The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has taken the decision of investing in the Survey Auto—a data collection start-up founded by the ex-PITB Chairman—Dr. Umar Saif. This is the first-ever direct investment that is ever made by a renown philanthropic foundation in a Pakistani start-up.
SurveyAuto intends to make use of artificial intelligence for taking the 75-billion-dollar market research industry by storm. The company would be using an application for crowdsourcing the data gathered by applying the recent breakthroughs in the artificial intelligence and machine learning domains of computer science. The start-up would be depending on the local users in a respective area for reporting the data using their smartphones.
As per the field experts, this would make it the Uber market research, it means that what Uber has done to the taxi’s services, the start-up is planning to do the same with the conventional market research firms like Gallup and Nielsen.
Dr Umar Saif was earlier the chairman of the Punjab Information Technology Board—PITB. While serving his office, he built the first technology incubator in the country—Plan 9. Since then, he has made the best use of his education and knowledge and has taken on a number of roles like being the CEO of the SurveyAuto, advisor to the UN Development Program in Pakistan and the Chief Digital Officer to Jang Group.
While talking about the functionality of the app he said that SurveyAuto uses crowd sourcing model and depends on the machine learning for deciding who reports data, where it is gathered and also how often it is reported. This all leads to cost reduction and human errors.
He also thanked Bill Gates for showing his interest in the firm.