Bayezian: harnessing the power of AI for good

In a world where artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming industries, Bayezian, a revolutionary AI research firm, stands at the forefront of innovation and social impact.

In this exclusive Startups Magazine interview with Ed Dixon, Founder of Bayezian, Sheryl Miles delves into the company's origins, vision, and how they are utilising AI for the greater good.

The idea

Ed's background in IT and his experience working across both large systems integrators and smaller consultancies laid the foundation for his venture into the world of AI, and, in 2020, during the midst of a pandemic, Bayezian was born.

It was whilst working within organisations that claimed to want to adopt AI, that Ed first identified there was a skills gap in the market, and the vision for Bayezian was conceptualised.

So, he set off on a clear mission: to harness the power of AI for good, to close the skills gap and nurture the future generation of technologists and engineers, and to tackle the challenges in data science and AI projects – primarily focusing on life sciences.

“We found that a lot of projects were failing. And when we took a closer look, we found that data scientists weren’t really data scientists. They were really good programmers or mathematicians, but they didn’t have domain knowledge, or coding expertise.”

Seeing an opportunity to bridge this gap by nurturing early-career talent, including PhDs, master's students, and graduates by investing in them, Bayezian set out to provide its employees with unique development plans with the culminative goal of creating a dynamic team of AI researchers and practitioners.

The plus one pass

Bayezian's unique approach revolves around the ‘plus one’ concept, where team members work on client projects while also pursuing their personal AI research interests. This freedom to explore and experiment has led to groundbreaking discoveries and innovations that contribute to the company's success and impact.

“A plus one is your [the employees] project. It allows them to take their passion and work on it. The fertility project, which was covered by Electronic Specifier, was born out of a plus one experimentation.

“Another plus one individual tried to predict the outcome of Formula One – the underlying thing with the Plus One is that development in the area of interest, like the formula one example, his development of machine learning came on leaps and bounds because of this freedom.”

How Bayezian’s AI is doing good

One of the significant ways Bayezian is using AI for good is in the field of pharmaceuticals.

Traditional drug discovery processes are time-consuming, and they often result in lengthy development cycles. But, Bayezian's AI-driven approach can accelerate drug discovery, which leads to faster time-to-market for life-saving medications.

By leveraging AI technology to predict drug shelf life and efficacy, Bayezian is making critical contributions to the healthcare industry.

“Our focus is primarily pharmaceutical’s and where we add value with AI and the technology we use … for example, we're using AI based on the data that we've got to predict and model how long to keep [recently developed] drugs. It's all about reducing time to market for particular drugs, so they can get out to patients and save lives.”

Managing expectations in AI

Despite its successes, Bayezian has faced challenges in managing people’s expectations and navigating the hype that surrounds working with and having a career in AI.

“We would put out an ad for data scientists and be very clear on what the prerequisites are. And we would get 2,000 applicants from people of various backgrounds and a lot of these people had no experience at all in AI or data science.

“So, when we need to build a team of say, six people with computer vision experience, because there are no people out there with extensive computer vision experience, I’ll take a master's student that’s used computer vision in their master’s dissertation.”

Another way Bayezian are combatting the tech hype is by helping people who think getting into AI is what they want and helping them to discover if it really is for them. They achieve this by being committed to transparency and promoting clear communication to help address these challenges and therefore retain talent.

Bayezian also promotes a team-driven hiring process, where peers recruit their peers. This forward thinking fosters a collaborative and supportive environment within the teams and helps to ensure the growth and success of both individuals and the company.

Bring meaning to your work

Looking ahead, Bayezian envisions growing the business through focused domains or ‘pods,’ with each pod contributing to meaningful AI applications that have a real-world impact.

The ultimate goal for the company is to empower its team members to take charge of various aspects of Bayezian's growth and development, creating a team of passionate individuals working towards a common purpose – to use AI for good.

Bayezian's journey illustrates the transformative power of investing in early-career talent and how AI can be used for the collective good. By combining academic excellence with industry expertise, Bayezian has set itself apart in the AI landscape by being a fast moving and agile company that is paving the way for innovative solutions that both saves lives and improves society.

As AI continues to evolve, companies like Bayezian highlight how technology and human potential can combine to address global challenges and ultimately create a brighter, more inclusive future.

“We don’t want to dominate the world … we want to carry on doing good work that’s not driven by a bottom line of revenue numbers, but instead is driven by the right number of individuals that can contribute and do good things – where everyone feels part of the team.”