Brua IO is on the runway

A few months ago, I told this story at bedtime to my elder son, then a 3 year old.

There was once a boy who made all kinds of robots. Some robots did puzzles. Some made drawings. Some made music. One day the boy heard a strange noise. He saw that someone had made robots that were taking all his friends away to far off places. His friends started missing each other. They wanted to play with each other but they just couldn’t. They were just too far away. The boy decided to make a new robot. This new robot built long sturdy bridges for each and every friend of his to come back and start playing together, and they did. The name of this robot was Brua!

The last sentence was finished by my son. He understands what Brua stands for.

AI to expand our collective potential

Think about powerful AIs working alongside humans. Interactions with these ought to be reliable. Interactions with these out to be safe. Interactions with these ought to be socially responsible.

Some of you may be familier with the bicycle for the mind idea that was notably popularised by Steve Jobs. It is a way of saying that computers amplify the capabilities of the human mind. They do, but this idea needs more colour, specifically in the context of AI, a technology being advanced in our image (for now). AI can sure be seen as a tool that augments us at an individual level. It could engage us and expand our scope of knowledge and understanding. It could empower us to solve problems hithertoo unapproachable. But something about this picture is incomplete. Say if everyone got so engaged, would we then find ourselves in a world where artificial companions get optimized to keep us occupied, or even entertained, at the expense of empathizing with a fellow human? Do we want humans isolating ourselves with numerous AI friends? Could this form of engagement breed social isolation? Also, aren’t hard problems better solved in the company of other human minds anyway?

Instead, what about building bridges on which those bicycles could run? What about working to engage humans in deeper conversations? We humans feel meaning in doing things to serve the other. We ought to be each others companions driving the adoption of AI alongside endeavours that push the world forward. The hard things we do are not things done by humans in isolation. These endeavours are collective by nature. What about building AI products that bring human minds together to have transformative collaborative experiences, to expand our collective potential. For me at least, this latter picture is more agreeable as a model for AI adoption.

Recap 2023

Year 2023 has been the year of Brua’s founding, and by this I mean setting up the foundational structures across product, team, and early backers.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Q1: Made demos that employ LLMs to reliably mediate access to information.
  • Q1: Promoted the idea that Norway is the ideal place for founding a deep tech AI company grounded in human values. It is.
  • Q2-Q3: Raised pre-seed from close network, which doubles up as Brua’s critical support system at this very early stage, specially for a first time founder like me.
  • Q2: Brua IO officially founded on May 16, 2023.
  • Q2: Got an old colleague who has shaped the frontier of AI tech to join as co-founder. Built a founding company structure for Brua.
  • Q2-Q4: Effort and toil to carve out our product.
  • Q4: Product came alive. Details upon request, entertained on a need to know basis.
  • Q4: Onboarded initial set of users, who are providing active feedback.

We enter 2024 doing a lot of listening, building on feedback, and expanding our user base. We’re on the runway. We’re busy.

A big thank you to what I consider has become an eco-system surrounding Brua, specially the team, our early backers, and early users.

Thank you also to all who showed/reached out with a show of support, and for the conversations about Brua through 2023. Apologies if some of those threads needed more attention – we will make up for it. It has been a wild time. More generally, we’re happy to resume conversations if you wish to learn more and back our mission.

The Brua way

Going back to the bedtime story, a few weeks ago I used our product to have my elder son (now a 4 year old) and I connect at a new curious level. We’re already very close, but Brua particularly helped me empathize and step inside my son’s fantastical world with greater confidence, and it entertained both our curiosities. Brua transformed our collective experience. I’m now able to play with my toddlers at the frontier of their fantasy world without feeling overwhelmed by it all. That world is teeming with life, complexities, and a highly fluid universe with its own laws, species, and customs. I can enter it. I can live, feel, and help shape their truths.

Now, amongst human endeavors, science ranks the highest as the embodiment of the pursuit of truth. Critically, this is a collective endeavor. It’s collective because shaping, refuting, or confirming the frontier of knowledge cannot happen in isolation. This frontier is forever laden with uncertainties, and is open to change, even tumultuous change, which science embraces. Such change accepting frontiers are common across all human experiences relying on knowledge and ideas, or indeed all human endeavours that handle the complexities of human thought. Bringing human minds together in pursuit of experiences that push or shape this frontier, augmenting our collective lives, yielding a stronger social fabric by unifying the plurality of ideas, where AI facilitates the celebration of our collective potential, is the Brua way of bringing AI to the world at large.

Brua exists to establish a socially responsible role for AI, where AI gets to work alongside us for us to do wondrous things together.

With that, I wish you a very happy new year.