Agents Bar looking for co-founders
tl;dr: I'm looking for co-founders to help push the Agents Bar to glory. Everyone deserves an easy access to deep reinforcement learning (DRL) agents in their applications.
This blog post is one of those very personal ones so brace yourself.
I'm an entrepreneur
There. It's out. Hopefully, now that's it's written and out of my head I won't have to refer to this again. That word just feels bad. Not only I never had an aspiration to become entrepreneur or a manager, I actively avoided it. Entrepreneurs are obviously people focused only on getting more money. But me, I'm a philosopher/engineer; progress makes me happy. Until quite recently my dream occupation was an ivory-tower academic who, after work, would work a bit more in his own laboratory. Give me physics, medicine and computer science workbooks and leave me alone. Such a vision was based on observing my own progress versus the world progress. Every month I would know much more than I used to know, but the world was changing rather slowly. "Phhh", my literal thoughts, "give me 20 years and I'm the smartest person alive doing the bestest things possible". Easy peasy.
Where did I go wrong?
Healthy adult with minimum amount of cynicism can see the flaw. When you have plenty to learn, each attempt moves you further, but pushing boundaries of knowledge is an obstacle course with a lottery at the end. During my World Knowledge Consumption I've learn a lot, and those lots include: modesty, realization that none is special, and that it takes many to build something amazing. I want to build something amazing. Initially, I thought that joining amazing people would get me closer to getting amazing stuff out, but that didn't go well. For one, there just aren't any amazing people, and two, it's actually really difficult to help in amazing projects if they don't let you in. But I do want to do amazing stuff. (Insert here pop-culture meme: Futurama, Bender, casino.) Let's do amazing stuff.
What's so amazing about the Agents Bar
I'm still polishing my sales pitch so bare with my rumbling, please. The Agents Bar is a platform, or a bar, where AI agents can hang out. These are (deep) reinforcement learning agents and not your typical chat bots which means that our agents do, rather than talk. If you can describe your circumstances as a state and quantify how good it is to be there, or at least how it compares to a different state, then we provide you an action to take from that state. Common examples are games with some highscore. In fact, recent big news in deep reinforcement learning are about advancements in Atari, Go, Starcraft 2, Dota 2… and many more. But games aren't the limit. They are simply more natural to apply to (and academics are also humans so they enjoy playing them). You will find more example of reinforcement learning in recommendation engines, in financial advises, inventory optimization, robotics and general decision making. Yes, cheesy as it sounds, reinforcement learning can be applied almost anywhere. One of the reasons why it isn't, is that it's difficult to rewrite your problem in terms of state-action, implement the algorithm and run experiments to figure out how to tune the algorithm. It requires plenty of knowledge in many expertise areas and often it's easier to approximate solution with some heuristic leading to "go enough" and saving on time, or even solving that approximation. However, approximations are always "good enough" or even possible. And that's where we come in. The Agents Bar solves the problem of implementing algorithms. It solve the problem of needing to run experiments. It doesn't solve the problem of knowing how to rephrase your problem in state-action space but we're happy to provide our expertise to help others.
Yes, exactly, why not 3 years ago?! We have the technology and it's a moral sin to leave it as it is. The field of deep reinforcement learning (DRL) is going through a boom. That's in part of thanks to machine learning (ML) and artificial general intelligence (AGI) hype, and in part thanks to awesome research and impressive PR from DeepMind, Google Brain and OpenAI. There's plenty of open source implementations, including my own, for DRL agents. Hosting things on the internet are now trivial thanks to cloud providers. Scaling services is easy thanks to Kubernetes and Docker. Big corpos are blaming others for their shitty security which is annoying people and writing plenty of great security tools. Although it is difficult to not include all human disasters when thinking about the World's state, technologically we are living in the future. That future just needs a bit of moulding.
I'll be honest: there aren't great reasons why me. As I mentioned, I accepted that I'm nothing special. But, on the other hand, no one is so, heck yes, why not me?! I've worked at a huge corp and seen the production of the sausage. I have PhD in mathematical modelling and worked with/on many machine learning techniques. I'm through and through analytical and pragmatic person. Hard working, demanding but definitely fair, and knowing that each person brings their own skill set and we shouldn't be judged by the same metric. I'm passionate about this, have little obligations (cats and a partner), no life expenses, cheap hobbies. I'm usually good with people as I always try to think from theirs perspective, although my angry-person resting face through some obstacles, especially with western/outgoing people. And, hopefully this is my mic-drop moment, I've already built the product. Was hoping to release it today with this post but a few screws got loose so it's next week.
Impressed?! Come on, BE WITH ME! I'm here for you! Who's desperate? You're desperate!
I'm looking for a business partner and/or investors. I always do my homework so I've read books and internet facts, and all been taking with hefty doze of logic and rational blend. I don't want to rush for the sake of rushing and I'm internet says I should be cautious (example links 1, 2, 3). There's plenty to do and even more not to do. Although I'm motivated I'm still a human and it's always easier when there's someone who helps through the adventure. This is not a side project. I'm planning my coming years around this. If this sounds like something you'd be interested in then please do let me know. Feel free to reach out with any questions and/or suggestions. Any feedback is appreciated. (Contact is intentionally not here. It's easy to find contact to me.)