Why we started Recursive


Cover image for Why we started Recursive

As the world's population grows, we are faced with the delicate balancing act between ensuring a comfortable, healthy and meaningful life for billions of people while preserving the ecological balance of our earth’s ecosystems, already precariously close to destruction. As scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs, we believe it is our social responsibility to develop technology that can address these challenges.

In the last few decades we’ve witnessed an explosive growth in the world’s economic activity, which has lifted millions of people out of poverty. This growth was fueled by rapid scientific and technological progress happening over the last seven decades and the speedy deployment of related innovations. Economic productivity has exploded, but we have paid the price with rising social inequality and environmental destruction. For more balanced growth, we need to innovate to develop business practices consistent with the principles of sustainability, as outlined by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

While sustainability has emerged as a key concern for businesses throughout the world due to an increased awareness of the toll that population growth coupled with mass consumption has taken on the environment, many businesses are discovering that sustainable practices also help the bottom line - by cutting costs and increasing sales, their consumers increasingly aware of environmental and societal issues.

At Recursive, our goal is to collaborate with large enterprises to create innovative solutions to sustainability challenges, merging in our expertise in AI research and our client's domain knowledge. We’ve identified artificial intelligence as a key technology to not only address some of the symptoms of unsustainable business practices, but also in helping to create completely new innovative approaches that can create a more sustainable economy and lifestyle.

We’ve identified four key areas where we believe digital technology and, in particular, AI solutions can make a substantial impact on sustainability: improving efficiency, accelerating innovation, risk mitigation and better work and education. Through the coming year, we will be accelerating our efforts to disseminate information about how to identify what areas in a business can be improved using technology and how to develop such systems robustly.

We are particularly invested in making sure AI is used in a fair and balanced way, with the gains stemming from its development being evenly distributed. In recent years, we’ve seen some instances of AI systems being used carelessly and leading to discriminatory decisions with real life consequences. At Recursive we want to make ethics a priority concern during development, by keeping up to date with the latest research on the subject, as well as building a diverse team of experts and advisors to help us see the bigger picture.

To summarize, we’ve embarked on this exciting journey at the crossroads of technological innovation and sustainable development because we believe that the timing is right, with the confluence of exciting new developments in the field of artificial intelligence combined with an increasing awareness that we all need to put sustainability first in technological innovation programs.We’re looking forward to many fruitful collaborations with our partners and are hoping to expand our team with talented individuals passionate about sustainability and innovation. If you are interested in any of these themes, please reach out to us for a chat!



Headshot of Tiago Ramalho

Co-founder and CEO

Tiago Ramalho

Tiago holds a Master's degree in Theoretical/Mathematical Physics and a PhD in Biophysics from Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich. After graduation, he joined Google DeepMind as a research engineer. There he worked on a number cutting-edge research projects which led to publications in international machine learning conferences and scientific journals such as Nature. He then joined Cogent Labs, a multinational Tokyo based AI start-up, as a lead research scientist. In August 2020 co-founded Recursive Inc, and is currently CEO.