Looking Back on a Year of Looking at the Future

Today marks my 1-year anniversary as the Chief Marketing Officer at Sanctuary.

I began my journey with one intention: to help create the world’s first human-like intelligence in general-purpose robots. I can think of no greater cause to be a part of. Sanctuary technology will help us all work more safely, efficiently, and sustainably. In wake of the labor challenges and demographic changes our customers have been telling us about, this ultimately means Sanctuary is creating a technology that will help ensure we maintain our way of life and continue flourishing as a civilization. Human-like intelligence in general-purpose robots will not only benefit us, but generations to come–generations that are just being born and generations long into the future. The impact of this significance is what drew me to Sanctuary and has been my unrelenting motivation every day since November 1, 2021. 

One of the questions I often get asked is how can I know that it is possible to create human-like intelligence in a machine? Well, one only needs to look to nature for the answer. Just as the inventors of the parachute were able to observe squirrels spreading their body out to lower their terminal velocity to realize it was possible to survive a fall from any height, or how Jacques Cousteau and Emile Gagnan, the creators of the aqua-lung were able to observe fish breathing underwater to know it was possible, or how the Wright brothers were able to observe birds in flight to know it was possible to maintain controlled, sustained flight of a powered, heavier-than-air aircraft, I know too that it’s possible to create human-like intelligence in a machine. I know this because there are almost eight billion examples of human-like intelligence in machines alive on planet Earth right now, not to mention the ~110 billion other people who preceded those of us alive today. As such, it is not a case of “if” we can be successful in achieving our mission, but “when”. It is simply just a matter of time.

To do my part in helping Sanctuary continue on our mission, I created a number of benchmarks that serve as indicators we are on course as we help trailblaze an entirely new industry.

Benchmark 1: Employees Love Working Here

I am writing this very post because of the deep love I have for working at Sanctuary. That love is not just held by our leadership team but throughout the entire company. Sanctuary recently finalized a set of Guiding Principles and Corporate Values. The Corporate Values specifically speak of the wonderful company culture here, which is a fabric woven by all of our employees. We didn’t “create” values to dictate a company culture, we extracted the values that were already present and simply put them to paper. There’ll be more to share as we roll these out publicly over the coming weeks and months. If you are reading this and thinking you’d like to join us, please check out the open career opportunities here.

Benchmark 2: Other Companies are Reacting 

A year ago, it wasn’t all that common to hear the terminology “general-purpose robots.” It was a concept, but not yet a legitimized industry. Now we are seeing “general-purpose robots” and “human-like intelligence” being used by other companies as well. As stated by our CEO Geordie Rose in a recent blog post about Tesla AI Day: “Our industry is leading an innovation revolution that will change everything.”

Benchmark 3: Customers are Engaging

There is no “selling” Sanctuary general-purpose robots: the almost unlimited potential sells itself. Our customers are so enthusiastic about our technology and the positive impact it will have on their operations, employees, and their own customers, they have been quoted as saying they want to work here themselves. Although in jest, their enthusiasm speaks volumes and their support has been tremendous. As we officially begin deploying our technology to customer sites, even more benefits are being realized and appreciated by our customers. 

Benchmark 4: Investors are Investing

Sanctuary has raised nearly C$100M in funding. As we have shared previously, many of those investors are also customers. The value of our work is not just being felt in dollars and cents, but in practical use as well. As we look to move into future investment rounds, we are thrilled to have so many allies on our side spreading the word about Sanctuary and the extraordinary impact our technology will have. 

Benchmark 5: The General Public is Supporting our Vision and Mission

In addition to the launch of our official Vision for the Future of Work, our visit with Ashlee Vance from Bloomberg's “Hello World” was one of the first times Sanctuary gave the public a wide window into our ongoings. If you haven’t watched the video already, please do as it offers a comprehensive look at Sanctuary, the human-like intelligence in general-purpose robots we’re developing, and the problems we are helping to solve. This was one of the first public-facing projects I worked on for Sanctuary and it was an absolute pleasure to see Ashlee and his team react to our technology and hear about his audience’s enthusiastic response.

Looking back on the past year has really been like looking into the future. I’ve spent a lot of time imagining the bright days ahead, where Sanctuary's human-like intelligence in general-purpose robots is helping us all work more safely, efficiently, and sustainably. 

Ben Reed


Sanctuary is on a mission to create the world’s first human-like intelligence in general-purpose robots. Join us and work with world leaders in the fields of artificial intelligence, cognition, and robotics—all working together toward a common goal. Visit our careers page to learn more.