I like to build things that matter for humanity in the long term. I'm working on a shared public database for the internet, to allow sovereign management of personal data and to celebrate the cultural commons while compensating creators. The "how" is via BigchainDB blockchain database software, the IPDB network & foundation, Coala IP protocol, and serving as an advisor to the Estonian E-residency program. These are building blocks towards my long-term goal - to help ensure that humanity has a role in an increasingly autonomous world.

I started my career by doing AI research for national defense in the 1990s, while still an undergraduate.

Then, in my first startup (ADA), we explored the relation between human creativity and AI-based machine creativity. ADA was acquired in 2004.

I extended that work during my PhD, and found a way to reconcile machine creativity with existing engineering knowledge. Here's the book.

In my second startup (Solido), we leveraged AI to help drive Moore's Law, which was under threat due to high manufacturing variations. Here's the book. Now, Solido software is used for most modern chip designs.

Then I co-founded ascribe to help compensate creators in the digital era (via IP on the blockchain). We ran into issues of database scalability, and IP flexibility; in response, that work has evolved into IPDB, BigchainDB, and Coala IP.


  • PhD in EE from KU Leuven, Belgium. Awarded #1 thesis worldwide in the field.
  • BE EE and BsC CS from U Saskatchewan, Canada. Awarded #1 final year thesis.
  • Did ML research for Canadian Department of National Defense, in the second half of the 90s.
  • Wrote 2 Books [1,2] on ML, circuits and creativity. Also 35 Papers, 20 Patents. 
  • Keynotes & invited talks at MIT, Columbia, Berkeley, JPL, Nvidia, IFA+ Summit, Data Science Day Berlin, PyData Berlin, more. Lecturer at Data Science Retreat [link].
  • Member of Advisory Group for the e-Residency team of the Government of Estonia
  • Organize Singularity Meets Self Improvement [link] and co-organize Berlin Machine Learning [link] meetups. Co-organized workshops on ML / circuits [e.g. 1,2,3,4]. TPC / reviewer for many conferences & journals [e.g. 1,2,3,4,5]
  • Past projects: painting, BCI hacking, hypnosis, video game programming, surfing.
  • Raised in a pig farm in Canada, hacking away on cold winter nights. 3D CAD tool, wordprocessor, dozens of games.
  • more at LinkedIn