16 September 2019

SEATTLE, WA — Certified Artificial—a neutral, independent third-party certification service aiming to put public claims about artificial intelligence on more objective footing—announced today its issuance of an official “Do Not Recommend” rating to the board of directors of One Concern, a California-based startup promising to leverage machine learning to “predict and quantify the impact of natural disasters.”

One Concern was the focus of a recent investigation by The New York Times that indicated the company has been deeply engaged in an effort to market unreliable predictive tools to disaster-response agencies throughout the country. In rare instances of accuracy and consistency, the products have delivered “insights” easily obtained without artificial intelligence. In spite of these flaws, the company has raised $55 million in venture funding and won a “Technology Pioneer” designation from the World Economic Forum.

“Two words characterize the startup market in artificial intelligence these days: overpromise and underdeliver,” said Tim Hwang, a partner with Certified Artificial. “One Concern’s overheated promise to deliver ‘planetary-scale resilience’ and its other patently inflated claims pose a real threat to public safety.”

Certified Artificial has issued “Do Not Recommend” certifications to the entire One Concern board of directors. Designees include CEO Ahmad Wani, CTO Nicole Hu, New Enterprise Associates managing general partner Scott Sandell, and Judith Rodin, former president of the Rockefeller Foundation.

“In this moment of massive hype around artificial intelligence, it’s critical we know who we can trust,” said Clayton Aldern, partner and research director at Certified Artificial. “For a board to allow a company to engage in these tactics suggests they either fail to understand the technology or are willfully, recklessly ignorant of the products’ implications. In either case, they’re not reliable thought-leaders in the AI ecosystem.”

Certified Artificial has added these new certifications to its permanent database, where members of the public can review and verify these and other ratings, including the firm’s CAT-L Gold designations.

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