KIMO is a friendly AI assistant that helps people develop themselves more effectively. The basic system was built by Krishna Deepak Nallamilli (CTO), and Rens ter Weijde (CEO), who met in Harvard Business School and shared the same worries about the lack of human development towards the AI-era. The story of why we built what we did, you can find below. Let’s start with the two founders.
Krishna has been vice-chairman at Aditya in India, a renowned learning institute with over 70,000 students. In his role, he experienced the difficulty for students to compete in the future world directly: there is a lot to learn, and only so many hours. The old ‘classroom model’ of learning felt ineffective to him, and he dreamed of building a personalized learning mentor which would be driven by machine learning to optimize this process. He could clearly see the potential here, due to his background in computer science.
Rens has worked as a strategy consultant (McKinsey, Purpose+) for 8 years in The Netherlands, and served over 75 clients in his life as a consultant. He successfully founded Purpose+ and published two books around corporate transformations. In his journeys as a consultant, he found ‘a lack of successful re-skilling of employees’ to be one of the largest hurdles. Few people take enough time to educate themselves on a daily basis. In AI-terminology, when humans can choose between exploration and exploitation, adults seem to overwhelmingly go for the latter. He long feared that in preparing for an AI-driven world – where new skillsets, countries and business models will likely become relevant – this could be a grave mistake. Like Krishna, he dreamed of a better – more engaging – way to re-train our population. He came to the same conclusion as Krishna did, working with a different target audience and on another continent: learning for adults is broken.
When Krishna and Rens met in Boston during their studies, their mutual interests came to light. They decided to partner up, using the strengths on both sides. Krishna would lead the development team in India, Rens would lead the front-end in The Netherlands. This set-up, although geographically far apart, would give Krishna direct access to his talent pool where Rens kept direct access to the client base in Western Europe.
Long story short: eight months later (time of writing: December 1st 2018) we are ready to launch the first AI-solution that should give people a better chance to re-train themselves. We hope you find it a valuable tool, and welcome your feedback!