Chairman of the Board of Directors of group of companies ABBYY, 2018 included in the list of Forbes, conducts life in flights across the ocean between its offices in Moscow and Silicon valley. In California he builds a house for himself and his family, which, judging by the description, was born from his childhood dreams about space — there are moving walls and a robot with artificial intelligence, writes an essay on free will. However, everything that makes David Yang, seems to the layman a little space, although every service that he was created from a dictionary Lingvo to the program Yva to assess the mood of employees, aims to serve the people, says the businessman, to make them happier.
“You draw a Panda or a flower? — David asked, freezing with the milkman over a Cup just cooked them a cappuccino. Panda, of course, a rare species”. Rare species — as does David Yang, which is the least similar to our idea of “man on the Forbes list”. He meets us in “chucks” and a t-shirt, immediately gets behind the bar (on the side of her right in the middle of the living room, huge Jacuzzi on the ceiling — the discus thrower around the concrete walls and hardware for DJ). Movements professional baristas, David draws in the Cup promised Panda: “it’s Impossible to find good coffee. I taught the boys to a nearby Starbucks to make me a proper cappuccino: double ristretto and warm milk. In the Valley have already learned, and in Moscow is looking at me funny”. Well, with David’s life in the two countries and we start the conversation.
Globalization and the spirit of a startup
Today the main trend: the business is no longer territorial boundaries. You feel it, managing your projects, living in two countries?
The fact that there are no territorial boundaries, I feel just at the physiological level. If I am in the Valley, my day starts at 5-6 in the morning, when the first conference call with Europe, and it ends when Moscow wakes up. My latest working email takes about an hour of the night. We have developed a program Yva.ai that is able to analyze the correspondence, and she sometimes asks (if I could be surprised, surprised): but how can there be such a small gap between the last sent and the first accepted letter?
Indeed, globalization in business is: people come together in the interregional team. I think it’s very cool. Our world is now a giant human neural network, which is shrouded in relationships, this giant brain that is able to think collectively. I think it went to this evolution.
A few years ago was popular, the anti-globalization movement. Think now about this idea rusty.
I don’t think I forgot, and that’s okay too. And globalization and anti-globalization has its problems — evolution occurs where there is a competition of cultures, concepts and ideas.
You have some internal switch that switches when you go from Russia to USA?
Take off from San Francisco — the sun is shining, the sky is blue. And you fly, fly above the clouds, and then announced that our plane is about to land at Sheremetyevo. You cross the clouds and suddenly be in such a lead cloud. Then stand in a traffic jam on the Leningrad highway. Moscow! Energy, dynamics, 8 meetings a day! That’s village life in the Valley. Here is the toggle switches.
And in work?
I think if the team is passionate about the project and are generally properly chosen, in the working process of switch no. Of course, some differences in doing business in different countries. In China, for example, all on its own. But even if there are differences between the Western and Eastern approach, they now are more anecdotal in nature. Our employees travel a lot from one office to another, and they are impregnated with the local culture, so it’s important to ensure that large organizations do not have rigidity of processes that the company did not materila in the bad sense of the word. “Effect of a startup” now working on all the leaders of large companies. Because the spirit of a startup often are, by definition, absent in large organizations regardless of whether they are American, European or Russian.
How to create this spirit? Not all by their nature start-UPS.
For example, Satya Nadella is very strong and successfully altered Microsoft. He started with legend, which gave to all the employees read the book by Marshall Rosenberg “Nonviolent communication”. This book is about a spirit of openness to new ideas, on the right of everyone to error, about the openness to competition. And after that he has presented a concept that was unthinkable under his predecessor the Ballmer: the products of Microsoft. now will work for the most evil of competitive servers. It was a shock for the company with thirty years history, which fundamentally rejected the opportunity, saying this is our — this is a good thing, if it’s another operating system, then there is nothing will not work. For programmers it was this discovery that eventually a new system to filter out people left of those who were open to the new, and attracted those who previously would not have stayed in such a totalitarian structure, which he called “the evil Corporation”.
More “evil Corporation” no. In Microsoft in a few years everything turned upside down, they will again become one of the most expensive companies in the world. And nobody expected it. So the idea of experimentation, the idea of openness, quick fixes, small grocery hypotheses — all of which now are trying to introduce not only Microsoft e. It is clear that some of Google’s always been the same, their task, for example, is today is to keep this spirit despite the fact that they are a huge company. I recently spoke with representatives of one Russian resource companies, and they told me that at some point created the project horizontalization business when decisions are made at lower levels to the hierarchy number is strongly reduced. Heavy process. But who would not be able to overcome it, he probably won’t be able to keep the integrity.
