11 June 2020
Beyond Limits originates out of a proud heritage from the unmanned space program and upholds high technology standards from our roots at Caltech NASA/JPL. We have an industrious mission to provide next-generation technology for the advancement of people and planet.
Taking artificial intelligence to the next level is Beyond Limits’ specialty. We are confident in our ability to solve complex problems for high-value industries, because our technology was developed to endure harsh environments, from deep space to subsurface.
As in space, many companies on earth have similar needs for mission-critical systems with acute situational awareness in real-time, predictive analytics, domain expertise at the edge, and instantaneous human-like reasoning to make informed decisions and take meaningful action. This is why Beyond Limits was created.
Want to learn more about our space heritage? Visit our About Page
21 May 2020
12 May 2020
Alyssa Cotrina, Beyond Limits
Technology can push the boundaries of what reasoning is or isn’t acceptable within the rationale of the human brain. A “system” has no inherent morals outside of those its human engineers can synthesize and program. Artificial intelligence technologies are no different, and arguably more crucial when it comes to having a discussion around the topic of moral competency within the minds of machines. When the main purpose of burgeoning tech is to emulate human reasoning, those in the process of innovating such solutions shouldn’t take the responsibility lightly when deciding which points-of-view will be represented.
Human nature (and nurture) dictate that we grow up forming opinions, and the more dangerous cousin of opinion, bias. However, most humans have also evolved to maintain their own personal set of ethics that go along with those opinions and biases. Machines have not achieved such a feat. Such a scenario is termed: Artificial General Intelligence, also known as AGI or Strong AI – which commonly relates to the most detrimental AI cliché you often see in sci-fi movies like The Terminator, The Matrix, Ex Machina, and more.
AGI refers to AI that is evolved to the point where its intelligence is equal to or better than a human’s. Fortunately, experts are not generally concerned about a scenario where our creations suddenly decide the time has come to destroy their human counterparts.
What are the Concerns?
More important issues emerge when the teams developing artificial intelligence solutions are homogenous and insular in nature. Humanity encompasses a great many perspectives and backgrounds from all over the planet with varying experiences, upbringings, and knowledge-bases. It’s vital for those teams working on AI solutions to represent that reality both amongst themselves and within the technology itself. Artificial intelligence must be as diverse and inclusive as the humans innovating it claim to be so that it represents all of us as it evolves and not just the biases of those select few with exclusive access to an elite education. Diverse collaboration amongst developers of AI (and all technology) is an imperative component.
Other concerns revolve around how we choose to evolve artificial intelligence and how we decide to use it. The hope is that AI will be used for beneficial purposes – to help solve the big issues that are plaguing human life on this planet. We cannot guarantee this is what humans will do with the technology. However, moves have been made in the industry to help ensure we are on the right track to reassuring that AI will do more to heal than harm. Numerous agencies, committees, coalitions, and expert groups have been formed to do exactly that. One example includes the IEEE Global Initiative on Ethics of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems that put out Ethically Aligned Design, a publication from 2016 that does a great job at outlining guiding standards when it comes to ethically developing and administering AI solutions.
“AI will most certainly make its way into the majority of industries,” says Meghan Sharp, Beyond Limits COO. “But what we really want to ensure is that AI is doing good for the planet. This technology is a mighty tool; let’s wield it to help solve our most important problems. Let’s use this incredibly powerful tool to address sustainability and climate change; let’s use it to more effectively determine how exactly we’re consuming our most vital resources. AI for good.”
Societal Impact & Human Lives at Stake
Situations where entrusting human lives (and livelihood) to artificial intelligence is of critical importance:
+ Healthcare solutions must take into account all varying patient’s predispositions, backgrounds, and genetics.
+ Autonomous/self-driving car algorithms must be built to ensure safety for the human life inside is at the forefront of every critical maneuver.
+ Financial/lender qualifying data solutions must look outside the scope of “typical” or “acceptable” demography when determining applicant approvals.
