Can Wisdom, Technology And Collective Knowledge Build A Better Future?

We are a society of seven billion human beings all with the ability to almost instantly connect. In seconds, we can send a text message or start a video chat with a friend on the other side of the planet. We often take for granted how easy it is to hop on a plane and sip coffee with that same friend a day later.

We are forever interconnected, now more than ever before. Not long ago, it’d be hard to imagine a board meeting without every executive physically sitting in the room. Now, it’s common to hash out quarterly planning strategies or discuss budgets while leaders sit in comfortably in their offices (or homes) thousands of miles apart.

But the perks of an interconnected world is more than just about pleasure, convenience, or savings on travel expenses. According to Rajesh Kasturirangan—the cofounder and CEO of Socratus—bringing together collective knowledge from around the globe could be the key to solving our biggest problems. 

As barriers that once separated the world’s best minds dissolve, Rajesh envisions a collaborative future brilliantly designed for the greater good.

The Midwife of Wisdom

As an MIT grad with a Ph.D. in Cognitive Science, it’s little surprise that Rajesh looks towards mathematics, science, and technology to lead his team’s initiatives when it comes to changing the world.

He also uses wisdom directly from the top thinkers and changemakers of the past. “If you think about citizenship and today’s politics, elections, and democracies, it’s something that really we take for granted,” he says. “You go to the election booth…cast your vote, and don’t think about how it’s all orchestrated. 

“But actually, it was mathematicians, scientists, and others in the late 18th Century during the French Revolution that set these institutions into place,” Rajesh says. With a

Golden raises $14.5M to build a wiki-style database of tech knowledge

Golden is announcing that it has raised $14.5 million in Series A funding. The round was led by previous investor Andreessen Horowitz, with the firm’s co-founder Marc Andreessen joining the startup’s board of directors.

When Golden launched last year, founder and CEO Jude Gomila told me that his goal was to create a knowledge base focused on areas where Wikipedia’s coverage is often spotty, particularly emerging technology and startups.

Gomila told me this week that “companies, technologies and the people involved in them” remain Golden’s strength. In that sense, you could see it as a competitor to Crunchbase, but with a much bigger emphasis on explaining and “clustering” information on big topics like quantum computing and COVID-19, rather than just aggregating key data about companies and people. (By the way, both TechCrunch and the author of this post have their own profile pages, though the latter is woefully empty.)

In contrast to Wikipedia, which relies on community editors, Gomila said most of the data in Golden is gathered using artificial intelligence and natural language processing: “We’re using AI to extract information from the news, from websites, from public databases.

This is supplemented by Golden staff (former TechCrunch copy editor Holden Page leads the startup’s research team), while the larger community can also pitch in by flagging things that are incorrect or need to be updated. (As one example of this “human in the loop” editing process, Gomila showed me a tool where someone could paste in an article link and Golden would automatically summarize it.)

“The ultimate aim is to try and automate as much of this as possible,” Gomila said. “[For now,] this hybrid is the most effective method.”

Golden has also started working with paying customers including private equity firms, hedge funds, VCs, biotechnology companies, corporate innovation offices