What? Why? How?

Original article was published by Jack Seeburger on Deep Learning on Medium


Welcome to Project Deus!

If you have made it this far you are probably wondering what the hell it is.

I mean calling something Deus is pretty wild these days.

Countless evil organizations in film and television are named with some variation of Deus — a symbol of their all reaching power. They will stop at nothing until they control everything.

So why in god’s name (see what I did there 😉) would you name a project Deus?

Honestly, it started off with some internal angst caused by what I saw as the hypocrisy of tech companies that aspire to insert themselves in every aspect of our lives. Which I think is fine, in a capitalist free market the goal of every company is to make more money. But like the gods from Greek mythology, each corporation wants to be in full control of their respective domains. My issue was with those that tried to frame their intentions as “altruistic”. Don’t get me wrong they’ve helped us make tremendous progress, but more often their guiding light is co-opted by the company’s bottom line.

(I’ll write an additional blog post soon where I do a deep dive about what I think is wrong with some of the largest tech corporations and how those problems are failing to be addressed.)

To paraphrase Ozymandias from HBO’s Watchmen,

“Those who aspire to have the powers of a god, should be the last to have them.”

I wanted to reclaim the idea of a technology company whose goal was to help foster a more informed and inclusive society by building a platform that could be seen as a symbol of truth. Something that was simple to understand and that users could trust was communicating fact — not driven by the free market of advertising where everything is optimized for engagement, clickability, and rage.

So what does that look like you might ask?

Well, Project Deus will be primarily a deep/machine learning-focused organization, optimized for transparency and simplicity — essentially building everything in public. We will write, discuss, and make it as easy to consume as possible for potential users/customers. Any data science driven organization would be wrong to not solicit feedback and data from those who are actually using and effected by the products it produces.

The guiding principle of Deus will be openness and inclusion. A sustainable business model for the next generation of companies.

What will be Deus focusing on first?

The news. Plain and simple.

In a post-information era where everything is accessible at our fingertips, consumers are overwhelmed. What was supposed to make everyone more informed has done the exact opposite. News is produced so prolifically that you and everyone else can cherry-pick articles that support their positions despite what may have actually happened. Opinion is conflated with fact and current feed-based platforms only perpetuate echo chambers.

(A further breakdown of how tech and social media changed the news industry is also being written.)

Enter Nuntium. The first product from The Deus Project.

Nunitum will be a data science oriented news platform that leverages all the amazing work done by journalists around the world. The goal of which is to surface the true events that drive what is being written. To remove the fluff, bias, slant, or whatever you want to call it and present only what is happening. All while providing transparency to how these events were sourced and the context that they lie in. Additionally, in illustrating where the events come from, Nuntium will allow users to pick from that source list when they want to read more about said event. All in a clutterless UI, just one sentence events on a blank background, to prevent news fatigue. The goal is not to completely replace traditional news sources but to make it simpler to understand while still providing readers their preferred choice of publication. In doing so Nuntium creates a symbiosis between journalism and tech that enables users to be more informed all across the world.

(In keeping with the theme, there will be countless additional posts about how Nuntium works.)

So to wrap things up (and blessings be upon you if you’ve made it this far), I’m hoping to be dropping blogs, products, and musings about life through Deus — starting with Nuntium. You can signup to have them sent to directly to your inbox, find them on Medium, or follow my Twitter @jack_seeburger.

Super excited to keep you all updated and to build together!