San Francisco, USA- January 2020
Exploring humane possibilities, friendship, and values in technology made me embark upon this journey. I have been unable to focus on any other work for the last few days. KUCHELA.AI is the name I gave to the new artificial intelligence project that I started searching for my purpose in life.
Since the day I started planning this project, my mind has been busy with random thoughts. It is going astray. I haven’t felt this uneasy, this acute feeling of emptiness since I immigrated to the United States twenty-five years ago. What is happening to me? The cross-functional dream team that I wanted is ready. The project kick-off meeting was scheduled to start at 10 a.m., but it is 10:15, and I’m still sitting in my office, thinking.
Assuming I’m busy with some in-depth conceptual planning, my executive assistant, Erlyn, has hesitated to disturb me. But with the team waiting in the conference room, she knocks softly on my glass door, calling out, “Krish. Krish!” She points at her watch.
I get up and hurriedly walk to the conference room.
Sorry, I have not introduced myself yet. My name is Krishna Bhamidipati. People call me Krish, and back home in India, they used to call me Krishna.
Till recently, I used to be at Google, heading one of its Advanced AI Research Labs, with a staff of over a hundred people. I left Google and founded my current company called KUCHELA.AI, and hired a small team. My team is highly talented, mostly graduates of MIT, Berkeley, Stanford, IIT, Harvard, and other Ivy League schools.
My fifty-plus patents and over two hundred research papers combined pale in comparison with the collective intellectual output of my team. All are experts in AI technologies, psychology, and economics. Even though they have no clue about the details of KUCHELA.AI, out of deep respect for my research work, my reputation, and the worldwide reach of my prior products, they left their previous jobs and joined my startup. It’s time for me to reveal why I assembled them.
“Team, I don’t believe in small talk, and so will come directly to the point. Our new project is called KUCHELA.AI. The long-term vision of the project is …” Suddenly, my mind is going somewhere else, as if in a trance. Why am I becoming distracted?
“Krish, are you okay?” Melinda asks. “We’ve been waiting to hear from you,” says Stella.
I do not respond.