At myLevels, we value new perspectives, empathy and first principles thinking - and using these to improve the lives of everyone. If you value these too then we'd love to hear from you.
Laura and Iliyan met at Babylon Health - where they were writing the code that makes the AI doctor scalable to millions of people. They also co-authored a paper on this method together, but what they really bonded over was their weird snacks, biology chat and biohacks.
Laura's story: My relationship with food has been complex and, to be honest, quite painful. I used to diet a lot. I was always restricting myself and feeling hungry - otherwise I'd put on weight. Understanding my body better has been a revelation for me and has completely changed my relationship with food. If I get food cravings now, rather than blaming myself and my "lack of self control", I know to blame my sugar levels as the food that spiked them. I'm much more at peace with my body and can see food for what it really is. I love discovering small tweaks- like have an IPA rather than lager, or strawberries rather than grapes - that make a huge difference.
Bio: I've always worked in a technical field, but been drawn to the more human elements. While studying maths and economics at UCL and Cambridge, I was drawn to behavioural economics and took a job in trading at Morgan Stanley. In 2015 I got fascinated by this emerging field of AI and so I went into Machine Learning research. My main research focus has been in Probabilistic, Generative and Bayesian Machine Learning - and particularly applications in healthcare. I worked on 4 different AI health projects, including building ML methods to predict personalised medication and working on the AI doctor at Babylon Health. I was also a first employee at Bloomsbury AI doing NLP research... and building a wine pairing chatbot. I also like to write, think and speak about ethical implications of AI.
Iliyan's story: I used to look like your stereotypical beer-loving protruding belly engineer. With my wedding approaching I decided it’s high time I got in shape. I set myself a target of getting a 6-pack in 9 months. I found an amazing personal trainer who deemed the goal realistic, provided I drastically changed what I eat. Laura was on the same type of diet and we started talking and trying to understand together how our bodies are affected by the food we eat. Now, 9 months later, I’ve never felt better in my life - I am sporting a 4-pack (a 6-pack proved too hard in less than a year!) and feel in full control of my weight and fitness.
Bio: I went through different stages in my journey through tech, getting into coding, security, networks, sensors, fintech, health tech. In a roundabout way I got my first job when I was 15 as a network engineer at a new Internet provider in my hometown in Bulgaria. I did my undergrad in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Jacobs University in Germany, and while working, a part-time masters in financial maths from Cass Business School in London. I have over 15 years of engineering experience, 9 of which I spent in finance at a fintech firm and a hedge fund. I find market dynamics fascinating, but eventually came to see my work as too ephemeral and without a broad impact. I finally found my calling in health tech when I joined Babylon Health as an AI research engineer. There I met Laura and realised this is it - I am now fortunate to have the perfect co-founder and the chance to work on an idea that is for everyone and if successful can make a positive impact.