+ Educational opportunity/admission acceptance tools must not default to overgeneralized statistical data when considering student submissions from across the globe.
+ Judicial court cases/sentencing verdict systems must look past subjective statistical data that can unfairly categorize minorities into serving longer sentences.
+ Surveillance applications must not internalize gathered data too broadly or have too narrow a scope when executing observations of subjects. They also must not take liberties with how much information is collected or infringe on subjects’ privacies.
“I believe that AI is going to be to my children what the internet was for me; completely disruptive and change our entire world,” says Sharp. “AI will fundamentally alter the way industries operate today, as well as how we communicate and engage with one another and the world around us. It’s so critical to have the brightest and most diverse minds working on that problem together.”
The Transparency of XAI Can Help
Trust, accessibility and accountability are key. There is an urgency for artificial intelligence that provides an inside look into its own systems’ reasoning process. Solely machine learning and deep learning-centric solutions do not generally provide insight into their recommendations, thus making them black boxes. Beyond Limits Cognitive AI solutions break through the opaque walls of that box with a pioneering Explainable AI (XAI) glass box.
In this way, humans are always in the loop. People always have control over the system, with full visibility and insight into the decision-making process behind its recommendations via detailed and interactive audit trails. Human trust in AI grows when users have a sustained capability to access every step of the process, hold the system accountable, and immediately intervene if its “moral compass” starts slipping onto rocky terrain.
AI has no constitutional cognizance of “ethical conduct” outside of what humans can attempt to codify into the technology. This is a problematic notion at best because it’s seemingly difficult for mankind to agree on almost anything – including the five ethical principles of AI: transparency, justice and fairness, non-maleficence, responsibility, and privacy. When it comes down to conscientious policy creation, it can be a challenge to get people to align on the exact definition/meaning behind even those basic ideals. So, instead of fearing the hypothetical repercussions of artificial intelligence “taking over,” it would be a more beneficial practice to alternatively view AI as an outlet of opportunity for humans from varying backgrounds to finally come together, find common ground, and discuss how we want humanity’s greatest creation to represent us.
28 April 2020
Malene M. Therkelsen
As the world continues to evolve, so does how and where we work. With remote work being the new norm, new challenges arise which could impact our work productivity as well as our mental, physical and emotional health. Therefore, it’s more important than ever to prioritize wellness by practicing healthy routines at home/work.
There can be a great deal of stress and anxiety related to the transition of working from office to home and it can be a challenge to balance productivity with self-care. We’re sharing 7 tips that have eased our team’s transition in the hopes they may help you too!
While working from home, you might be tempted to keep up-to-date with the news by having the TV or radio on in the background and/or checking social media. However, “the constant barrage of news is only going to elevate your anxiety and stress,” says Clinical Psychologist Kevin Gilliland, Psy.D & Executive Director of Innovation 360. “It’s important to stay informed, but you don’t have to listen to every breaking news report throughout the day.”
Gilliland recommends you simply “watch a half-hour of news in the morning, then check a news website or two in the afternoon.” That’s it.
Create a routine
When working from home you may not have the same control or uniformity in your life. Maurya Glaude, Ph.D., an Assistant Professor at Tulane University’s School of Social Work in New Orleans recommends you “exert some control and familiarity” by creating a routine and “sticking to a schedule.”
Glaude suggests, “Get up at a reasonable time, get dressed, and have a plan for your day.” This will create predictability that can be comforting during these unpredictable times.
H2O & eat healthy
Staying hydrated and eating healthy seems like a no-brainer, but in reality, it’s easy to lose track of time and forget to engage in this daily, commonplace self-care.
“It’s more important than ever to keep up your healthy habits,” says Clinical Psychologist Lori Whatley, Ph.D. “Stay hydrated, get some exercise and fresh air if you can, eat healthfully, and avoid too much alcohol and sugar. Taking care of yourself in these ways is also going to have a positive impact on your mental health.” Bonus, these practices can also keep your blood sugar stable, elevate your mood, and boost energy levels.
