Interview with Syndicai founder Marcin Laskowski
With Syndicai Marcin Laskowski is on a mission to simplify the process of making AI models accessible, usable, and developer friendly.
Hi Marcin, How are you today?
Perfect! Thank you.
That’s my first serious interview as a Founder, so I am very happy! 🙂
Why did you start your latest company Syndicai?
Two years ago I graduated from Imperial College London. At that time I was finishing my Master thesis which aimed to apply advanced deep learning algorithms in the field of Mechanical Engineering. Getting great results I wanted to share my work with others, especially with business people. Instead of showing a piece of code, I thought that I would implement a model on a webpage so that people could upload some data and check the results for themselves.
Guess what…It’s not as easy as it sounds! Turns out even for my friends working for companies like Google, Facebook, or Twitter it was a challenge to make this happen to deploy AI models in production.
Since that time I was exploring different tools and approaches in the field of AI model deployment and applied AI. After two years of investigation, I found that the AI model deployment is one of the biggest bottlenecks in the whole AI ecosystem. There is a big gap in the market when it comes to fast and easy ways to put AI models on the market.
That’s how syndicai was born.
What makes Syndicai the next big thing
Our mission is to completely redefine the way we deliver and access AI.
Nowadays, the approach of putting AI into production is very complicated and requires special knowledge to do it properly. When you want to deploy AI model you need to take care of data/model versioning, proper scalabiling, and security. Additionally, all that needs to happen in the constant loop, since unlike DevOps, the MLOps is much more experimental at its core.
There are many great Data Scientists and Machine Learning Engineers in the filed who do a really great job. I know great specialists who built amazing models that outperform traditional approaches 10 times but didn’t manage to deploy or even showcase due to all those difficulties.
We believe that simplifying this process will help others create and deliver stuff much more quickly. Our goal is to make AI model deployment & integration more accessible, usable, and developer-friendly. We want to achieve this through simple model wrapping, clear and intuitive User Interface, and a sophisticated model management system, where no deep tech knowledge is required.
You participated in our very first batch in the Nextgrid AI seed program, what was your experience
It was definitely a great time full of new experiences. I learned a lot, especially from the startup side about investments, execution, and pitching. Highly recommended the AI seed program to all of you who have some idea, already built some AI MVP, and want to move forward fast.
What is the most exciting thing in the space of Artificial intelligence right now?
AI is empowering practically every industry we can imagine nowadays. What is happening in the area of healthcare and design industry is really amazing.
For example, a friend of mine from Imperial spent last year trying to apply Deep Reinforcement Learning algorithms to map muscle’s electrical activity signals with servo drives. Everything in order to build a hand prosthesis with human-like motion. Using traditional methods to calculate all kinematic equations is practically impossible. However, with Deep Learning is not only faster but also much more accurate and precise.
What excites me most is that more and more new algorithms are deployed in production. Trained models and not deployed does not bring any business value. So being a part of that movement which helps to raise all great solutions to industry level is an amazing journey.
How do you think AI technologies will impact humanity?
That’s a very intriguing question. The AI that almost all companies and startups deals with is called Artificial Narrow Intelligence. “Narrow”, because we are taking one particular task (e.g. finding some patterns in the picture) and with the help of AI build an algorithm to solve the task for us.
However, what is the top priority for top tech companies is called Artificial General Intelligence. “General”, because it can perform many tasks self-learning without explicit help, preparation and guidance. Just like the human brain.
As far as Artificial Narrow Intelligence is concern I am looking super forward towards new algorithms. Everything in order to help people in their daily life especially in the field of Healthcare Finance.
However, in terms of Artificial General Intelligence, I have a big concern. First of all, because we-people tend to think in a linear manner not really believing that something like this might happen sooner than later. Secondly, because when we get to that point of having such a tool it might be too late to do anything.
What’s the biggest learning from founding Syndicai?
I’d say I’ve learned three lessons so far.
The team is super important
The first lesson is that the ‘Team is super important’. Having great people on board who share your vision and are better than you in a specific area is more valuable than having millions of dollars in cash I would say. In syndicai, nobody is an individualist, everybody is a Team Member.
Get a fast response from investors
The second lesson is ‘to get a fast response from investors’. The first best response from investors is “yes”. However, the second-best response is “Fast No”. Getting money from Investors, especially closing the first round, is a very time confusing process. During that time you can’t forget about the most important thing which is onboarding customers.
Have a high pain threshold
The third lesson is that ‘you need to have a high pain threshold’. Most often, something goes wrong rather than right. Your goal is to move forward even if the movement is more like crawling than walking. Find the most critical thing that helps you make the biggest step toward your desired goal, and just execute it.
What gets you out of bed every day?
I would say – the awareness that for many people syndicai is not just a next hype-driven project but first of all, it’s an inspiration, brand, and dreams come true problem-solver at some point.
I know many people with great ideas, amazing skills, and really good projects in mind. However, they struggle with taking that first step towards that idea, because of… something. There is always some “because” and there is always some “if”. My mission is to help those people move forward with the smallest possible friction. I see that syndicai helps me a lot in this area.
Why I started, how I started, and with what kind of mindset that pushed me forward with syndicai – its talk for another interview.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs thinking about founding their own tech company?
Understanding why you are doing, what you are doing is super important.
If you want to commit yourself to a project that aims to be a next billion-dollar business it needs to be something that excites you to the bone. Otherwise, you will find it really hard not only to keep your team motivated but also to motivate yourself in bad times.
For example, personally, for me, it’s about creating new solutions and solving problems that inspire and spark others for action. Since I know why I am doing something it is much easier to know what “to do” and even more important what “not to do”.
Thank you, is there anything else you would like to add? The mic is yours
If you are crazy about creation and passionate about new AI algorithms, please drop us a line and join our slack community channel. We are going to run our Ambassador program soon which will aim to build AI-powered websites, apps, and platforms.
So stay tuned!