Decoding Intelligence with Mikko Kotila

Mikko Kotila

Mikko Kotila

July 13, 2017 - Creative-Sparq: Based in Finland, Mikko Kotila [pictured] describes himself as an “intelligence innovator, internet researcher and adtech whistleblower”. He started playing around with numbers and computers around 35 years ago and learnt to program before he could read. He’s an expert on machine intelligence and natural language processing, has spoken at over 100 global conferences on topics related to research, communications, data science and computing and co-authored the Compendium of Ad Fraud Knowledge in collaboration with the World Federation of Advertisers to expose the massive scale of fraud in digital advertising. He shares his perspective with Creative Sparq on human and artificial intelligence, morality, philosophy and the boundless opportunity for creativity that presents itself when we work on solutions that improve the well-being of others. In his words, “Love is the killer app”.

What do you do and how did you start your journey?
I’m a recovering internet innovator. I was one of the first in Europe to get seriously into building the browser based internet. I think I fit the more classic definition of a “researcher” - someone who takes the time to understand the theory, and then sometimes applies it somehow.  I started playing with numbers and computers around 35 years ago when I learned to program before I knew how to read. Today I work as a full-time volunteer on a number of projects. I believe in ethical behavior, formal study of philosophy and daily meditation practice. 

What are these projects you are involved in and why are they important to you?
I believe that the society should be more about people, and less about whatever it is now. So I try to involve myself with things where that’s the case. I’m trying to keep my website updated with my current projects.

Among other things, I’m the principal of Botlab. Botlab is a non-profit foundation that is the maintainer of Nameles, an open source fraud detection solution for online advertising that is endorsed by World Federation of Advertisers, and Autonomio, the first open source deep learning platform that supports both non-programmer and advanced data scientist use. For the past 3 years I have been the acting Chair for I-COM’s Data Science Board. More...