In this period of self-isolation, it’s essential to get up, move, walk, exercise, and stretch because movement can reduce stress and anxiety, not to mention relieve neck, shoulder, and back pain. While working from home, make sure to stand up, take a short walk, and stretch once in a while. If it’s safe (remember to check out what’s going on in your local community), try getting outside for a walk or run around the neighborhood, as fresh air and sunlight can increase your mood and decrease your anxiety levels, as suggested by Whatley.
It is easier said than done but participating in mindful and relaxing activities is important when feeling stressed or overwhelmed. “Mindfulness, relaxation techniques and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy are all genuinely useful for people who are very anxious,” said Dr. Niall Campbell, a Consultant Psychiatrist at the Priory’s Roehampton Hospital in London. Ten minutes of meditation and mindfulness a day can have positive effects on your mental wellbeing, although it can be challenging when working from home and looking after children.
Headspace is offering free meditations, sleep, and movement exercises to support you through this time of crisis. You can download and register through the app then navigate to “Weathering the Storm” here.
When working from home, it’s important to check in with friends, family, and colleagues to help keep a sense of normality, suggests Chief People Officer at Limeade, Laura Hamill, Ph.D. She recommends “using group chats, videoconferences and more frequent phone calls to get the connection you need.” This can help you keep in touch and prevent loneliness.
If you’re feeling isolated or lonely, take a break and reach out to someone by asking how they’re doing, how they’re dealing, or what they’re going through. Connecting and socializing virtually can help reduce our anxiety and the anxiety of others – even if it’s just for a minute or two.
When self-isolating and working from home, “it’s a good idea to add some practices that may bolster mental health,” Whatley says. “Start each day with a gratitude practice, listing a few things for which you’re grateful.” Focusing on what you’re grateful for will lighten your mood and help adjust your mindset.
The demands of working from home can create anxiety and stress which take a toll on your mental health. To stay productive and calm while working from home, it’s important to focus on what you can do to mitigate and manage your stress and anxiety. We hope these tips can help you do just that.
Cite references for expert quotes & recommendations below:
21 April 2020
Randon Young, Beyond Limits Recruiter
Q: What does the future look like for Beyond Limits?
A: The future of Beyond Limits is bright! As a pioneer in the artificial intelligence space, Beyond Limits is poised for a breakout year. Our company has several solid relationships with established companies within essential sectors that affect human lives on a day-to-day basis, like the Energy/Power & Natural Resources/Manufacturing & IoT industries. We are also very excited about our current rapid expansion into markets such as logistics and healthcare.
Q: How would you describe the work environment at Beyond Limits?
A: The work environment at Beyond Limits is very collaborative with a great deal of encouragement around group-centric decision-making. Importance is placed on ensuring that every employee, at all levels across-the-board, feels actively included in, and engaged with, the company’s mission to create automated solutions with human-like powers of reasoning that amplify the talents and capabilities of people. Every day, employees feel a sense of achievement knowing they are aligned with their teams and company as integral components in accomplishing ‘AI for good.’
Q: What is Beyond Limits looking for in an ideal candidate?
A: Beyond Limits places a strong emphasis on soft skills and effective communication. Additionally, an individual’s ability to problem solve within a team context is heavily emphasized. The most important soft skill for an interview comes down to communication. The way you express yourself has a huge impact on overall impression; for example, the way you communicate your day-to-day working style and problem-solving skills may be a good indicator as to whether or not a candidate can clearly communicate solutions to their coworkers and/or proactively seek help when necessary.
Q: What do you enjoy most about working at Beyond Limits?
A: During my tenure with Beyond Limits I’ve served in a hybrid capacity, focusing on both corporate and technical recruiting. The company has provided me with tremendous autonomy and created several opportunities for upskilling. For prospective employees, Beyond Limits is a great place to leverage your current skill set, while simultaneously developing new ones.
Q: Are there opportunities for advancement at Beyond Limits?
