predictive analytics Startups

Executive Interview: Paola Santana, CEO and Founder of Social Glass

Paola Sanatana, CEO and founder of Social Glass
Company Takes a Knowledge-Driven Strategy to Governance; “We Can’t Change What We Can’t See” is the Social Glass Motto

Paola Santana is a lawyer, public procurement professional and tech entrepreneur creating the world’s next political system after democracy. She’s the founder and CEO of Social Glass, a software program ecosystem using Synthetic Intelligence to energy high-performing governments. The corporate was lately named a prime 10 e-Governance Answer Provider in govCIO Outlook. Beforehand, she co-founded a Silicon Valley startup that built a drone delivery platform, and co-established the Dominican Republic’s Constitutional Courtroom. A Fulbright scholar and graduate from George Washington, Georgetown and Singularity College, she’s been featured as CNET Prime 20 Latin in Tech, Forbes Prime 50 Ladies of Energy in Central America. She lately spoke for a few minutes with AI Tendencies Editor John P. Desmond about Social Glass, the way it employs AI and how it matches into the political system.

AI Tendencies: Thank you for being with us at present. You’ve described the Social Glass mission as to help create the world’s subsequent political system after democracy. Might you elaborate on that? And where did the thought of the company Social Glass come from?

Paola Santana: For a while, we’ve been making an attempt to attach the administration of governance and governance operations with what sort of political methods we stay in. Especially right here in the USA, we have now a representative democracy and we proceed iterating on that. I might even say we’re putting Band-Aids on the system to improve what we’ve got. And one of the important thing questions that we will pose ourselves is, ought to we proceed enhancing the system we’ve got as we speak or should we take a pair of steps back, and redesign and rethink what system would work better for the society that we now have at present?

We need to make leapfrog progress in transportation, schooling, health care, and different primary public providers for the general public good.

Social Glass presents the Micro product, an e-commerce market for rules-compliant, fast, and paperless government micro-purchases.

As we rethink the techniques, we now have a chance to start out observing the info, to start out observing how governments function right now, and with that perception into their knowledge and every day operations, to determine if we’d like something totally different. And that one thing totally different, we don’t know what will probably be referred to as, and we don’t know what it seems like, we just know that we can’t make these selections blindly as a result of now we’ve the info. We now have the chance to design one thing from scratch that works higher for this society.

Creating a software ecosystem with Social Glass permits us to get insight into that knowledge. The opportunity of creating Social Glass emerged two years ago once we have been enthusiastic about the right way to connect governments with know-how tools that may permit us to make better selections. We needed to leverage all these exponential technologies like synthetic intelligence and machine learning so we will see higher what governments are doing and enhance that decision-making and rework governments into high-performing entities. That was the original concept. We’ve been engaged on that and defining what the DNA of that’s, and what a product that comes out of a software ecosystem like Social Glass is. We’re testing right now with our first product — MICRO — that may be a marketplace for government purchases.

How is AI included in your product?

In the hype of AI the place every part has somewhat bit of AI or needs to be related to some type of rudimentary AI, it’s essential that we understand what AI can do for governments. The very first thing is that creating common AI just isn’t necessarily the aim here, to start out. The primary aim is, for example, utilizing what we call slender AI, systematizing quite simple day by day tasks and then with the ability to insert some sort of machine intelligence to know where there’s room for enchancment.

For instance, your Gmail inbox, spam inbox, has some type of AI embedded on it, so it is aware of that in the event you’re receiving an e-mail from someone that you simply’ve by no means been in contact with or one thing that looks like advertising materials you are not all for, it gets put in that spam folder. It’s not 100% accurate, nevertheless it’s pretty much there.

That’s what we call slender synthetic intelligence, one thing that isn’t tremendous futuristic. It’s one thing we will grasp. These are the sort of little improvements that we expect we will do right now. With the kinds of marketplaces we’re creating now, we will advise a government agency on one of the best time to purchase some new computers, for instance.

Tons of knowledge analytics are employed. We look at historic knowledge, and then apply slender AI. At the finish of the day, the decision is the people to make. But we attempt to make options that get monetary savings.

We’d like good knowledge from governments. We have to capture knowledge in a means that we will retrieve it, combination it and then start seeing insights. Extra knowledge is just not going to unravel the problem. First we need to gather knowledge in a method that each one the info from every company is significant and accurate. Once we’ve a substantial database of government knowledge on how they’re purchasing, how they make one choice over one other determination, then we will start offering insights utilizing AI.

Would you describe the AI that you simply use as machine learning or one thing else primarily?

It’s slender synthetic intelligence. It’s quite a bit of predictive analytics. I couldn’t inform you that this is machine learning because the machine shouldn’t be learning essentially with new info. It’s principally reworking the knowledge it has, and utilizing all the databases and different info that is in the markets to offer some very particular info to authorities. Machine learning can be one thing deeper, in our view. And these terms, as we go, continue changing.

For us, machine studying can be having a lot knowledge that the software program not only is providing insights, but is flagging that a poor choice is being made based mostly, not solely on historical knowledge, however based mostly on all the opposite selections that other government businesses are at present making.

