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How to change the world… one bot at a time

ICE Graveyard 17/07/2016 Andrew Keen

How should young innovators try to change the world? Joshua Browder is a 19 year-old undergraduate at Stanford and the creator of the DoNotPay app, the “world’s first robot lawyer”.

Having accumulated multiple parking tickets in London, the then 18 year-old Browder created a bot to challenge these tickets which has now successfully fought over 160,000 tickets and saved people $4 million of fines.

Browder has also created a Blockchain based app which enables HIV positive people to prove that they disclosed their status to their partners. Browder is a reminder that public spirited innovation is very much alive in Silicon Valley. And he’s living proof that not all teenagers are selfie-obsessed narcissists.

Politics runs in Browder’s family. His great grandfather was Earl Browder, the long time General Secretary of the American Communist party. And his father is the fund manager Bill Browder the outspoken critic of Vladimir Putin.

But Joshua Browder is less impressed with politics, believing that innovation is usually harmful to innovation and arguing that the 2016 Presidential election is a “complete disgrace”. But while he’s certainly not enthusiastic about the prospect of a President Trump or Clinton, he would be excited by a President Elon Musk – a vision, I suspect, that many other Silicon Valley entrepreneurs would share.

As always, thanks to the folks at CALinnovates for their support in the production of this interview.

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