It seems that in Russia the idea of “horizontalization” any office not yet at the level of DNA — our entire power structure is built vertically. Or is something changing?
I’ll agree that the initiative and the realization that life, like your future is in your hands, in Russia is less felt. In business and in politics. For example, in the US people are accustomed from childhood to the principle of self-organization in small groups, clubs, teams, where they themselves elect a leader. They themselves are aiming, to decide something. Albeit small, at the level of the city, municipality or just individual streets and schools. But the realization of such a possibility is being introduced in school years. In Russia the mentality is a little different.
As the leader to unlock the potential of people at their level, motivate them to create ideas?
It’s not easy. Even in a small organization. It all depends on the managers: if they do not encourage initiative, then after a couple of failures, when an enterprising employee comes to the boss with some idea, he’ll just quit. Will go where his creativity is encouraged. He has accumulated experience negative feedback — and there is such a negative screening. It is therefore important to implement internal entrepreneurship, koggestraat can get 20% of your time as an investment in your small project. If before the initiative officer said: “Let’s make a product,” he said, “Look, who’s going to do his marketing, who will productservice are all busy, what are you talking about”. And all this came to an end. The man lost the initiative, and the company lost a chance to do something new. Although 80% of cases all the arguments of the company was true, because, really, a young, enthusiastic former student of the Institute may not know all of the complexities associated with the implementation of the project. But he doesn’t know, he loses motivation.
What to do? To approach this question differently. I want to implement the idea? Yes, no question. Write a short business plan, put before a special innovation Committee, which is composed of the same as you — not of the old men and young guys from different fields who know marketing, sales, and manufacturing. If the project is managed to protect guys get funding and a designated time to work on the project in working days. As is always the case with startups, in nine cases out of ten they will not work, but they for the period of work on the project will grow strongly. And, most importantly, they will remain in the company — but with acquired experience. But still happy with what they were given to try, and they eventually left with nothing with a failed project, and kept working. But in one case out of ten they implement a cool idea and earn this money, and the company also will work. If they were not allowed to try, in the end, some people would have left, and others — hot shots — just gone. They would take from friends or parents money, put everything in startup and still with a probability of 9 out of 10 lost and would remain losers. So this kind of initiatives work positively for all parties.
Social responsibility and simple biology
Let’s talk about the social responsibility of business. Forbes, for example, for the second year in a row is a list of millionequivalent. According to your observations, businesses in Russia began to think about higher values than money?
I’d like to think so. At least I see this trend around. And all I’m trying to convince to give money to our school “Ayb”, and many agree. We have about 200 donors of our educational project of Ayb. We call it the school of the future or other big words. Many years ago we — me and my friends from physics and physmath school came up with the idea to bring back the moral duty of our school, owing to which we have become olimpiadnye, he entered the Institute that has played a huge role in the subsequent development of each of us. We decided, in addition to our physical-mathematical school, make your own, private, and for several years we studied the best methods of education in France, Germany, USA, Finland, Russia. In the end, we built a building, which are already attended by more than 400 children. These are the winners of different international Olympiads, which are then received in the best universities of the world: Berkeley, Stanford, the Institute, MIT, Moscow state University.
Got exactly such a school as we would like. There are some pipes that the kids can descend from one floor to another, there is a fablab, developed together with MIT, where there are 3D printers, string cutters, laser cutters, you can make real robots, including flying. There are all kinds of courses: from modeling to robotics. We wanted to find the optimal combination of technology, artificial intelligence and different kinds of art: fine, applied, music. In General, children from first grade to twelfth study there. In high school they have a flexible program: there is a mandatory part of the lessons, and there are electives that the student must choose for himself. The actual training is on an individual schedule, our teachers are High school teachers with no previous experience in high school. We wanted to current physicists, biologists gave physics and biology, which is really popular in the modern world. And this applies not only to the exact Sciences: “Creative writing” we have a English teacher of a famous American writer. We wanted children right away was in the midst of world events, and to some extent this has been successful. I feel great elation when we visit there.
How to get there?
It is necessary to pass the exams. Once the student passes through the points begins the study of his financial situation if he was to pay the tuition (about $6,000 a year). If not, starts the search for funding from another of our Foundation, which funds talented students. Sometimes it’s not easy, of course, to get there, we’re constantly having to deny people who believe that their children should arrive anywhere “on call”.
And you say so to the Minister: “No”?
Yes, of course. Not me personally, we have a special Commission from the Trustees of the Fund. And they are always someone’s failing. We have not received even the children of founders and donors, there are no exceptions there. If the son Minister was very smart — please. If he passed the exams, we have no matter whose child it is. But if they didn’t — sorry. Even people who were invested in the school hundreds of thousands of dollars, can’t make their child passed with some concessions. If we lower the level of education, we come to the normal school.