A: Beyond Limits prides itself on cultivating and fostering talent both externally and internally. Promoting from within is a steadfast initiative that is consistently exercised, and individuals that embody the DNA of Beyond Limits’ core values and mission are rewarded often. The company does a wonderful job of showcasing its brightest stars!
We understand that unprecedented circumstances have left a lot of top talent in tough spots. Recently on the hunt for a new and exciting career move? Beyond Limits is here to let you know we are still hiring during these trying times.
Be sure to check out Beyond Limits’ current open opportunities – learn more about all the positions we have available and see if we would make a good fit.
14 April 2020
Alyssa Cotrina, Beyond Limits
Let’s be honest, most of what the general population knows about “AI” primarily derives from what they’ve seen in the movies or gathered from mass media misrepresentations around artificial intelligence. John McCarthy coined the term ‘Artificial Intelligence’ back in the 1950s, and while the end-goals for the technology now oscillate based on the solutions businesses require, the base objective of accomplishing AI has stayed fairly consistent since its origins: humans trying to get machines to think like humans.
Naturally, this proposition has some humans nervous because historically, cinema has predominantly taught us that this accomplishment can only end badly. iRobot, Minority Report, Terminator, The Matrix, Ex Machina and many more, have constructed a narrative in our heads that says once those robots finally achieve, what the industry calls “Strong AI” or “Artificial General Intelligence” (AGI), the end result could only equate to an existential war between humans and machines.
Not to mention, we are constantly encircled by largely generalized representations of artificial intelligence like IBM’s Watson and voice-controlled digital assistants like Alexa, Siri, and Cortana. While systems such as these are very good at what they do, their capabilities are just scratching the surface of AI technology.
Moreover, if you were to query the general population about artificial intelligence, many people would evoke mental images of malicious cyborgs and half-human-half-machine killer robots; or the supposition that it will all begin with robots stealing jobs and making humans irrelevant. Quite the overblown escalation. The reality of AI probably seems a lot less fantastical; so be it.
Most modern AI tech solutions are considered ‘narrow’ AI; solutions that cannot be effortlessly utilized to solve different problems in varying scenarios or implement their capabilities to multiple undertakings at once. Machine learning and numeric methods are great foundational tools for artificial intelligence – but on their own, they aren’t enough to power an explainable, trustworthy solution.
In contrast to the stand-alone conventional methods implemented by the majority of AI software companies, Beyond Limits combines the formidable building blocks of numeric (machine learning) approaches with symbolic (knowledge-based reasoning) techniques to arrive at Cognitive AI solutions. Unlike black-box machine learning methods, this pioneering Cognitive AI technology is also explainable (XAI). We build solutions you can trust for comprehensive insights into the reasoning behind their recommendations; transparent technology that empowers people to make better, faster, more confident decisions.
Our systems become trusted partners to human decision-makers, making sense of their environments while analyzing real-time data and scrutinizing that information in conjunction with human knowledge and expertise. They reason like humans to improve processes, formulate hypotheses, analyze concepts, anticipate complications, and execute remedies that resolve complex problems.
Our AI solutions are intended to strengthen human talent, proficiency, and opportunity – in reciprocal collaboration, like advisors. Humans can work with our solutions in this seamless manner via trust-generating interactive audit trails that clearly illustrate how they come to their conclusions. This transparency permits people to easily examine the system’s reasoning path for arriving at an answer, determine whether it makes sense, and then take action to mitigate complex problems accordingly. By contrast, stand-alone conventional AI techniques only offer a one-dimensional response without explaining the reason behind that recommendation.
Beyond Limits is dedicated to building pragmatic solutions to problems in support of people and their professional goals. We uphold that the purpose of an AI solution is not to substitute humans or take their jobs. Many humans perform numerous extraneous tasks at their jobs day in and day out; our solutions ensure that the responsibility of AI is to adopt arduous, monotonous and repetitive tasks that are often carried out in isolated or dangerous circumstances, so people can focus on more high-value undertakings.
