Alexandr Wang, the world’s youngest billionaire, is a math genius

While most 25-year-olds are leaving college and taking their first steps into the corporate world, American Alexandr Wang has entered the Forbes 2022 list as the youngest new billionaire in the world.

Unlike many tycoons his age, Wang’s fortune doesn’t run in his family. He, who has been a math whiz kid since childhood, co-founded the software company Scale AI when he was just 19 years old.

At the time, he had just joined MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) to study machine learning (how a computer “learns” and can be used for artificial intelligence).

After a year, he abandoned his studies to dedicate himself exclusively to business, initially with an investment from Y Combinator. In 2018, she had already appeared on Forbes’ Under 30 list, which highlights the brightest names in entrepreneurship.

Wang owns a 15% stake in Scale AI, which is worth about $1 billion. After a $325 million funding round last year, the company was valued at $7.3 billion — that’s what earned him the title of “the world’s youngest billionaire.”

With the title, Wang takes the place of Pedro Franceschi, who is also 25 years old but is a few months older than Wang. The Brazilian is co-founder of the fintech Brex and is now the second youngest self-made super-rich on the planet.

parental influence

Wang’s parents are physicists and developed weapons for the US military in the Manhattan Project, responsible for the atomic bombs of World War II.

That’s how the boy and his sister, Jessie, grew up: around the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, the top-secret location where the United States developed that weapon of war.

A lover of mathematics and programming, he began participating in national competitions from his early teens. In 2012, he was ranked 5th in the USA Mathematical Talent Search, and two years later, he was selected among the top 20 physics students for the USA Physics Team.

At 17, he decided to work full-time with programming at the Q&A site Quora, where he met Scale co-founder Lucy Guo.

Even with a brilliant academic and professional resume, a robust fortune and a promising career, Wang has already said in an interview that his parents are disappointed that he dropped out of college – even more than MIT’s karat.

But during an interview with Bloomberg Technology, the young man was relentless in his decision and said: if you know what you want to do, you don’t need a college degree, just good skills.

He, who taught himself to program, received several job offers in Silicon Valley while still in high school.

Likes Jobs and has met Kate Perry

Unlike most young people of his generation, he doesn’t seem to be a big fan of social media. At least not to post pictures of his social and personal life.

Her Instagram account is filled with family photos and random landscapes. But, like other personalities in the business world, she has a faithful presence on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Discreet, the owner of Scale AI likes to play the violin —since he was nine years old—, write, walk and read the philosophers Nietzsche, Sartre and Kierkegaard.

He has already stated that he has Steve Jobs as an inspiration and is fluent in Chinese and French.

According to the website “Business Insider”, he already met the singer Kate Perry when an investor introduced her to him in an attempt to impress him.

What does Scale AI do?

The company extracts, analyzes and processes data and information using an artificial intelligence system created by Wang.

On the website of Scale AI, which is based in San Francisco (USA), the company says that the technology surpasses the human capacity in terms of precision and speed to analyze images, especially satellite ones. This is especially important for military roles.

Among its 300 customers are companies such as General Motors, the US Air Force and the US Army.

According to Forbes, just three contracts with the US Department of Defense are worth $110 million.

Since March, a few days after the start of the war between Russia and Ukraine, Scale AI has made international headlines when it decided to offer free databases to national security professionals.

The artificial intelligence platform is capable of using images captured by commercial satellites to remotely map the damage caused by Russian bombings, as well as troop movements in Ukraine.

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