Establish an AI Operating Model and get out of prototype and into production
October 30, 2018

Meet Clarifai Captain: Austin Lubetkin, AI Developer and Wunderkind

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The Clarifai Captains are a community of software developers, tech advocates, and Clarifai fans joining us on our mission to accelerate the progress of humanity with AI.

This week it's my pleasure to feature one of our Clarifai Captains, Austin Lubetkin, a gifted student and accomplished inventor who joins us from Florida. Austin has an incredibly creative intellect that he uses to the fullest in his quest to improve the world through real applications of computer vision and artificial intelligence.


Skip: Hello, Austin! Tell us a little about yourself.

Austin: Hi, I'm Austin Lubetkin. I live in Florida and I'm currently working on a combined undergraduate and masters at Florida Polytechnic University. I'm a Lime Connect Fellow. I also run a cybersecurity startup called Eyethenticate, LLC and I'm the director of data for The Hint Group, LLC. My specialty and what I'm really passionate about is computer vision.


Skip: What motivated you to become a developer?

Austin: Growing up on the autism spectrum there was a time in my life where my mind would be going a mile a minute and I couldn't connect or express myself to those around me. My mother worked with me and through art therapy I learned to channel that creative spirit into my art and projects. To me coding has always been a natural extension of my artistic passions. I feel like the same part of my brain I'm making a painting with is what I use to design or code an app. Honestly, I really enjoy the freedom of sitting down at my computer and feeling like I can create anything I can imagine and that's why I'm pursuing a career as a developer.


Skip: What gets you excited about a project?

Austin: I've always been really passionate about accessibility technology and most of my hackathon projects fall under that category. I've sort of moved away from hackathons as I've grown as a developer and now I'm creating projects for myself and my company. What I mean by that is I'm really motivated to pursue a project because it fulfills my internal drive to create and express myself. I also feel like I can still have the hackathon experience when I'm at home in my pajamas instead of driving 200 miles.


Skip: What challenges motivate you?

Austin: I kind of default to my subconscious when I'm picking a challenge to solve. I remember my dreams and I have an almost perfect memory. Sometimes I'll spend a night dreaming up a project and then I'll wake in the morning and copy down all the code that's in my head.


Skip: What have you made that you are most proud of, and why?

Austin: I'm most proud of my cyber security technology I developed and patented. Eyethenticate is a new standard in cybersecurity and is the first unhackable cyber security measure. It's a hybrid between a biometric and a subconscious password and includes some handy features like built in secondary authentication and not being able to be consciously replicated by the human brain. When we read it looks like a continuous picture but in reality our eyes are making short bursts of movement that our brain is stitching together. This disconnect between what we are seeing and "seeing" is one of the few shared human experiences where conscious reality doesn't line up with actuality. Eyethenticate uses that disconnect from reality as a biometric/subconscious password. 


Skip: Has anything meaningful happened for you personally or professionally as a result of working with Clarifai?

Austin: Yes, I designed a feature using Clarifai for a hackathon project that got implemented into Google Maps. I made it at HackRiddle and it's called Spectrum Navigator. I used Clarifai to identify buildings in Google street view and give more accessible directions based on what you see, like "turn right when you see the Chase bank". The project drew on my own experiences and challenges navigating, and how I was able to talk through directions with my mom to overcome those challenges. (Editor's note: this project was one of Clarifai's featured hacks last year!). 

Shortly after that I was interviewed again for the MIT Technology Review on my project. In the same article Google was also interviewed and covered for their accessibility technology in Youtube's captions. Then a couple months later the feature I had designed showed up in Google maps. I guess Google read the article that talked about both of our projects.


Skip: Thank you for taking some time to tell us about yourself, Captain Austin!


The Clarifai Captains are a community of software developers, tech advocates, and Clarifai fans joining us on our mission to accelerate the progress of humanity with AI.

Editor's note: This blog post was updated on June 18th, 2019 to reflect recent changes.