Name: Raffi Enficiaud
Company Role: Machine Learning Lead
Your favorite topics / Ask me anything about: Math, image processing, mathematical morphology, but I never feel like I have all the answers.
What is something about the way we work that you want to fix?
We have so much support for collaboration today, it is wonderful! The offer is large and the spectrum of tools is wide; no particular actor is having any kind of monopoly. This is great, but collaboration has information flow at its core, and information needs to stay agnostic to the tools being used.
As humans and for a particular task, we often span different platforms, tools, etc. and this impacts negatively the flow of information. That scatters, segments, partitions the people and groups, and I believe we can improve this.
What do you do at Reasonal?
I develop, design, discuss product. I am involved in various technical parts of the development, from AWS architecture to the ML pipeline.
Why are you good at doing what you do?
I aim at mastering what I do (and what I have interests in) as much as I can. Mastering takes a long time, but going deep into the tools, technologies, frameworks, etc., helps you create much better designs and developments.
I have a background in both academia and software industry, and I enjoy removing the barriers between those two worlds. I have developed several consumer software products over the past twenty years, so I know what's important on that end, and I am quality-oriented.
What do you like about working at Reasonal?
The team is great and spans a lot of skills, managerial and scientific.
What’s your background?
I was born in France from parents fleeing civil war and oppressive regimes. Both are hard workers, but I was born lazy, thinking a lot and doing nothing. I was always interested in science, technologies and later on computers. My best hobby was to dismantle my toys (with my almighty screwdriver my grandpa gave me) in order to see and understand how things work from the inside. I wanted to build technical "stuff" very early.
I got my first Atari at the age of ~11 and, instead of dismantling the computer itself, I started disassembling programs and games at the age of 12. It was more fun to play with my patched game (infinite lives) than the original one. I was fascinated by all aspects of the computer and the programs, from bootloader to video chip, and this is when I started playing with "pixels". I mostly taught myself, with the help of magazines and books. First steps into computer architecture and programs.
After my engineering school, I got frustrated by the pure software engineering tasks. I had the chance to start (and finish) a PhD in mathematical morphology and that changed my career path completely.
What are the values that drive you?
I am a tech-y person, but I also have a very down-to-earth approach to it, especially when technology modifies habits or structures of society. The internet has catalyzed those changes and my perception is that it is not always for the good or a better world. I often ask myself if people were happier in the past, without some of the recent technologies, than today. Ethics in what I do is important.
Also technology cannot solve society problems in and by itself, despite what some people may say or believe. Transhumanism is something I do not advocate for instance. Environment is a perfect example where technology will have little impact compared to e.g. education, and environment means a lot to me. "Green IT" would be something that we should be teaching in schools, as well as slower obsolescence, better recycling, better reuse.
What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?
I enjoy programming and maintaining my open source projects, watching movies, cooking, reading, playing chess and playing music.
Your top 3 reads?