My name is Christine Karman. I work as a software developer, as an entrepreneur, and inventor. I focus on Android, currently. I also build Java API servers, there’s an example here. I have built numerous Android apps since 2008, my favorite is the Efteling app.
After getting my doctoral degree in physics and astronomy, I started working as a software developer. First with a bank, then I switched to AI, I started an AI business unit in a software consulting company. Then I was asked to join BSO/AI, the AI branch of consulting firm BSO/Origin (currently Atos). We found that although expert systems and neural networks seemed very promising, the hardware we had and the available data were not sufficient to make them succesful. That has changed in the last decade: hardware is more powerful, and the Internet provides us with unlimited data.
In 1994 I joined De Digitale Stad in Amsterdam. This was the first large scale virtual community. I saw it as a switch from “internet as a technology tool” to “internet as a social medium”. It was fun to be an active participant in this process.
In 1995 I founded “PayMate”, a company providing services for online payments with your email address. I learned the market in Europe wasn’t ready, and I didn’t know my way to venture capital firms. I stopped renewing the patents.
In 1998 I founded Tryllian, an AI company. We created a distributed platform for AI components. As the founder of Tryllian, I was invited to the World Economic Forum in 2001, as a Technology Pioneer. The market wasn’t ready, and I made mistakes in the management of the company. I rebuilt the product since, I can see a place for it in the current AI space.
From 2002 to 2007 I was the CEO of Izemail, a company creating products for email encryption. We sold encryption servers and desktop email plugins to organisations in law and health care, and to technology companies in the US. After five years, the market was still slow, we were generating just not enough revenues.
The most rewarding thing I have done is founding Meldpunt. When Felipe Rodriguez, CEO of XS4ALL, called me and said they had an issue with child pornography on their servers and the police was of no help, we decided to act ourselves. In the summer of 1995, a group of people assembled at Felipe’s Spanish restaurant Centra. There were hackers, a psychologist, a police officer (KLPD), ISP staff, internet pundits, a mixed group of people we had invited. The next day, four of us (Felipe and I, and Maartje van der Heiden and Alex de Joode) started to work as the “Internet Meldpunt Kinderporno” (which would translate to “Cybertipline”). The hotline was officially opened in June of 1996 by the Minister of Justice of the Netherlands as the first of its kind. Now, in 2018, it is a professional organisation coordinating the fight against online child abuse both nationally and internationally. I am proud to have contributed to the online safety of children.
When more hotlines were opened in other countries (IWF in the UK, Cybertipline in the US) we founded Inhope, which coordinates between hotlines and plays a role in funding them.
In 2016 I was asked to build an interactive system for an amusement park in the Netherlands. I assembled a team of people, in about a year we built a system in attraction vehicles that allows guests to interact with the vehicle, with the environment, with lights and sound. Seeing we were the only ones doing this, and learning that other parks are looking at more interaction in otherwise static attractions, the team decided to stay together and create a company. The company, Taptosa, provides interactive technology for vehicles in dark rides and other attractions.
I have maintained this web site since 1994. It was created as part of De Digitale Stad, it was moved to the web server at Hacktic, later XS4ALL. In 1995 I moved it to a private server running Linux. I recently moved the content to WordPress, where it is easier to maintain than the raw html files I had before.