Why I Joined Surge AI

Bradley Webb
Dec 17, 2021
Why I Joined Surge AI

Hi, I’m Bradley and I lead product at Surge AI. I joined in mid-2021 after leading teams at Facebook, Appfolio, and the US Navy. Surge AI gets your ML teams the labeled data they need to build and improve models for your hardest language problems. I’d like to share the story of why I joined Surge, and why I’m so excited about this journey. 

I’ve spent my career working with data — whether beaming orbital data from defense satellites for the Navy, or tackling thorny user issues for Facebook — no matter the mission, great data was a limit to the products we delivered.

Over the years, as I realized the extent to which high-quality data is the difference between a next-gen train and a trainwreck, I became convinced that solving this data quality problem is the key to unlocking the long-promised potential of artificial intelligence and machine learning to cure cancer, solve climate change, and make the internet more civil and engaging.

Cure cancer, solve climate change, and make the internet more civil and engaging

Around this time I met Edwin. He had just started Surge AI, and in only a few months he, Andrew (engineering lead) and team had built a product to solve the data issues I had experienced. Edwin told me Surge’s goal was simple: create incredibly high quality data, incredibly quickly to help our customers solve their most intractable problems. Problems like massive consumer social companies tackling toxicity in feeds, or bleeding-edge AI teams building billion-plus parameter language models. By the time I met Edwin, Surge was already delivering millions of labels a month. 🚀

A few months later I joined Surge, leading our product and GTM strategy. I joined Surge because I want to empower AI teams to solve the hardest problems of our time. I was excited to join a small team working on a massive problem. So far, it’s been exactly as advertised — a dynamic, high growth startup with new and novel challenges to confront daily. 

I still have moments of imposter syndrome, but it’s amazing how easy it is to do your best work when supported by truly talented people. I love coming to work each day and learning from the experts on our team — AI researchers and engineers from Google, Facebook, and Airbnb intimately familiar with building amazing AI and committed to helping others do the same. I’m constantly energized by this commitment, confident that our team deeply cares about delivering world-class data in a way the incumbents cannot afford to. 

Bradley, Jefferson, and Andrew from Surge at the Dodgers Game

We’re off to a great start, but there is still so much to do! Here’s what I’m most excited to focus on at Surge in the coming months and years: 

  • Scaling our business. Our business and product are well-ahead of schedule, already generating significant revenue! Now it’s time to hit the accelerator, building our GTM motion and assembling a world-class team. Check out our team openings here.
  • Building AI products for AI teams. The more tools we give teams to get the most out of their data, the more transformational AI we'll see built. Check out a demo here.
  • Working towards a better, more responsible generation of AI; this means being conscious of the way models are trained and getting the right people with the right context and expertise to work on them. 
  • Continuing our work with research universities providing data that powers breakthroughs in medicine, science, and social research. 
  • Releasing more open/free data sets (like our profanity and toxicity data sets) to help make the internet a better place. 

About me

  • Worked at the intersection of tech/finance for the Navy — satellites to map the stars, acquiring submarines, and putting the latest intelligence kit in the hands of our warfighters.
  • Went to Dartmouth 🌲for my MBA 🎓
  • Helped Facebook tackle AI problems like content moderation and algorithmic bias; brought AI/ML to users reporting quality issues to our engineering teams.
  • Led product for Appfolio's $80M per year mid-market business.
  • Live in SD 🏖️with my wife Megan and 3 boys!

Surge AI is a data labeling workforce and platform that provides world-class data to top AI companies and researchers. We're built from the ground up to tackle the extraordinary challenges of natural language understanding — with an elite data labeling workforce, stunning quality, rich labeling tools, and modern APIs. Want to improve your model with context-sensitive data and domain-expert labelers? Schedule a demo with our team today!

Interested in $50 of free labels? Fill out our 30-second form and we'll get you started today!

Bradley Webb

Bradley Webb

Bradley runs Surge AI's Product and Growth teams. He previously led Integrity and Data Operations teams at Facebook, and graduated from Dartmouth.

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