Machine studying is one step additional. We’re not there but. We’re just at the start of creating these predictive analytics fashions, and these very early algorithms of the best way to provide helpful insights to authorities with the knowledge that we have now in the present day on their transactions.

How would you describe what stage the company is at in its life cycle in the present day?

We are in a pre-seed mode, how we are saying in Silicon Valley, or in a pilot stage. We have now developed our first product that’s MICRO, this government marketplace. We are working with some government businesses here in California, on the local and state degree, to check this in a personal beta mode. We need to validate that MICRO is beneficial for them to do transactions beneath $10,000, what we call MICRO purchases, in a safe method the place all of the suppliers are curated and are verified to allow them to truly promote to government. And the place they will see, on this one-stop store, all their critiques and all of the transactions they’ve finished. And the place they will manage some of their finances. So we are in this pilot mode, where we’re validating every part we’ve been observing, and we’re discussing it with the federal government businesses. We need to see how they’re utilizing the product so we will enhance it and then do a public launch of the product by the top of the summer time. That’s the aim.

We are seeing very massive modifications on the procurement market. The current administration has elevated the micro-purchase threshold from $three,500 to $10,000. The federal government has mandated that items underneath the micro-purchase threshold be purchased via e-commerce marketplaces by 2020. The GSA is working very arduous to implement this mandate.

So we are working to design a product for the federal government consumer that has a selected need, without them having to do the work of aggregating all the acquisition knowledge.

The US has virtually 90,000 totally different government models doing over 160 million transactions a yr. Many of these transactions are micro-purchases. If we will optimize these transactions, we might help purchasers maximize their finances. We need to make it possible for we are offering them worth on the small scale first. We’re doing the pilot to make it possible for we will declare that we helped on 100 transactions, so we might help on 160 million transactions.

Is it reasonable to take a data-driven strategy in a political context?

Not solely is it real looking however it’s the subsequent step for making higher selections on behalf of everyone. There have all the time been very close ties between politics and governance; we agree that politics defines if we’re going to have extra price range for well being care or less price range for healthcare. But public healthcare is on the agenda. So how can we have now public healthcare functioning in a high-performing method? We’re all the time evaluating the best way government operates with the best way a personal enterprise operates. The query is, how can we insert some sense of urgency into how we provide public providers? That’s primary.

Number two, how can we improve these public providers, not by way of notion, not by way of what we read on the press, not by means of what one politician stated or Congress stated, but by way of knowledge. And the more knowledge factors we now have on how issues are being managed, the higher. The extra perception we’ve into the info of what is actually occurring, the better output we’ll get. The Social Glass motto is, “You can’t change what you can’t see.”

Are you able to inform us concerning the pilot tasks, how they’re being applied in the actual world as much as you’ll be able to, should you’re not capable of say specifically what businesses you’re working with?

We’re working with two local businesses in California in a low-risk setting, which means that we aren’t altering any process that they at present have. We aren’t asking them to cease using any piece of software that they already have. What we’re doing is connecting many of the present practices that they’ve and much of the totally different software that they’ve, and putting every part underneath one umbrella and testing that with some very specific users inside their company. We need to see if that simplifies their decision-making or even eliminates some steps that aren’t needed.

The primary drawback with micro-purchases is the purchases are doing in many various ways, even in several departments inside the same company. We see room for improvement.

I’m not going to call the businesses, but in some businesses right here, they buy IT items like software program and subscriptions via one division, goods by means of one other division and providers via another division.

We’re considering we will put all of that beneath one umbrella, and guarantee that each provider in our market is offering authorities with their greatest out there worth. And they won’t discover that worth anyplace else; they may find the most effective worth beneath MICRO. And then be sure that once these providers are offered, these government purchasers can see all their transactions in a single place. They will see their analytics and they will also provide insights to their monetary division.

We need to show at the finish of the pilot that we’ve offered these authorities businesses with one thing of value, that they will then present to other cities and authorities businesses. Then we will start creating that ecosystem the place governments are really saving time and money as a result of we are scaling the solution in California, then in different states.

That’s as much as I can say concerning the pilot program. Any authorities agency can apply to our pilot program by, you already know, by telling us what their specific need is. Because we’re a startup, we might analyze if we’ve got bandwidth to actually help them. However we don’t need lots, we only want entry to at least one of the persons in cost of doing purchases and then we take it from there. We analyze the entire course of. We analyze the opportunity for enchancment. And we start providing them with insights into how they’re doing their processes and then providing an perception report by the top of the month. So that’s what the pilot program is about right now.

Do you’ve got a timeframe yet for constructing a scalable enterprise product?

By the top of this summer time, we may have the general public launch of MICRO that is now being examined underneath a pilot program. And then, by the top of the yr, we anticipate to have no less than 10,000 transactions in the system from California. That feels like a small quantity compared to all that authorities purchases, but it can permit us to see opportunities. We are planning to start out expanding outdoors of California in Q1 of 2020.

Study extra at Social Glass.