Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft and founder of Vulcan Inc., has passed away at the age of 65. This was announced by his family which stated that he passed away on from "complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in Seattle."

After his Microsoft career, Allen, among other things, founded Vulcan - an organisation he used for his philanthropy work including wildlife conservation in Afrika through technology.

1982: Paul Allen with his business partner. Image credit Barry Wong/The Seattle Times

“All of us who had the honor of working with Paul feel inexpressible loss today. He possessed a remarkable intellect and a passion to solve some of the world’s most difficult problems, with the conviction that creative thinking and new approaches could make profound and lasting impact.Millions of people were touched by his generosity, his persistence in pursuit of a better world, and his drive to accomplish as much as he could with the time and resources at his disposal.Paul’s life was diverse and lived with gusto. It reflected his myriad interests in technology, music and the arts, biosciences and artificial intelligence, conservation and in the power of shared experience – in a stadium or a neighborhood – to transform individual lives and whole communities," said  Bill Hilf, CEO at Vulcan.

Big Data and Artificial Intelligence to combat poaching

Through Vulcan, Allen and a team of technologists and conservationists were working on the Domain Awareness System (DAS) which uses Big Data to try and combat elephant poaching. DAS' main aim is to equip game park managers across Afrika with a tool that would be able to pre-empt where next poachers were likely to strike.

Another similar project he was working on with his team was the Skylight system, which uses satellite imagery and data-analysis to stop illegal fishing in Gabon.

"Today we mourn our boss, mentor and friend whose 65 years were too short – and acknowledge the honor it has been to work alongside someone whose life transformed the world," concluded Bilf.


Cover image credit: Paul G. Allen, Vulcan