Author: Nancy A. Shenker

Yi Zhang

MEET YI ZHANG WHY? Yi, a professor at University of California, Santa Cruz, understands the importance of AI in today’s world. She is one of the minds behind Rulai, a Silicon Valley company that helps businesses easily build and design chatbots. The company was recently named one of Bloomberg Business’s 50 Most Promising Startups You’ve Never Heard Of. In a recent interview, Yi said: “Where brands are beginning to engage with AI directly is in their customer support arena, where they have the first party data and ongoing engagement to make a real impact resolving their customers’ issues via...

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MEET WATSON WHY? Many of us just know Watson as the winner of Jeopardy. “Born” in 2004, the smart machine was the successor to Deep Blue who was a chess-playing champ. But Watson isn’t all just fun and games. Its capabilities extend to sifting through huge amounts of data to diagnose diseases, make financial decisions, and much more. Watson even has its own website, where IBM showcases case studies and tools for developers to bring Watson’s intelligence to their own...

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Richard Socher

MEET RICHARD SOCHER WHY? Forbes recently profiled Socher, the Chief Scientist at Salesforce, as an emerging leader in AI and deep learning. Rather than pursuing an academic career, he put his real intelligence to good use, working with Salesforce on developing workable AI solutions to improve customer relationship management. (Socher developed a tool called Metamind, that was acquired by Salesforce.) “You don’t want to build an AI algorithm and throw it over the fence and say, here, it’s great, use it somehow. You want to incorporate it into the workflow people have so they can really use it and...

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Jana Eggers

MEET JANA EGGERS WHY? Jana is the CEO of Nara Logics, a company working to use AI to help companies make better decisions. In addition to this groundbreaking work, Jana also speaks often about the importance of AI and what people and companies need to do to be ready for AI. In her view, being ready begins with a shift in mindset: “Thirty years ago, we were looking at numbers and coming up with answers. That’s what we’re comfortable with. What we need to get to is that cultural shift where we’re OK with trying different things and being...

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MEET SALLY WHY? Making a salad has never been easier. Sally the Salad Robot is one of the latest innovations in the food service industry, and with a few taps on a screen will make a salad. It isn’t hard to picture Sally – as well as similar robots – showing up all over, in places like cafeterias and airports. In the words of creator Dr. Deepak Sekar, “The kitchen of the future will have humans and robots working together. Human chefs will develop the recipes, while robots perform repetitive...

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