002: Brian Brackeen (Founder, Kairos Inc.)

Brian Brackeen on Innovation City

“When you can give somebody hope… it doesn’t matter what their current situation is.” — Brian Brackeen

In this episode of Innovation City we’re talking with Brian Brackeen (@brianbrackeen on Twitter), CEO and founder of Kairos, which was selected by The Wall Street Journal as one of 2013’s Top 25 Startups in the United States.

Created and produced by SLAM! Agency in conjunction with Venture Cafe St. Louis and Venture Cafe Miami, Innovation City gives you an inside look at how rapidly business and culture are changing thanks to increasing diversity and inclusion, heightened creativity, and a stronger and better-connected business community.

Brian leads Kairos’ senior management team, developing growth strategies that have established Kairos as a major innovator in face and emotion-recognition AI. Prior to founding Kairos, Brian was a Senior Project Manager for Apple, and before that, a Senior Managing Consultant for IBM.

In addition to his work at Kairos, Brian lectures extensively around the world on entrepreneurship, code, digital economy, AI and machine learning—and also participates in mentorship programs for organizations like Girls Who Code, Black Girls Code and The School District of Miami.

We discuss:

  • AI and Face recognition
  • AI and Emotional recognition
  • Discovering your ethnicity with Kairos
  • Mistakes that turn into wins
  • AI learning human genealogy by itself
  • Leaving IBM to join Apple
  • Working at Apple during the growth period (from iPhone to iPad)
  • Being in the room with Steve Jobs
  • Empathetic Leadership
  • Working 60-hour weeks
  • Leading in service to your team
  • Making your own dent in the universe
  • Trying to change everything
  • Not working with governments
  • Helping movie studios make better films and trailers
  • Privacy-focused facial recognition
  • Technology as a two-way street
  • Becoming the first African-American CEO to found and run a company from zero to IPO
  • Learning to code
  • Mentorship and helping more women find careers in tech
  • The power of hope