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Hackernoon logoDavid Mercer – ML Writer Nom – is a Tech Entrepreneur and Author by@noonies

David Mercer – ML Writer Nom – is a Tech Entrepreneur and Author

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The Tech Industry's Greenest Awards. Public Nominations Are Open. Voting Starts Aug 13.

The 2020 Noonies are here and they are both much greener and much bigger than last year. Among the 2,000+ deserving humans nominated across 5 categories for over 200 awards, we discovered David Mercer from South Africa, who’s has been nominated for a 2020 Noonie in the Future Heroes and Technology categories.

David is a data scientist, tech entrepreneur, and published author who loves coming up with new ideas. However, he believes that the way the machine learning community and large tech companies are currently pursuing AI is "downright dangerous."

Let's hear more of his thoughts in the interview below!

1. Which 2020 Noonies have you been nominated for?

  • Computer Science contributor of the year
  • ML writer of the year
  • Startup blogger of the year
  • Indie hacker of the year

2. Tell us a bit about yourself

I am a tech entrepreneur and published author with programming and web development books translated into over 13 languages worldwide. My books have been used as recommended readers at places like MIT. My software is relied upon by businesses (big and small) in over 60 countries around the world.

3. Tell us about the things you make / write / manage / build

I love coming up with new ideas. One of the best ways to have new ideas is to be an entrepreneur because it exposes you to new and interesting people and ideas. From my years as a writer, I still love to write about what I learn as I learn it.

4. What are you most excited about right now?

Heuristic algorithms. I'm fairly certain (when I have the time) I can use them to evolve a true artificial intelligence.

5. What are you worried about right now?

"True" artificial intelligence.

6. What's the most useful advice you've ever given somebody?

It doesn't matter what business you are in; the business you are in is marketing.

7. How has the pandemic changed your life and/or career?

It has forced me to stay at home, so I started a new business with my wife, which is completely new and different to anything I have undertaken on my own. It's a huge amount of fun.

8. If we gave you $10 million to invest in one thing right now, where would you put it?

I would like to save just one of the thousands of species we are currently wiping out. For example: the Kakapo (a large flightless parrot).

9. What's an opinion you have that most people don't agree with?

The way we are currently pursuing AI is downright dangerous and susceptible to an array of human bias.

10. Which apps can't you live without?

Oddly enough, I'm not really a techie. I don't 'early adopt' new apps or use them like I probably should.

11. What are you currently learning?

I'm trying to work out how to create software that can rewrite to improve itself. A type of virtual Von Neumann machine.

For much the same reasons Hacker Noon decided not to put good ideas behind pop-ups or paywalls — nor abuse your personal data to target you with creepy ads — we also decided that you don’t have to be an influencer or have 50k followers on Twitter to earn the recognition that comes with a 2020 Noonie Nomination. 

Make somebody’s day and nominate them to be recognized in the internet’s most independent and community-driven awards: NOONIES.TECH


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