In addition to educational history how is your General define, what is social responsibility? And why do you personally need it?
Actually, if you read Robert Sapolsky (he has a book “the Biology of good and evil”), you realize that there is nothing in all these lofty words about the meaning of life, about good. Just the way our body works. Empathy is an evolutionary built-in function, we produced leptin, oxytocin, dopamine. Some of them are produced from what they do good, others are also produced but in lesser extent. That’s all. To look for some higher matter this is not necessary.
There is a passage in the book: making social responsibility an attractive image is useful because then people who have vasopressin with the oxytocin produced is not very strong, but they produced dopamine from reaching the goal, you begin to actually do charity work not because they have developed empathy, but because they have pride. Of course, I’m exaggerating, but who cares why these people are doing good things: because they are good or have their significance? Give children money — well, okay, God is with them.
For me personally, it’s just fun. Not even pleasure, and thrill. I’m just on a physical level would be nice the more social project, more children will be treated from the disease, more talented kids get the best education. And I am pleased, and a lot of people really nice.
In addition to the fun, it becomes an important component of reputation — how the individual and the company?
So, it is a request companies. So, that is how the current stage of development. After all, we as a society are gigantic body, right? If we had been any single “bacteria” in the form of a village or town, now we have formed in superovulyatsii organism, permeated by nerve cells, nerve social networking media. Now we feel each other at a distance, we put the huskies — it’s like the synapses that transmit impulses of information through space and through billions of people connected by the network. And every large organization can have it’s own laws, in our now encouraged social activity. Well, that’s very interesting.
This does not mean that it always will be. Everything develops in a spiral, after some time, the rate will change. And exactly the same as now, we are seeing some activity associated with gender equality in the next period of development of society will suddenly become clear that all this will lead to the disappearance of the differences between men and women to such an extent that it could threaten mankind. And all will unfold: so the sexual revolution of the 1960s turned into the Puritan society 1970-1980-s. Society, as a very complex organism, all the time trying to find some kind of comfort zone. Certainly it is somewhere in the region of humanism. I’d really like to hope that it is so that people will be able to resist militarism.
Robot Morpheus and moving walls
It seems that you must run the robots. As artificial intelligence integrated into your life?
Not yet run, but, for example, control the walls. We are currently building a house in the Valley, where there will be moving walls. And the house will live on artificial intelligence by the name Morpheus. We named him after the Greek God of sleep Morpheus. Morpheus will constantly think about the meaning of life, freedom of will, will read articles on the topic of Darwinism and so on. And then he will Refine them in the endless essay written on the white Board. I’m not kidding, I absolutely mean it. It will create space “all the senses”. To do this, he will mechanical hand, whiteboard and markers. These essays can be in 60 languages. If you turn to him in Japanese, he will continue to write in Japanese article on the topic of good and evil, but first and foremost about freedom of consciousness and freedom of will.
That is to brew coffee for you will not?
To cook, but to turn on the coffee machine — Yes. That is, he will have a free choice, he repeatedly thinking. This is a social experiment: will it be free or not. For example, don’t keep the house keys and to get into the house, we will have to agree with Morpheus. And then he’ll decide he wants to let us in or not. Over time, Morpheus will appear Bank account, and it will be on Amazon to buy myself things or someone, is unclear. He will buy who he will buy, is unclear. In principle it is not clear yet how it will behave.
It turns out that the essay he wrote in order to understand the importance of free will and begin to make decisions?
What he writes an essay? We did not put the question, but it’s interesting. He just arranged.
But it’s so staged, so there must be an answer to the question why he does certain things?
Not really. This technology is based on unsupervised machine learning, they have quite unpredictable behavior. Let me explain. In America, and indeed in many countries, there was a period of segregation, slavery. Then Africans have no social rights, they had no human rights. Time passed before they went outside, and Martin Luther king said, “I have a dream”. The same thing happens with artificial intelligence today.
Artificial intelligence is now so impossible to consider that may have human rights. But soon artificial intelligence will become subject to the law. Similarly, as it was impossible to think that black people will ever receive selectively the right and so on. It will take some time 40 or 60 years and they have laws about cruel treatment with artificial intelligence. It all starts, and then, according to my predictions, will start more and more complex processes. I think in the end is already in every biological being will be some technological inclusions, and in each process, artificial body components will be based on DNA. And in General, the exact boundaries between what is a biological being and technology will not.
You once said that artificial intelligence already in 10-20 years we will release three to four hours a day from work. What you would have spent this time?
