Oscar Johansson

Oscar Johansson

14 Dec 2019

"It’s cool when you build something that surprises the customer and that’s actually used. Some examples include algorithms that can detect risk in legal documents and algorithms that can track motion in videos."

Welcome to A Good Community Oscar, can you start by telling us about yourself?
I am an entrepreneur with a background in programming and an interest in math. Before that, the only thing I cared about was track and field. I ran the 100m dash.

How did you involve yourself in sprint and athletics?
I have always been fast compared to my friends and when I was 16, I decided to see how fast I was. It didn’t take long until I was obsessed with sprinting.

Oscar Johansson

What’s your greatest achievement within the practice?
My greatest achievement is that I have pulled both my hamstrings in the same race at the same time I also won a national gold medal in the 4x100m relay. That was in the same race.

I have heard that you have always had an interest in math, how you did you find that interest?
Math came naturally to me early on, but I had no interest in school. It took me some time to understand that those are two separate things. As soon as someone tells me what to do, I lose interest. After high school, I decided to become a gym teacher, because of my interest in track and field. However, I quickly realized that it was the worst possible fit for me and that I missed the numbers. That’s how I found my way back to math.

How do you practice math in your day-to-day life?
Today, math is a part of my job, and I still take university-courses to go deeper into specific areas. I also use websites such as brilliant.org to solve problems almost every day to expand my toolset.

What is the biggest misconception about math?
Many people believe that they aren’t good at math because they had some bad experiences early on in their education. They decide early on that math isn’t for them and never even try to understand the different concepts. I am 100% certain that most people are bad at math because they believe that they are bad at math.

And what’s your greatest tip to increase the brains' learning capacity?
Well, the most obvious and probably the best answer is sleep. That’s when your brain removes waste and prepares for a new day. If you don’t sleep enough, it will decrease your ability to process information and learn new things.

And now you are all into AI, right?
Yes, I started my company three years ago.

Tell us about your profession within AI?
Let me clarify by saying that I work with machine learning, which is the part of machine learning where we train algorithms by feeding them data. The term AI can be very vague and is often misused. I run a nimble company where we develop microservices around algorithms for analyzing text, images, and video.

What, in your view, is society’s greatest challenge and what can we as individuals do to address it?
I would say income inequality and the challenges related to our changing climate. When it comes to the climate we need to take responsibility for our own actions. It's so strange that most of my friends care, are well aware, but don't change their behaviour.

How can AI help and benefit in that?
I don’t think that AI is the best way to make people change their behaviour. There are probably better ways to speed up that transition. AI can be good for the environment by, for example, optimizing how we use resources and energy.

The issue with AI and the environment, is that it takes a lot of computation to train an algorithm. Most programmers don’t think about how they can avoid unnecessary computation and if they can reduce the size of their network.

There is a lot of discussion
about the threats with AI for humans in weapons, surveillance etc. What’s your take on that?
Weapons are not something I think about, they are pretty scary already even without AI. I care more about surveillance and privacy, but the most problematic aspect of AI, in my opinion, is how companies gather and use our data.

What’s the coolest thing you developed within AI?
Hard to say. When you work with something daily the coolness-factor decreases. It’s cool when you build something that surprises the customer and that’s actually used. Some examples include algorithms that can detect risk in legal documents and algorithms that can track motion in videos.

Why have you chosen to be part of A Good Community?
I am interested to see if A Good Company and the community can make more people change their behaviour.

Have you seen any climate-related impacts on nature where you live?
To be honest, no, but I spend almost all my time in front of my laptop. The only thing that comes to mind was the abnormally hot summer of 2018.

If you could nominate someone to be featured in A Good Community, who would that be?
Martin Malmros from sustain online has an unlimited amount of ideas regarding climate change!

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