While studying computer science at the University of Waterloo in 2015, Ron Glozman grew annoyed by the 1,000-page textbooks he was assigned to read, since only a fraction of the material ever appeared on final exams. Glozman knew he wasn’t alone, so he devised an algorithm to spit out brief summaries of the most important parts. Then, he released it in the form of a free app. Within two weeks it was downloaded thousands of times by students in 33 countries.
Glozman’s algorithm may have been a technological success, but it was a business failure. Students simply didn’t have money to pay for such an app. So, Glozman pivoted and set his sights on the document-intensive— and deeper-pocketed—insurance industry, developing machine learning technology able to read reams of insurance forms, like client records and claims, in milliseconds, and then extract key policy information to make recommendations to insurance brokers.Read More