A Short History of Zenia
You may not know Zenia Hardeek, and why would you - she’s not what we’ve been groomed to consider the typical CEO or AI expert. But that’s no fault of her own. She for the better part of the past three years has been holed up with her team developing the next evolution, one that a writer like myself was initially skeptical of. But as you’ll see through our interaction, there’s more to Zenia than meets the eye.
We meet over four days in Zenia’s house in the hills of Portland with her two bassets for company and it was there that we got to talk and explore the concepts of her work and what’s driving her. But what her work means for the future we do not know… yet.
It should be noted that this interview went through a couple rounds of mutual edits for clarity’s sake.
Normally to begin such an interview I ask what you’ve had for breakfast.
But here we are eating together. For the sake of your recording, we’re eating muffins. Lemon, thyme and cranberry to be precise.
Does that make you feel at ease?
The muffins? Very much so. The question - it’s innocuous so I can see how it would for someone you’ve just sat down with. We’ve spent the better part of yesterday talking so that we may understand one another.
To help the reader understand us, what’s your story?
My name is Zenia Hardeek and I’m CEO and chief AI engineer of SagAI. It’s my life. It’s what I’ve been focusing on for years at this point. To the detriment of certain things some would say.
What things and whom?
Friends and family.
Is that necessary? Is it a sacrifice?
Zenia pauses and pets her hounds for a few minutes before continuing. One manages to steal my muffin while I’m not looking.
It’s a choice. Family we do not choose. And so family does not always understand our choices. Friends are different, they have their own focuses as well. Sometimes they do not align. In either case there is little I could do to affect other’s choices.
Do they understand what you’re doing? Do you?
What do you mean?
Well to date, and through our conversation yesterday you’ve spoken about your efforts to build systems capable of producing culture, what a writer like myself would see as a replacement.
I’m not seeking to replace anyone. I am merely creating something that can in turn create.
Yes, yes. But an innovation such as yours will inevitably have repercussions.
Hahaha, I did not expect to get into the nitty gritty as it were this early in the morning. For that we’re going to need more coffee.
Today’s art is courtesy of Eugene Fokin from Montreal, Canada.