Peter Ma | Innovators of Tomorrow | Intel Software

Peter Ma | Innovators of Tomorrow | Intel Software


Welcome to Innovators
of Tomorrow. I’m your host, Wendy
Boswell, here to bring you the sights, sounds,
and inspirational work from developers and
our innovator community from around the globe. Today, we are talking to Intel
Software innovator, Peter Ma, about his history
with hackathons, his incredible winning streak,
and the projects that have been inspired by these events. Let’s get this started. [MUSIC PLAYING] Welcome to the show Peter, and
thanks for joining us today. So in addition to being an
Intel Software innovator, you’re also a professional
hackathon competitor. Can you tell us about what
got you into a hackathons and how you manage to
do so well at them? So thanks for having
me out, Wendy. I think everything
started as a kid, that I’ve always been
intrigued by new technologies. My very first
developer challenge was sponsored by
[INAUDIBLE] Conference. So after winning that,
I was able to give a TEDtalk at TED Global 2010. And that really inspired me
to compete more and build out more prototypes. I think I do well
in most hackathons because I focus mostly
on how technologies can better people’s lives than
what technologies can do. So all these projects that you
come up with at hackathons– do they come from real
life ideas and problems that you’re trying to solve? So most of the projects
come from the problems I have within daily life. But hackathon provides a perfect
opportunity to build it out because I have an immediate
audience to validate my idea, as well as finding help. OK so, that actually really
makes a lot of sense. And some of the
bigger projects that have come out of that thinking
are things like Anti-snoozer, Grindbit, Dr. Hazel. Can you tell us a little bit
more about these projects? So Anti-snoozer is a drowsy
detection system for people who drive behind the wheel. That was inspired by
my aunt’s accident while my uncle was
driving drowsy. She ended up being
permanently disabled. That won the AT&T
developer Summit hackathon. And also, I’ve been
given the chance to show John Kerry
the demo last year. This year, I have open
sourced the entire project, so the community
can take it further. The Grindbit is a headband
that detects teeth grinding. I actually grind
teeth, myself, so I try to find a way to track that. Vehicle rear vision
was for my old car because it didn’t have
a camera to look behind. I used [INAUDIBLE] camera
and [INAUDIBLE] radar so it can assist me
while I’m parking. Through that project,
I learned how to detect dogs and
cats while parking. And I was able to use
the exact same skill to build Dr. Hazel, which is to
detect melanoma and other skin cancers. So Dr. Hazel has actually
really taken off. Can you tell us a little
bit more about that project? So Dr. Hazel is an AI that
can detect skin cancer. My co-founder,
Mike, and I recently built that out in a hackathon. We used [? Cafe ?]
Intel [INAUDIBLE] Cloud, and [INAUDIBLE] computing
stick so we can detect it real-time and offline. After building it
out, we were covered on TechCrunch, Wall Street
Journal, and many other media outlets. Right after the coverage, we
received hundreds of e-mails where people asked
me for beta requests as well as sending us
their photos of their moles so we can improve
our AI training. Right now, we’re talking to
institutions and investors to see how to take this forward. That is really cool. It’s going to be
interesting to see where Dr. Hazel is going to go. So with all of the ideas
and projects that you have at hackathons, there’s got
to be an interesting innovation process around this. So what is the hardest
part of innovating for you? So all startups, the ideas
are the easiest and execution is the hard work. But the hardest part is still
finding the product market fit. I’ve built out hundreds of
prototypes [INAUDIBLE] by now, but very few of them actually
gain people’s interests. When you show people the
demo, they’re all impressed. But it’s the follow up
e-mails what really counts. Yeah, I think
there’s a theme here that all of your
projects and ideas are geared towards helping
people in a positive way. So what’s the
inspiration behind that? So I really believe technology
is here to advance humankind and to reduce suffering. As a developer, I
think it’s my duty to utilize the best technologies
to make a difference. And hopefully along
the way, I can inspire others to do the same. That’s amazing. Using technology to help
others in a positive way, that’s really what
it’s all about. Peter, thanks for
coming on today and sharing your work with us. We really appreciate it. Thanks for having me on, Wendy. You can connect with Peter and
follow along with his projects at the link provided. Also, we’ve included
a link so that you can learn more about the Intel
Software innovator program. That wraps up this
installment of the show. Be sure to like this video and
subscribe to the Intel Software YouTube channel to keep
learning about the innovators of tomorrow. And on behalf of an
amazing video crew, thanks for tuning in. And we’ll see you next time.

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