June 07, 2018

Our mission is simple—to create products that help maximize human potential.

Casca champions those that with the determination to challenge the status quo and shape a brighter future. The 'Future Builder’ series is our way of bringing light to these individuals that inspire us.

Meet Jake Steiner, the founder of Homer, a "smart robot for smart renters". Jake is incorporating machine learning and AI into the home rental process. The days of stressing over finding a suitable home are no more. Jake is using evolving chatbots to help make the entire rental experience seamless. Ultimately, he is passionate about finding a way to use technology to improve the emotional connections people have with products. 

How is your venture shaping a bright future?
Largely by focusing on a singular, yet complex idea: to introduce emotional intelligence into software. We are doing this at Homer through finding and understanding the feeling of home.

Feelings and the importance of emotional understanding for a globally connected human race will increase dramatically as artificial and organic intelligence become less distinguishable.

Why is that important to you?
I read a proverb last week; “Society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.”

Evolution does not stop, and the ability of the human race to adapt is what has preserved our existence.

When artificial intelligence reaches a higher form, I want to be a driving force in elevating the concept of an interface between humans and technology.

What caused you to challenge what was already there?
I’ve seen a city turn a fundamental need (homes) into a commodity that is built, marketed and sold like any other consumable product.

Home is more of a feeling than an object. My first goal is to empower more people with this realization and then challenge other normalized patterns that negatively impact society.

If you could take technology from another industry to help on your quest, what would it be?
The great thing about an open internet is the ability to share, rather than steal resources like data and computing power to accelerate testing and improvement of ideas. If I could steal from another industry, it would not be the technology but, the obsessive behaviours of consumers. Music, fashion, coffee, etc.. If there was technology that could transform a consumer’s mindset to a self-actualization mindset, I would use that today.

What’s a daily habit that helps define you?
The ability to dream while I’m awake, without constraints or distraction. I feel getting outside of my busy mind helps keep my expectations free from outdated ideals and societal pressures. 

What single book had the greatest impact on your life?
There was a professor in my life that revealed how a change in perspective allows us to see the negotiations behind dialogue. Any book I read after that was never the same.

Two books I keep with me lately; Meditations: Marcus Aurelius, and Hagakure: Yamamoto Tsunetomo

Where will people find you when you’re not working?
I find my best work happens when I exert maximum physical effort. I always enjoy that feeling you get from experiencing something new and challenging—I’m really interested in reading about ancient biological functions and remembering what the human body is built to accomplish. Climbing, running, and moving in nature is necessary for me to grow.

Where can we find your work and keep up to date with your progress?
Chat with Homer on Facebook Messenger! Its primary function is to help renters find a place to call home, but anyone can help shape the emotional piece by sharing what home means to them — this is the bigger picture for me.

Insider tip for Casca readers: there are Easter eggs that can only be found by chatting with Homer prior to the official launch party.

How can we help?
Spread the word! Homer is built around conversations and understanding the feelings of renters. There are rentals under construction across the city, we want to build renters up for a change.

Thanks Jake! 


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