Personally, I’d spend it on a dream. But if you already get enough sleep, I’d spend it on their creative projects. I have always loved to do as a hobby actionism, performances and happeningi. Once I was in the mob culture, and there are great combination of technology and actionism. This is very interesting, but so far I don’t have time. Once we made a performance called “communication project: 6 senses”, where in six episodes people were getting acquainted with each other, using only a single human feeling. We spent about 70 of flash mobs, some of them international in 130 cities, it was very fun.
This year, Facebook great problems due to the transfer of personal data. You feel that we are becoming more vulnerable from the point of view of information?
I’m less paranoid than most people. I believe that society finds the balance between quality of life and security and privacy. Yes, indeed, Google, Facebook and Apple know everything about us and even what we do not know. Good or bad? In fact, the society have already agreed, because now the quality of life from how fast you can anywhere in the world to order a taxi, find a restaurant or any place on the map, chat with people, no matter on which continent they live. Therefore, a compromise has already been found. If the balance is not quite perfect, we will soon get there. In Europe there is a law on personal data, a similar law will be adopted soon in the United States — that is, society has made a certain framework in which to seek compromises between privacy and quality of life.
Artificial intelligence and accountant Zinaida
You said that every few years are a new idea. What occupies you now?
Now it Yva — artificial intelligence that “reads minds” of employees. It is a system that analyzes corporate correspondence at an early stage and reveals even those behavioral characteristics that the employee could still not be aware of. For example, to change the nature of communication the system can understand what people preparing for the dismissal before the man himself made the decision to quit. This is necessary in order to retain the best people. The problem with large organizations is that they have little objective information from employees in real-time. The most important asset of any organization today is people. And it is strange that companies are working with this major asset are still the old, like 300 years ago: on the basis of intuition, emotion and so on.
But the speed of development of the business is that you can’t see all of their employees every day. They sit in other time zones and on other continents, so the complexity of the control is different. Now to rely on intuition is like to manage transatlantic Boeing without a control panel, a finger identifying at what altitude and what speed we’re going. Companies and organizations around the world need tools that will allow to obtain objective information. Polls do not solve this problem because of the subjectivity and not the timeliness of the information provided. The society has come to the fact that another tool that meets modern requirements. And here we have managed to create such a thing: a neural network, which oversees what is called a “digital footprint” of employees and helps the company better understand what is happening in your organization and significantly increase its effectiveness. To analyze the system uses the data of corporate email, instant messengers, portals, CRM, HRM systems and other company resources.
And that Yva in these messages identifies?
The funny thing is that she never even looks at the content of the correspondence. It gets information only on the basis of metadata: who, whom, when sent the letter. This information contains a very serious signals. The neural network trained on previous patterns of communication, he sees that the man changed his pattern of communication in such a way that it changed the people who quit after 6 months. That’s all! So she says: I don’t know, I just see that these people changed the pattern of behaviour like will soon retire.
Do you think that people are ready to share this very emotional part of the management machine? I already imagine the face of an accountant Zinaida, which say that the neural network has assessed her behavior as risky: “what are you, darling?”
This is a standard reaction to such analytical tools. But if you suddenly think, why? Yva and the need to keep people, because this judge, maybe they changed the behavior in a positive way: then all is well, work on. But if she changed her behavior in a negative direction, we can change the conditions of her labor, so she was happy. In a good case. But if it is the head of the company, which is committed only to efficiency, he fired Zinaida, and in its place will hire her.
So not napolnyaetsya. Now a basic need in the world of HR: how to get rid of unwanted attrition, “unwanted turnover”, especially among high-class specialists: among engineers, strong managers or selling Competition for head and poaching from one organization to another, causing enormous damage to the companies themselves. People just don’t get, they must be dissatisfied with something, therefore, for the organization is an issue about how to identify early stages of discontent and its causes.
So if earnest, in fact, is a strong Manager and a very valuable employee, we need to make sure that she was fine. Maybe she’s upset that strongly blowing air conditioning or behavior of any group of employees — it’s necessary to identify the early stages, before a small frustration moved to burnout, and burnout has led to the fact that she was open to new offers on the market. There is a term happiness management happiness: how to make so that to improve working conditions and to find best practices, and sometimes literally to prevent accidents in the workplace. It’s very difficult to measure, but modern neural network that we used is arranged already so sophisticated that they can actually snatch correlation in a very difficult signal, which is found in the digital track. This helps employees to increase their efficiency and degree of satisfaction from work, and the whole company to make a qualitative leap to a new level.
And you have the burnout does not happen?
Burnout only happens when life long time no adrenaline: new project, new goals to do something that was not there before. Then, Yes, I comes the burnout. And when I have a goal and have a team ready for this goal with me to achieve, I feel so elated… It’s hard to describe.
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