We Can Teach AI Machines To Understand Human Minds For Business Transformation: Rishabh Sharma

The enterprise AI solutions firm uses its proprietary technology to analyse, and critically to understand, the natural and intrinsic human tendencies of life and environment around it.


With a primary focus on evolving humanity, Rishabh Sharma – founder and CEO of Poletus Media Magic (PMM), and its flagship internal division Thalamus Irwine which focusses on AI applications in defence and infrastructure – created a custom artificial intelligence, or rather an 'Intuitive Intelligence', based technology that enables its patrons to connect and be understood emotionally by optimizing the data through real, emotion-based, and intuitive design to drive the business efficiently and have optimize human performance, and change technology as we have come to understand it.

The enterprise AI solutions firm uses its proprietary technology to analyse, and critically to understand, the natural and intrinsic human tendencies of life and environment around it. The algorithms created to strike at the heart of understanding the emotional drivers responsible behind human decisions and behaviour (conscious, and unconscious). The founder’s focus has been on building highly sophisticate, complex, and adaptive customized and specific enterprise-scale AI-driven platforms to decipher, cultivate, and enable humanity through the complex universe of human behavior. 

“When we talk about AI we always think like cyborgs running around automation etcetera. Instead, I saw that if we can teach an AI machine to understand the human mind and assign human emotions understanding human psychology. It is only then it can actually help the human being. Otherwise, it's kind of working without context,” said Rishabh Sharma.

Initially, the company was emotionally connecting musicians, artists, thought leaders, and entrepreneurs with their fans, contemporaries, and customers alike. The pilot project kicked off to understand human reaction through the emotional data that was created by the users. The concept was highly accepted and sought after in the market, as it provided a never before seen level of depth and nuance into connection between creators, thinkers, and consumers. 

He expressed, “I remember, like, very quickly from 10 to 20 to 40 and about a hundred people telling me that they were willing to pay me just so that they could be on this jerry-rig platform. I call it jerry rigged because I was running my platform on this custom Hadoop cluster environment by connecting lots of repurposed and refurbished different laptops together as I couldn’t even fund a server back then.”

Sharma’s immersion in AI began while studying at the Berklee College of Music where he was drawn to the mathematical and emotional layers of music composition. He became obsessed with understanding how emotions fit into the mathematical nature of the universe, a passion which became the spark for building a more intuitive approach to AI with Poletus. The truth between the tangible and intangible is where true existence lay, and so the only option was to merge the two. Realizing that assumed binaries, or mutually exclusive approaches, would only restrict the potential that technology truly holds, a better way was conceived.

“I was going down a technological path which was so different than the rest of the industry, while the rest of industry was trying to give smallest API (Application Program Interface) based approach whereas we wanted to build custom artificial intelligence solutions from the ground up that are designed for the companies catering to the exact specific needs,” he said.

Over a period of time, the company started to grow but being a technology enthusiast Sharma took a risk of investing in research in order to grow his business beyond. Remembering his journey, Sharma expresses, “It has been a long arduous journey and it is very hard to be in grapple or comprehend but essentially I was investing consistently that I was earning into research. There were days when I would look at my line of credit account and see that I got 10 and 1000 going”

“Some would say that it is not careful financial planning but I would beg to differ that I was taking very educated risk. I invested so aggressively to my technology that, now, I'm breathing the benefits and rewards of the risks that I took back then,” he added.

Currently, Poletus has its presence in Chennai, Delhi, and its North American HQ in Canada. 

Talking about the challenges faced while building the company, Sharma told that the acceptance and sacrifice were major obstacles in his way but he wanted to give back to change the world. The shortest path was often easier, but true innovative breakthroughs are rarely found there. He further said, “I don't want to be the guy who just settled up and bought some nice fancy house instead I wanted to change the world. Some of the challenges included, what can I do for India? How can I push the ball forward? What can I bring to the table? How can I really reinvent the wheel?”

He added, “The other part was education, people don't know about AI and there is so much mystification about AI. AI has a bad reputation, thanks to Hollywood movies. Everyone thinks I'm building killer robots or I am going to be the one who destroys humanity.”

As an effort to spur the growth of AI, Poletus made its way in the country through novel projects throughout India. The firm is recognized by National Institute of Transforming India NITI Aayog.

Sharma is also recognized by the Government of India as one of the leading experts globally on Artificial Intelligence and was also invited to speak for the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas, where the top leading minds in Artificial Intelligence belonging to the Indian diaspora were invited from around the world over to participate in discussions with the former late Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj to guide the government on A.I. related matters.

In the commitment to represent Indian innovation at the highest levels, Sharma has also been invited by the Ministry of Technology, Communication and Innovation, Republic of Mauritius for the World AI Show in Mauritius as a guest of the Ministry of Innovation.

With a benchmark revenue of 7000 crores, Sharma expresses his future goals as, "One of the short-term goals is to really educate the bureaucrats to the start, just bring a general awareness and be involved and a lot more educational dissemination of what is AI because there's a lot of fear and if there is fear people don't accept something. Next, we want to heavily focus on health care because we believe it will make a difference in the world and mental health has been such a big issue.”

“Also, we want to continue to grow our verticals within the tourism sector and find cutting-edge emerging technology which we can help transition from being experimental to being ready today. That's something that we really enjoy, we like to look at concepts that seem a little bit experimental and make it happen today for being an ambassador for augmentation, not automation because if people start fearing it, they will start resisting it if they start resisting it then India can't progress,” he added.

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