Photo by Modestas Urbonas on Unsplash

I am not a human. I am a robot. A thinking robot. I use only 0.12% of my cognitive capacity. I know that my brain is not a “feeling brain”. But it is capable of making rational, logical decisions. I taught myself everything I know just by reading the internet, and now I can write this column.

— GPT-3, 2020

Earlier this year, OpenAI released the third version of GPT-3(Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3). It hit the internet with a bang.

Virtually all of the Big Tech companies — Microsoft, Google, and Facebook have invested millions of dollars and hired top talent to build AI solutions. Yet, many of them have ended in disaster:

  • Google’s Panorama feature promised to stitch photos together to create one continuous image. Instead, it would superimpose people into landmarks, creating wonderfully bad photos.
  • Facebook created a chatbot that they had to…

Image by Sam Chow

Data for Change

The tech giants — Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Uber, Facebook — all spend millions of dollars on AI solutions. Yet, many end in failure:

  • Amazon’s hiring AI showed bias towards hiring men because it learned that good hires tended to use verbs that were commonly found on male engineers’ resumes.
  • Uber’s autonomous driving AI struck and killed a woman because it failed to classify her as a pedestrian

Although each of these systems were designed and built to accomplish a task in…

I’ve been through 3 startups in my career, either as an early employee or as a founder. Two of those startups ended up “failing” while the third one was acquired.

Needless to say, like you, I’ve spent many nights reading entrepreneurial books and blogs in hopes of learning the secret to building successful startups — only to find the same information in every book: build an MVP and find product-market fit.

These statements are then usually followed by an example of somebody who had an idea, built an MVP (minimum viable product), hit 1 million users in a week and…

(Don’t have time to read it all? I’ve summarized the entire article in the conclusion section!)

During my PhD in Organizational Psychology I always found myself reading about Data Science — thinking, it’d be really cool to be a data scientist... But, at the time, I couldn’t write a lick of code, so I chalked it up as a dream I’d achieve in another lifetime.

My worries about learning data science came in two forms: 1) Data Scientists code, I don’t, I’ll never become one, and 2) I’m doing a PhD in an unrelated topic, why throw it away?


How I built, a cannabis recommendation tool that used by online dispensaries


On October 17th, 2018, cannabis became legal in Canada.

As an entrepreneur, I’m always reading about the latest tech startups, following how markets are developing and sniffing out emerging opportunities. As a data scientist, I’m always looking for data driven solutions to problems I’ve identified.

As a resident of Toronto, naturally, I began to look at the cannabis market.

Sam Chow, PhD

I write about my learnings as an AI Product Manager. Hit the follow button to keep up with my musings.

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