Jacobs Social Entrepreneur Fellow

Stephen Lee


Stephen is currently working towards a PhD in machine learning and energy systems at MIT. He previously worked as a management consultant and software engineer at Deloitte Consulting and earned degrees in computer science, engineering, economics, and policy from MIT and Johns Hopkins University. Stephen joined the Jacobs Social Entrepreneur Fellows network through the MIT Legatum Fellowship program; he is also a Fellow with the Energy for Growth Hub and is a member of the MIT Society of Tata Fellows.

Stephen’s venture, Biospheric AI, aims to solve the problem of poor or nonexistent geodata in low-income countries. Large commercial companies that provide geospatial data products over large areas are primarily incentivized to service customers and regions with high abilities-to-pay. The result is that stakeholders in low-income countries frequently lack geodata that is critical to intelligent infrastructure investment, policymaking, and disaster relief, among other endeavors. Specialized computer vision, satellite imagery, and data fusion-based analysis can provide geodata approximations that enable development endeavors even when given only sparse input data. Biospheric AI develops analytical tools tailored to low-income contexts and provides detailed maps and spatial intelligence to illuminate local contexts within the world’s most neglected regions.