"The entrepreneur understands that failure is an integral part of the journey, especially when embarking on the adventure of creating a startup from scratch. If you doubt this, just ask The MindKind, an Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) startup born in the Benasque Valley, which initially took a different form.
The MindKind's journey is guided by Mario Garcés, the founder and CEO. He has always embodied the restless, non-conformist, and determined character that typifies every entrepreneur. In 2005, amidst the economic crisis, he started a project called Daxnatur, with a strong humanistic focus aimed at teaching people to use nature for well-being. Unfortunately, this project never took off.
However, Mario continued to advance his research in neuroscience. In 2019, coinciding with the publication of the first scientific article detailing a new understanding of emotions and their relationship with attention and cognition, he realized significant progress had been made in Artificial Intelligence (AI). He noticed that while narrow AI had made strides, it still fell far short of human capabilities.
Garcés saw an opportunity to apply his neuroscience research to create a new Cognitive Architecture called ETR. This approach not only describes but scientifically explains the interplay between emotions, attention, and cognition, bridging the gap towards Artificial General Intelligence (AGI). AGI is currently the holy grail of AI, and major tech companies are all pursuing it.
Thus, The MindKind was born in 2020, focusing on AGI, aiming to develop systems that learn, reason, make decisions, and behave like living beings, ultimately like humans. Unlike narrow AI, which excels at specialized tasks but lacks adaptability, AGI can conceptualize information, establish connections, and extrapolate knowledge from one domain to another.
Mario explains that current AI models, including ChatGPT and Stable Diffusion, are essentially statistical models. They calculate probabilities and make decisions based on those probabilities without understanding the data they process. They are akin to the 'reflexes' of living beings—efficient at specific tasks but not adaptable.
The MindKind aspires to overcome these limitations, offering traceability, adaptability, and reliability. While it may replace humans in uncertain tasks, it won't excel at specific tasks. Their technology aims to replicate human cognition rather than reflexes.
To achieve this ambitious goal, The MindKind is working on a CDTI-funded Neotec project for the minimum viable product. It involves a 'behavioral engine,' a software component that allows systems like robots, mobile phones, or virtual avatars to receive, process, acquire knowledge, and adaptively respond to information like humans.
Initially, video games and virtual environments are the testing grounds. The goal is to breathe life into video game characters, NPCs, and virtual avatars to the extent that users can't distinguish between human and machine interactions.
However, The MindKind's potential extends further. In advanced stages, the company could collaborate with the European Space Agency (ESA) in the space race. They find the metaverse particularly intriguing, as it allows them to integrate real-world elements into the digital realm, such as robots.
By creating digital twins of autonomous robots and training them through digital twins using their AGI, they aim to apply this knowledge to physical robots in the real world. This innovative approach could potentially position The MindKind at the forefront of Europe's efforts in space exploration.
While the journey is long, the rapid advancements in artificial intelligence suggest that this Aragonese company may soon play a pivotal role in the 'humanization' of machines through cognitive technology. The process has only just begun."