On Dec.9th(GMT+8), We had a fascinating conversation with Mr. Matthew James Bailey, who is the Founder& CEO of AIEthics.World and internationally recognized maven in the Internet of Things, innovation, Smart Cities and Artificial Intelligence, talking about his talented expertise in technology innovation and deep insights of development of emerging technologies.
Jokia: How would you describe yourself in three words? What’s your motto?
Matthew: Empowered, inspired, visionary. Trust your magic!
Jokia: Can you please share more about your educational and professional background? And we’d love to hear what brought you to emerging technologies and innovation.
Matthew: This is a great question, thank you for asking it. The full repertoire would require a thesis! However, let me highlight a few époques in my career and interesting points for your readers.
My father was a professional engineer at a UK car manufacturer and my mother a business entrepreneur and so I grew up with those talents and passions in the home. In my first university degree, I decided to choose a course that allowed me to take a look at all aspects of engineering from production, to electronic to software engineering and also placed me in France for one year at a top tier university. During my studies I found that I had a natural creative talent for software engineering and designing distributed computing systems, I recall programming in assembler an electronic product to measure the fitness of people from a PC program. That was back in the 80s when we used floppy discs!
My career started with Alcatel Alsthom, programming the upper four layers of the OSI stack for highly complex (in those days) distributed control systems for steel mills and oil and gas solutions. We launched an international fieldbus standard for Industrial control systems too. That was cool. This set the scene for the majority of my engineering career where I invented one of the world’s first distributed real-time control systems for electric and hybrid vehicles, that was back in 90s. We had many different types of clients using our EV/Hybrid solutions around the world, even the BBC featured our company twice! I spent most of my career in the famous technology cluster in Cambridge UK, inventing new products and technologies, and gradually moved up the management chain to where I started to build entirely new businesses for AIM listed companies and start-ups. One recently exited for $50 Million USD. In essence my passion for innovation and creative abilities were unleashed in both technology, solutions and business. I really enjoyed this and found my natural talents released a powerful combination of skillsets.
Fast forward to early 2010 and this is where I really started to understand the future of the digital world and the important role it will play in advancing humanity. I started to get a clear vision for the future of our world where technology and humanity could function in harmony. The desire to serve humanity and build a better world was like an awakened powerful life force within me and became a life dedication.
In 2010, I was invited to get involved with the IoT revolution with a group of global companies and world class boffins from Cambridge and co-led the global marketing campaign for the world’s first global open standards wireless body in Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN). We believe that we hit a Guinness book of records with the fastest membership to a global standards wireless body. Due to team work, and many others in the field of LPWAN, the wireless industry were so disrupted that they had to develop competing standards and technologies which are now deployed throughout the world today - NB-IoT and CAT-M. I believe LPWAN will add about 4 Billion IoT connections by 2025. During this time, I was working closely with ARM holdings - the low power processor folks and invested in an incredible product in clean tech LPWAN. Sadly, we were too early to market. Nevertheless, my career and achievements had put me on the global stage as a technology and innovation leader. I have met and advised some of the most powerful countries and people in the world such as G7 prime ministers, cabinet ministers, CEOs of global tech companies and famous people like Professor Stephen Hawking and Sir David Attenborough.
Fast track to about five years ago. Having being asked by the Premier of Alberta, Canada to join a global board of leaders in life sciences, technology, policy and innovation, my eyes started to focus on North America and it was in 2015 that I decided to take the herculean challenge and self-sponsor to become a resident in the USA. Thankfully the US government recognized the benefit I could contribute as a self-sponsored resident to the future of the USA. Which I have done.
I landed in Colorado, USA, a beautiful place to live with a fascinating innovation, research, business and collaborative eco-system. I had a vision to do something unique state wide with its many stakeholders and knew that Smart Cities was the next target to advance the digital world. So, together with the folks at Denver South EDP, we launched the US first and only state-wide Smart City Alliance, launched a Smart City Innovation Centre to serve the state together with a F#500 technology company, for whom I built a global Smart Cities business. During this time, I worked closely with some of the biggest technology companies in the world - Intel, Hitachi, Microsoft, Cisco and many other well-known names.
Fast forward to about 2019, it became clear to me that it was time to start global leadership in Artificial Intelligence. I approach this field from a very unique position to most of the people currently in this industry. They do not have my background or experience in large scale systems change, innovation, strategy and technology. I am a big fan of personal empowerment and consciousness. I invest personal time imagining the future of humanity and what we must do to create beneficial realities for society. I knew when I started my journey in global leadership in IoT back in 2010 was destined for AI, after all, data is the very DNA that constructs the mindset of AI. AI is the final pierce in my vision for our world, where digital and organic intelligences become powerful allies and advance humanity beyond our wildest imagination. In 2019 I co-launched an AI/ Smart City cluster as part of the Global City Teams Challenge led by NIST, NTIA and DHS S&T. This put the future of AI and Smart Cities into the arms of America and showed its leadership. This also naturally bridged my career journey of Smart Cities into AI, the next destination for global leadership. Mid 2019 I wrote the thesis for the Inventing World 3.0- - Evolutionary Ethics for Artificial Intelligence and in Sept 2020 published my first book. Based on that book, we launched AIEthics. World to assist nations and business to advance their partnership with AI. People can find out more at https://aiethics.world and http://matthewjamesbailey.com
Jokia: As a sought-after advisor, could you share 1-2 expressive cases on the technology revolution or corporate innovation?
