Michael Musandu grew up in Zimbabwe and South Africa before heading to the Netherlands to study computer science as an undergrad and then in graduate school. While shopping for clothes online Musandu had the experience, as many do, of never seeing someone like himself in the smiling fashion scenarios that were presented on his phone and laptop. For Musandu, it was yet another example of the lack of diversity and inclusion in the world he saw around him. And so, like any student focused on machine learning in his graduate studies, he turned to ML (specifically generative adversarial networks) to help solve the problem. Musandu would build the “people” he never had a chance to see.
The result is both a company, Amsterdam-based Lalaland, and Musandu’s attempt to not just increase retail sales for his fashion brand customers, but to increase the diversity of what we all see when we shop online.