Industry Era: Pierre Haren Named a Top 10 CEO of 2022

“Companies should be meritocraties of ideas”

Pierre Haren, CEO and Co-Founder, offers an outline of how Causality Link software analyzes approximately 50,000 news stories in 27 languages per day, extracts the knowledge content, and saves it in a data lake that can be queried to generate “collective insights” that integrate the points of view of thousands of authors on any single topic. Financial analysts or executives in companies can make dashboards that show information about them, their competitors, their suppliers, and their customers.

Pierre is a hands-on leader; he contributes to the service’s software by writing its high-level knowledge component extraction code, but more importantly, he ensures that the company’s meritocracy of ideas really works, so that any excellent idea from any employee has a chance of being implemented.

Causality Link tracks 40,000 public companies using 2,100 KPIs. Their ontology is continually growing, and they publish regular analytics. Their team has senior technical executives with technical expertise. The relevant staff can assemble in front of a customer to help with sales and demonstrate their abilities in distributed architecture, NLP, data science, and user interfaces. Pierre says pride in each other’s accomplishments keeps us together. In a “meritocracy of ideas,” it’s important to be able to spot and get rid of inefficiency and laziness.

Pierre doesn’t think they can harmonize their vision and mission through metrics, but rather through significant shared anecdotes; for example, they recently improved their NLP to distinguish between actual events (such as “tsunami”) and figures of speech (such as “tsunami of data”), which energized their team and allowed them to generate new great ideas.

They want to outperform the competition, not thwart it. Strategic consulting organizations help them disseminate their products. Recently, they partnered with Accuracy. Since they sign NDAs with clients, they can’t name them without a collaborative press release. The product’s benefits might be categorized as fundamental or quantitative.

They’re a distributed company that uses SaaS both for products and management. As much as feasible, they leverage and automate internal processes and products. They use a SaaS accounting solution, Google advertisements, and an outside marketing business. Their product leverages AI and NLP, and they’re an AWS partner despite their size.

From the flood of texts they get, they find fascinating news. Parameterizing what a client finds “interesting” is tough. One consumer is interested in the dynamics of the parameters, while another customer is interested in the changing risk factors for a firm or country’s economy, explains Pierre. Causality Link provides bespoke time series for quants which aggregate multiple feeds for alpha detection. Some of the ways to produce an aggregated signal are very complex, like using Bayesian networks to predict prices.

Satisfying early clients and improving the product are Causality Link short-term goals. In the mid-term, Pierre envisions strong partnerships with consulting companies which will add value to Causality Link. The symbiotic relationship between SAP and Accenture impressed Pierre in the 1990s. The coming AI transition from pure statistical machine learning (ML) to symbolic Causal AI, which incorporates human-understandable concepts, will benefit mankind in the long term. This is “collective AI”.

“Aligning the dots” by Pierre’s friend, Philippe Bouissou, is a great short read. Pierre suggests Judea Pearl’s “The Book of Why” and James Surowiecki’s “The Wisdom of Crowds.” They explain why AI will evolve into “collective intelligence.” For a read from the Causality Link web site, “Taiwan: at the Centre of a Worldwide Go Game between China and the US, an October 12 study, 2021,” is an example of Causality Link’s global perspective.

Pierre’s talent as a strategist is shown in one of the Facebook pieces about him, and he was truly touched. The piece was from a former employee of ILOG, which Pierre created in 1987, took public in 1997, and sold to IBM in 2008. This employee, Jean Pommier, was the head of Consulting at ILOG and then became a Distinguished Engineer, Business Automation at IBM.

Read the article here.