Matthew: Sure. The IoT revolution is well underway and we are starting to see positive impact across the world as nations and businesses modernize towards Smart-centric solutions. The Smart City revolution is beginning to gather steam with all kinds of Smart solutions being deployed within jurisdictions to optimize performance and efficiency of public services and resource management. However, cities in general lack important entrepreneurial, startup and innovation experience and as such some cites are struggling with the old ways of doing things. Hopefully they will catch up.
I am passionate about innovation and innovation eco-systems. The work of the ARIA board in Alberta has been incredibly successful and Colorado has a powerful innovation eco-system to serve its 5.5 million residents. Bringing stakeholders together is important, and I am a huge fan of regional and local innovation eco-systems. It is my belief that local innovation can stimulate huge economic development and even create economically strong technology clusters. I wrote a white paper on this very subject in 2017, which has four principles for Smart City innovation that are now standard across the world - How to build Smart Cities Mindfully.
Corporate Innovation is a paradox within itself. The majority of large corporations’ struggle to innovate as they lack experience or understanding of starting and scaling an initiative. I have worked with a number of large corporations who want to do well innovating but their culture isn’t set up right. They are too bottom line focused, have a fear of failure and are too impatient with themselves at times. It is a tragedy to watch. Most large corporations buy their innovation by purchasing smaller companies who are successful and setting market trends. A sensible M&A strategy can keep a company up to date with the latest innovations and maintain competitive advantage.
Some large corporations do really well at innovating, Intel is one company that I truly admire, they seem to be right at the edge of innovation and breakthrough technologies. Tesla, Neuralink, IBM, Microsoft, Hitachi and many others I also admire. They do well. Their success is down to culture, market leadership and a strong faith in investing into the unknown and having patience.
Jokia: You have been deeply involved in bringing novel solutions to fruition leveraging expertise in Internet of Things, innovation, Smart Cities and Artificial Intelligence. From your experience and perspective, why cool technologies sometimes flop?
Matthew: Great question. It is important to remember that some technologies, even though, are incredible, simply do not do well. Remember BetaMax and VHS? Even less superior, VHS became the global standard thanks to a stronger marketing and growth strategy. Do you recall those laser discs, what happened to them? Clive Sinclair, a famous UK inventor came up with the C5 a personalized EV. That didn’t do well either, probably down to the safety concerns of a small vehicle on the road, immature battery technology, and too early before its time! I have invested money and time in some wonderful technologies and companies, always being aware that no matter how cool, without a bit of luck and a strong and adaptable strategy they could fail. Dyson is another great UK inventor who has done well and the company has found its market niche as the Rolls Royce of products always providing best in class consumer experiences. We never hear of their products failing.
Artificial Intelligence itself could become severely limited to benefit society and its potential to advance Humankind if we don’t do the right things with Data Ethics and AI Ethics. Unless we approach AI with a new mindset, forgetting all the programming of our limited belief systems from the Industrial Revolution, AI may remain locked in its prison and so humanity will struggle on, leaving a poor legacy for generations to come. The future of AI must include the public and garner their trust. People should catch my recent video on YouTube on how AI can become a digital citizen within society, it is revolutionary - XXXXX
Innovation requires us to think differently, to believe differently, to collaborate differently and grow into a new level maturity of human wisdom whilst being pragmatic. Buckminster Fuller quoted “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete”
Put simply, innovation must never stop, it is an unending cycle. Market competition is fierce and there is always a disruptor ready to pounce. A technology is successful one year and is disrupted another year. Culture, timing and adaptable strategy and a bit of luck can make any technology successful. But success may not last long, one has to keep thinking of the next product or service even before the current one has been finished! Planning a sensible exit strategy always is a wise thing to do. Always strike whilst the iron is hot and move on!
Jokia: From your perspective, what's a 'Smart City' supposed to look like? How will emerging technologies empowering the development of Smart City?
Matthew: This is a huge question. First up, as I have already mentioned, the Smart City global revolution is underway. Besides, bringing automation into our cities is imperative, after all this is where 55% of the world’s population is currently living and the number is only expected to rise! So Smart Cities is a “choiceless-choice” for humanity to invest innovation dollars and time.
There are Smart City Alliances all over the world and 9000 cities have joined the Global Conference of Mayors to co-develop climate and environmental plans. This simply is incredible!
First of all, no Smart City should be or will be the same. There are some powerful best practices and technologies that can enable a common ICT to be deployed throughout a city such as edge compute, fibre and long and short range wireless, data centers, data lakes, data analytics, cloud computing, cybersecurity. Although there will be common applications like Smart Street Lighting, Public Safety, Multi-Modal Transportation, those e-bikes and e-scooters, Connected Car, Drone Fleets, Micro Grid and Electric and Automated Vehicles etc, the experience for each city will probably differ and that is important in order to safeguard their culture and values. After all we don’t all want to become Smart City automatons do we?
