Advisory Board

Mark Stephen Meadows, MFA

Mark Stephen Meadows, MFA is an author, inventor, entrepreneur, artist, and illustrator. With 18 years in AI, 22 in VR, and 7 years in blockchain, he has designed and developed AI applications at some of the world’s top research labs including Xerox-PARC and SRI.

He’s written five books, is the coauthor of multiple patents, founder of two companies, and has exhibited his paintings, photography, and illustration in North America, Australia, and Europe.

In 2017, Mark cofounded Seed Vault, a nonprofit dedicated to building a blockchain-driven platform and marketplace for companies, developers, and individuals to create, sell, and use conversational AI interfaces for bots.

He is also the Founder and CEO of Botanic Technologies, which provides multi-modal bot platforms. Since 2011, which is pioneering the development of AI, blockchain, and conversational interfaces for bots in finance, healthcare, and other industries. Botanic customers include Fortune 100 companies, three government agencies, and startups around the globe.

Since 2013, Mark has been partner and innovations associate for Ethos VO, that leads concept, design, and implementation of voice-control, avatars, robots, and blockchain technologies, specifically in smart cities and personal mobility use cases.

One of Mark’s first projects and working experience was founding the company Construct in San Francisco in 1995 as the Internet industry was being formed. It spun off the Interactive Media Festival. Though the company was an internet design firm, service-based and rather clunky, it assembled a strong crew of artists, musicians, architects, illustrators, graphic designers, and writers to develop innovative projects. The company built the first open protocol shared 3D space (with VRML) while working with both Netscape and Microsoft during the browser wars. It was sold in 1998.

Mark continued his work at Xerox PARC in Palo Alto, California where he was Artist-In-Residence. After more than a year, in April 2000, he joined Stanford Research Institute (SRI), where he worked as Creative Director and Researcher until March 2001. SRI was involved in using their existing library of patents and emerging technologies to start companies. His job was to help with the concept and branding of these startups.

Mark continued his work as an Artist and Researcher with the Waag Society, researching and working on implementations of Artificial Intelligence, Artificial Emotion, and interactive portraiture.

In September 2005, Mark cofounded HeadCase Humanufactoring, an LA-based AI startup, where he worked as Creative Director. Its focus was on Natural Language Processing and avatars.

From 2002 until the beginning of 2011, he has been Global Consultant, Writer, Speaker, and Analyst, primarily focused on VR, AI, NLP, and games development with emphasis on education and training. His clients have included Phillips, Siemens, Intel, the Singapore government, the Australian government, and others. At the end of 2011, Mark founded Botanic Technologies.

Mark was born on the Mississippi Delta and raised in the Rocky Mountains. Over the past forty years, he’s tried to see as much of the world as he can, talk with as many people as possible, and explore the ends of the earth. He’s had tea with terrorists in Sri Lanka, made love with robots in Tokyo, and celebrated Christmas 2000 in Bethlehem with the PLO.

He’s hitchhiked to war-torn Baghdad in 2003 where he delivered letters, money, and watched museums burn under the full moon. He lived in a little art gallery in Paris, scaled buildings, explored catacombs, and drank a lot of red wine and absinthe (but not together).

Mark met his wife hitchhiking in Corsica, then met her again in Paris, then married her in Las Vegas. He now lives with his wife on their sailboat in Mexico. He’s sailed four of the seven seas and he’s a USCG certified captain. He can speak English, French, and Spanish. He’s won awards, invented technologies, founded three companies, and has worked in research centers full of deep geeks and brilliant jokers.

He authored I, Avatar: The Culture and Consequences of Having a Second Life, We, Robot: Skywalker’s Hand, Blade Runners, Iron Man, Slutbots, and How Fiction Became Fact, Pause & Effect: The Art of Interactive Narrative, and Tea Time with Terrorists: A Motorcycle Journey into the Heart of Sri Lanka’s Civil War. Read his articles We, Robot and A Virtual Life. An Actual Death.

His patents include Systems and Methods for an Autonomous Avatar Driver and Systems and Methods for Managing a Persistent Virtual Avatar with Migrational Ability.

Mark earned his B.A. in Math, Philosophy, and Literature from St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He earned his MFA at The San Francisco Art Institute (painting and photography) and attended courses at the University of Colorado (philosophy), Harvard University (biology), and Bemis Art School (painting).

View his paintings and illustrations. Read his blog. Learn more about his books. Read his LinkedIn profile.