It’s critical to have a realistic view of emerging technologies so we don’t become jaded, and inadvertently stifle new initiatives that could take us to that next level of potential. Being open-minded, ignoring clichés, and asking probing questions that lead to more conscientious understandings will also, ultimately, help us more effectively and confidently guide AI to the most useful utility possible.
17 March 2020
Jordan Diggs, Beyond Limits Recruitment Manager
Job interviews aren’t generally associated with a simple stroll in the park, leisurely day activity. Contrarily, old familiar foes like stress, anxiety, and self-doubt suddenly sneak back into your psyche like the slippery adversaries they are. Here’s hoping a couple of tips from the Beyond Limits recruitment team can help you navigate the interview process with more confidence and finesse.
Research the Prospective Company
Dive into their website, look at Crunchbase, search relevant news, scan social media, and anything else you can think of to get the info needed to paint a picture of what the company is all about. This will accomplish two things:
+ You’ll feel better equipped when it comes to preparing for specific subject matters that may be inquired about during the interview process.
+ You’ll find key information that presents opportunities to ask more relevant questions, helping you better assess whether the position is an ideal fit.
Sharpen Up Those Interview Skills
You know the types of skills we are talking about here, but the most important soft skill for an interview comes down to communication. Concentrated practice around the way you express yourself can help boost your comfort level when it comes time to talk.
An important consideration includes the way you communicate your day-to-day working style and problem-solving skills. For example, here at Beyond Limits, we are a very team-based organization that finds value in a candidate who can clearly communicate solutions to their coworkers. The other side of that coin also finds value in an individual who can ask for help when necessary. Don’t be surprised to find that an interviewer may probe into your responses to determine how you communicate your thoughts.
Brush up on the position’s key fundamentals. It can be easy to fall back on those really impressive specialized capabilities, but each candidate’s expertise has multiple levels/layers that are worthy of a refresh. For example, a Software Engineering candidate may want to take another look at some of those Computer Science fundamentals from “back in the day,” no matter how inconsequential they may seem at this stage in their career.
Ask Your Recruiter Basic (Yet Relevant) Pre-Interview Questions
Make sure you get in all those pre-questions to set you up for the moment that official interview finally arrives. Don’t worry if the questions seem too obvious. Not sure? Just ask! Your confidence for the next stage will only grow with every extra ounce of clarity. Examples of some simple questions/considerations you may not have thought of, but will make a huge difference when the time comes, include:
+ If you have a phone interview planned, ask whether you’ll need to be online as well (i.e. Zoom, Skype, etc.), and for how long; it’s important to allow for enough time in your schedule so you don’t feel rushed.
+ If the next interview is onsite, ask about dress code and parking/building entry instructions. One of the main reasons candidates are late is because they get caught up trying to figure out exactly where to go or what to wear at the last minute.
An Interview Goes Both Ways
Ask all the questions. Great questions with intention will be remembered! Here are examples of some fantastic questions that stuck with us:
+ What does success in this role look like for the first 30, 60, 90, etc. days?
+ What do some of the company goals look like for this calendar year?
+ What attracted you (the interviewer) to Beyond Limits & what do you enjoy about working for the company?
Questions such as these show you are not simply “looking for your next job,” but that you are seeking to discover a long-term “fit” with a company that truly aligns with your values and personal/professional goals.
It May Seem “Old-School,” but Don’t Forget that Resume
True, a lot of companies (Beyond Limits included) have gone digital – but you might be surprised by how many companies still maintain that paper resume expectation. Think of the resume-prep project more as your opportunity to thoroughly research the company and ensure the skills you’re putting forward align with the position’s requirements.
Every interview should follow up with a “thank you.” The subsequent correspondence is an effective way of driving home your interest level. It’s also the perfect opportunity to ask any questions that might have slipped your mind during the actual interview. There have even been instances for our recruiters where candidates further expanded on questions they weren’t able to answer as comprehensively as they wanted during the interview. Interviewers always appreciate (and remember) those kinds of gestures.