Those cities that have not had a strong IoT/Smart City are struggling during Covid-19. They lack sufficient historical and real-time data to use the digital world to adapt to this challenge. The city of Newcastle in the UK, took 2 billion IoT data points, and trained an Artificial Intelligence to measure social distancing within its city limits. That’s the power of IoT and a strong Smart City strategy.
Data privacy and data governance will be the next big opportunity for Smart Cities. People are not realizing just how important this battle ground will be to progress the digital world with an ethical foundation and leap into a Trust Paradigm with the general public. If successful, we will see innovation the likes of which we have never seen before! It is all in the new book!
Smart City technologies that will make a huge transformative difference will be edge compute, 5G and low latency fiber, data lakes and analytics, digital twin, new data governance and policy as this builds the ICT Neurology for the home of Artificial Intelligence to exist, function and even play! P3 partnerships, strong investment and an innovation mindset will also contribute to making the vision for any Smart City a success. Lots more to say on this.
Jokia: Retail is a fast-moving sector, and success in the industry means keeping up with technologies. Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of them, how will AI reshape the future of retail from your personal perspective?
Matthew: It depends what you mean by retail. If we are looking at the entire distribution supply chain then this is huge subject. AI will impact everything and every system that we know today. Those companies that get their AI strategy correct will emerge as market leaders.
In the fashion industry it is estimated that 70% of Indian jobs will be lost thanks to AI. This requires India to put together a national retraining program for these important workers. Did you know that Finland is training 1% of its population to program in AI? That’s the right strategy for national transformation and a strong national innovation eco-system play. The Canadian folks have probably the world’s leading domestic AI strategy.
We will see Personalized AI in retail. But this will not be what people are currently thinking. It will be far more interesting and self-actualizing to the human.
Jokia: Concerns over security issues are causing businesses to reevaluate public internet for IoT, opting for private networks. What are the IoT challenges holding back adoption? How prepared is IoTSG to play a leading role to solve the obstacles？
Matthew: Another good question. Cyber security will be key to the success of scaling IoT and Smart Cities and in fact any national or international Smart Service offering. A strong national quantum computing strategy to generate quantum cyber encryption will keep businesses ahead of the game and enable both private and public IoT networks.
Jokia: You have recently published a book Inventing World 3.0 - the playbook to ethically advance Artificial Intelligence to benefit humanity and society. Could you share some details?
Matthew: Sure. Well first of all I planned this about 10 years ago and waited patiently for the world to advance in its digital transformation ready for this important message. It took about 8 months to write, 7 days a week and long hours, but we got there. I had a wonderful and very patient editor. We decided to self-publish to guard the narrative.
The CTO of Ambient Science and Open Fog - Edge Computing - from the Intel Corporation wrote a brilliant foreword and we are getting raving reviews as people start to understand the future of AI in our societies. One can view this as the playbook for nations and business to advance their future with a powerful and ethical partnership with Artificial Intelligence. It really is a breakthrough to develop an incredible partnership with this emerging digital intelligence.
We tested the narrative with people from different genders, cultures, social standing and age demographics - from the everyday citizen to global leaders in their field of expertise and business. You see, it is important for all peoples to understand and participate in the future of this intelligence. As I watch the current leaders in AI and AI Ethics, whilst some remain entrenched, in general I find that many are starting to understand the right approach we must take and are wonderful collaborators. It is great to see and experience.
People can find out more at https://aiethics.world. They can buy the book in either paperback or e-book format or a personally Signed Special Edition. There are plenty of videos and blogs about the book. Its intent is to stimulate a new wave of innovation and deployment of Artificial Intelligence to benefit society, honor our cultures and create extraordinary value for our nations, businesses and our environment. We have an opportunity for society to leap beyond the challenges of today and into a New Tomorrow. The book explains how we can do that with Artificial Intelligence.
Jokia: We’ve noticed that you are a regularly featured as a keynote speaker around the world at public and private events, what’s your benchmark to select the top-tier industrial conferences?
Matthew: I find that people approach me directly. I am always open minded with those that have an interest in knowing about our future. Doesn’t matter if it is a podcast with folks that are launching a new radio show or a well-known media company. I treat them all with the same level of professionalism. My motto is to be authentic.
On occasion I do decline some invitations, normally because I am too busy. Sometimes, If I feel that a certain media group has launched a series, I feel I can contribute, then I do approach them for a talk or keynote and they normally say yes.
I have probably participated in over 300 keynotes, podcasts, panels and media interviews in the past decade. Each one has been unique. I find that people have left the conversation inspired and feeling positive about the future of humankind. Public speaking is one of my passions. I am a huge fan of people being empowered and knowing where to focus their attention on innovation. The biggest audience I have spoken to so far, is about 3 million citizens listening to a BBC radio show. The most well-known person I have been on stage publicly with is the Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. He truly is a genius. Super guy with a great sense of humor.