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Artificial Intelligence Creating Impact S3 - Episode 5
Episode 518th November 2020 • Social Lights • Kate vanderVoort
00:00:00 00:30:31

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In this episode of the Social Lights Podcast, podcast host and Social Mediology founder Kate vanderVoort chats with Evan Shellshear, the Head of Analytics at Biarri, a world-leading mathematical and predictive modelling company.

About Evan Shellshear

Evan is an expert in artificial intelligence with a Ph.D. in Game Theory from the Nobel Prize winning University of Bielefeld (in Germany). He has many years of international experience in the development and design of AI tools for a variety of industries having worked with Australia's top companies on all aspects of advanced analytical solutions. He is also the author of a number of books including the best-selling book on Amazon, Innovation Tools.

He is passionate about making an impact and seeing the work he does change something for the positive. Within industry he is involved with the analysis and reporting of key information to give companies a competitive edge. He gets excited when people are consistently improving their business models which leads to greater efficiencies and a more effective / productive way of working.


“We need to do things better” (2:21)

In 2009 the founders of Biarri created a company that had a primary goal of making the world operate more efficiently. They noticed that if we as business leaders keep doing the same procedures, at some point it will not be enough. Biarri wanted to be the catalyst that could help find a better way to use the resources available to be more efficient. 

He told us that at the beginning a large organization in Melbourne Australia was having problems managing their transports needs. It was all being managed on excel sheets with major inefficiencies. It got to the point that they had thousands of deliveries in specific time windows and locations, that it was just becoming too difficult for them to try to follow, and employees were starting feeling like their time was pointless. Biarri built the company a web-based tool in the cloud which gave them everything they needed. Their employees could access it from an internet browser automatically, and they could see what the best routes were and if there was any traffic. This tool could work with real life problems like road accidents and then in real-time update and optimise travel routes for drivers.


“If we see a startup or a company that we think will have a significant impact, we will assist them” (07:36)

Evan explains that they don’t just work with big brands like Google or Australia Post, they seek out startups that could have a significant impact or to disrupt their industry in a positive way. The only piece of the puzzle that they are missing is the mathematical capability, to know how to frame a problem. Biarri steps in and assists them to make good decisions with amazing tools.

One example includes a company who put a computer chip in cricked balls, to improve sport analytics and science. Biarri assisted by developing machine learning algorithms to help the company understand the speed and the spin of the ball from the data that was coming from the chip. They consolidated a partnership with them and with many small startup companies around the globe to pass on a key piece of technology that they needed to better serve their target market. 


“Technology will not make a bad business model be good, technology will not make a bad business idea be good” (16:24)

 Evan describes artificial intelligence (AI) as just a computer program that can mimic the pattern recognition and detection skills that all humans possess. AI has been a part of several important improvements to society, for instance the improvement on how cars and vehicles are made. He goes on to mention it is about being proactive in the addressing the changes that are occurring, being part of the future not the past. He emphasized that companies in the future need to use technology to enhance their business model or product but not to rely on it.

He clarifies that technology will not make a bad business model be good, technology will not make a bad business idea be good. The most successful companies globally have a good business model AND technology.

Episode Links

You can find Evan Shellshear and Biarri:



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Thanks for your time and stay inspired,

Kate vanderVoort