Skip to main content

Diveplane’s CEO explains what’s behind the hype of his AI startup


 — By all accounts, Diveplane has arrived.

Two years after former Epic Games CEO Dr. Michael Capps launched the Raleigh-based artificial intelligence (AI) startup, it continues to rack up accolades from industry insiders.

Last week, it was named as a sample vendor in four different “Hype Cycle” reports released by global research firm Gartner.

It also won first place at the UBS 2019 Future of Finance Challenge for its platform, GEMENAI, which can produce accurate synthetic datasets without using any private information.

Plus, it boasts a star-studded lineup of investors, which include US women’s soccer stars Megan Rapinoe and Mia Hamm.

“A number of the investors know Mike well and others were made through subsequent introductions,” explain Alan Cross, Diveplane’s chief commercial officer. “They all appreciate our mission to ensure AI is used ethically and that data privacy is core to what we do.”

WRAL TechWire’s Chantal Allam went directly to Capps himself to find out more what’s behind the hype. Here’s what he had to say:

  • ​Congrats on recognition in Gartner reports. Diveplane is just a little more than two years old. Why do you think it’s already driving so much attention?

Thanks very much!  We’re thrilled with the Gartner recognition, and being included in four of their tech roundups has led to some fantastic opportunities. Diveplane may only be a few years old, but our CTO Chris Hazard worked on our understandable AI technology for years before that. Certainly some of the attention comes from rising international interest in data privacy technologies like GEMINAI.

  • In your company description, it says that Diveplane is trying to “keep the humanity in artificial intelligence.” Please unpack that for me.

Thanks for reading about our mission — it’s what drives us every day to push harder.  You’ve probably heard of “black box” artificial intelligence, that makes decisions that humans can’t understand or interpret.  That’s not so bad when it’s just driving the Netflix recommendation system — if it’s wrong, or has some accidental gender bias, it’s not a big deal.  But when black-box AI makes parole decisions, or residential loan decisions, or drives facial recognition for policing, we must ensure those decisions are made fairly, and in an unbiased manner.  That’s what we mean by keeping a sense of humanity in AI-driven decisions.

  • ​At NC TECH’s State of Technology virtual event, you said that the next big thing in data science is “rolling it out.” What are you seeing on your end in terms of adoption of Diveplane’s products?

Exactly. There’s tons of great machine learning technology that’s ready for deployment today. As a techie nerd it drives me crazy when folks keep using outdated tech that never really worked when there’s better solutions available.

  • Any new products in the pipeline? 

We’ve got a few prototype projects in play — our engine technology attacks problems differently, and generates novel solutions.  But right now we’re focused on our lead products, GeminAI for generating synthetic twin data sets, and Sonar for anomaly detection.

  • Why did you decide to jump from Epic Games and gaming into “big data”?

I retired from Epic when I became a dad, so I could focus on my kids. Once they grew older and I was ready, I wanted to put my energy into making the world a better place. There’s a few big problems we face that I hoped I could impact, and I dug into the “black box” AI problem and here we are!

What do you think about what’s happening with Epic Games and its current lawsuits with Apple and Google?

Hadn’t heard, what’s that about? 🙂

  • Where to from here for Diveplane?

We’re at the fun part, where the rocket engines ignite, the support arm drops away, and we hold on for dear life!