Best of luck job hunters!
Be sure to check out Beyond Limits’ current open positions.
26 November 2019
For the 2019 Thanksgiving season Beyond Limits’ own Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) committee put their heads together to come up with a way in which our company could contribute to a cause worth caring about. Magic emerged in the form of a food drive organized for the homeless in our community to Give Thanks and Give Back.
“The CSR team was first assembled with two core missions, to facilitate volunteering for Beyond Limits employees and encourage sustainability in the office,” says Beyond Limits’ Lead Generation Manager – and CSR member – Joel Carlos. “This food drive is certainly part of the first initiative, targeting a critical issue that all Angelinos have exposure to, homelessness.”
Beyond Limits has partnered with PATH, a California-based non-profit, to donate Thanksgiving meals for individuals and families recently provided permanent housing through the organization’s initiatives. “PATH’s mission is to end homelessness for individuals, families, and communities. We do this by building affordable housing and providing supportive services throughout California. PATH envisions a world where every person has a home.” PATH Ventures has already built 763 units for over 800 individuals and families in need. They also have 206 units currently in construction with 293 units coming soon.
“We wanted to offer employees an opportunity to give back to the community alongside their co-workers,” says Carlos. “The chance to provide PATH’s recently housed families with their first Thanksgiving meal in their new home presented the perfect opportunity to bring us together around a good cause. I’m proud of my co-workers for having supported this through their donations and their time, and of the company for encouraging such initiatives.”
For over a month leading up to the holiday season, the CSR committee encouraged employees to fill boxes around the office to accumulate Thanksgiving-themed food items, with a goal of collecting enough food to stuff 50 tote bags. Each bag would contain a box of turkey stuffing mix, mashed potatoes mix, dessert mix, a can of cranberry sauce, and two more cans of vegetables. Each bag would also include a grocery gift card in the amount of $50.
Subsequently, two weeks before Thanksgiving, the CSR committee came together with HR to collect all donated food and arrange a gathering for Beyond Limits employees to decorate and assemble the tote bags. We are proud to report that our company did, in fact, meet our goal of assembling 50 tote bags, most sporting uniquely festive designs artistically created by all those who participated.
“Rallying together as a team to give back and bring a direct, positive, and tangible impact to our community during this Thanksgiving season is pretty incredible,” says Tim Guerrero, a Beyond Limits Accountant and CSR member. “This is exactly what it’s all about.”
The holiday season is an ideal time to give thanks for everyone and anything that brings joy to your life. Beyond Limits is thankful to have such a giving team that thinks of others’ needs in their time of hardship. Wishing all of you a wonderful holiday season filled with family, good food, and good deeds. In the words of our COO Meghan Sharp, “AI for good.”
12 December 2018
Leaders and pioneers in the Oil & Gas Industry convened at the World Energy Capital Assembly in London to discuss emerging trends, review investment opportunities, and chart exploration and production (E&P) activity across the year. The packed two-day assembly was the largest gathering of energy executives, investors, and financiers in Europe with expert panels representing major and mid-cap oil companies examining key issues driving the industry.
Beyond Limits CEO, AJ Abdallat delivered a keynote on Energy Digitalization and discussed the need for digitalization in a world where the global energy demand is expected to increase 25% by 2014. Mr. Abdallat shared insights about the opportunity for innovative digital technologies like artificial intelligence to help the Oil & Gas Industry face challenges in exploration, production, policy, investment, technology, and education.
Shahram Farhadi, Head of Oil & Gas Technologies at Beyond Limits, followed Mr. Abdallat’s keynote by joining a panel of senior energy executives and leaders to discuss the growth of the LNG gas market and the supply and demand trend that is shaping its future. Dr. Farhadi explained why natural gas has experienced a remarkable rise over the past few years and why many predict a continued rapid growth trajectory in the future.
The action-packed two days was capped with Europe’s leading energy awards dinner to celebrate the industry’s achievements. The awards program represents a global benchmark of excellence for key players in the oil & gas industry.