial phase of your journey?
Every business has some type of barriers to entry. The key to overcoming those barriers is to confront them head-on rather than ignoring them or hoping that you won’t encounter them.
With Artificial Intelligence, the biggest barrier is defining the industry, and which part of the industry we belong to. AI has become a buzz word, a much-too-big, all-encompassing umbrella term for anything from machine learning to neural networks, robotics, and even medical devices like prosthetics. Because AI is such a general term, and many of its specific capabilities aren’t well known, the connotation can be vaguely scary or negative. Examples include fears of black-boxes, or machines taking over, or concerns of machines replacing our jobs.
Effectively communicating what Yewno is, and the specific value we provide – helping people to wade through the mind-boggling mass of information available to them, and to extract only what is most valuable – has been paramount to our continued success.
Where does Yewno see itself in the near future and what are its future goals?
We are proudly building a great company, thanks to our excellent team who have fully embraced our mission. We are successfully building a framework where dispersed and fragmented information is formed into knowledge in a dynamic way. The goal is to provide this service to private individuals and business alike, across industries, who will benefit from this new paradigm, and to build a legacy for generations of smarter services and lifelong learners.
Provide one line that best describes your vision and approach to business?
Be a visionary and develop a compelling business idea that follows your vision. Find the right partner to work with you, and try not to compromise in the choice of the people working with/for you. Recognize when you make a mistake, and act quickly to correct it. Finally, if you truly believe in your vision, never give up!
Source: The League of Extraordinary CEOs