10 AI influencers you should be following

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From chatbots to fraud detection systems, and self-driving cars to social media monitoring, advancements in the field of AI research continue to impact how we live and work. Behind these innovations are teams of great minds from a multitude of disciplines, including machine learning, software engineering, robotics and even philosophy. The work these men and women are doing will inspire and influence generations to come.

Here is our list of 10 of the most influencial figures in AI on social media.

1. Yan LeCun – VP & Chief AI Scientist @ Facebook

Yan LeCun is a French Computer Scientist with expertise in the fields of AI, Machine Learning, Deep Learning and Computer Vision.

One of the reasons behind Facebooks success has been their ability to leverage AI tools to better understand their users to offer tailored content, a practice that has caused great controversy in recent years.

Having recently released a new software that can turn speech-to-text more accurately than ever before in real-time, it is clear they continue to be a company at the forefront of AI research, and Yan LeCun is the man behind it.

Yan has been publicly outspoken with his thoughts on AI-robot Sophia, and the feasibility of artificial superintelligence.

Yan LeCun discusses the future of Deep Learning hardware

2. Fei-Fei Li – Co-Director of the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence

De Fei-Fei Li’s research interests lie in cognitively-inspired AI, Deep Learning, Computer Vision and the applications of AI in Healthcare. With more than 200 scientific papers to her name, she is one of the most respected names in AI research.

Having previously worked as Chief of AI at Google Cloud, Dr. Li was appointed to Twitter’s Board of Directors in 2020.  In 2015 she co-founded AI4ALL, a non-profit that aims to increase diversity and inclusion in AI.

Fei-Fei Li at AI for good

ITU PicturesFei-Fei Li at AI for Good 2017CC BY 2.0

3. Demis Hassabis – Founder & CEO of DeepMind

Demis Hassabis, the superhero of AI, is a British AI Researcher and Board Game Champion, he is perhaps best known as the Co-Founder of DeepMind, which was acquired by Google in 2014.

Demis is the brains behind AlphaGo, the AI that taught itself to play Go and ultimately defeated 4-time world champion Lee Sedol. Another of Hassabis’ creations, AlphaFold, made headlines last year when it was put to use in the fight against covid-19.

Much of Demis current work relates to the pursuit of artificial general intelligence (AGI).

4. Andrew Ng – Venture Capitalist & Founder of Coursera

Co-Founder of Google Brain and former Vice President at Baidu, Ng focuses on the fields of AI research and machine learning. Having Co-Founded Coursera in 2012, Ng is the proud owner of 2 of the sites most popular courses; “Machine Learning” and “Neural Networks and Deep Learning”.

Ng was named by Time Magazine as one of the most influential people in the world in 2012, and is a driving force behind the movement to make AI research accessible to all.  

He has also been a vocal critic of the belief that AI represents an existential threat to humanity, famously stating;

“The reason I say that I don’t worry about AI turning evil is the same reason I don’t worry about overpopulation on Mars.”

Andrew Ng interviews Yan LeCun

5. Allie Miller - Global Head of Machine Learning Business Development @ Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Recipient of a plethora of titles and accolades (2019 “AI innovator of the year”, 2x “LinkedIn Top Voice for Technology and AI” & one of the “Top 50 Women in Tech”) Miller was the youngest woman to build an AI product at IBM, having worked as Lead Product Manager at Watson.

Despite her role at AWS and investment activities for machine learning start-ups, Allie also runs a successful YouTube channel.

She is a regular conference speaker, vocally championing the need for diversity in AI and has previously addressed the European Commission.

Allie Miller's Introduction to Machine Learning

6. Ben Goertzel – CEO @ SingularityNET

Ben Goertzel is a leading voice in AGI research. A prolific speaker, he has given numerous talks and also appeared on the Joe Rogan Experience. Ben was also the CTO at Hanson Robotics, the company behind Sophia.

Dr Goertzel has been vocal in his belief that there is a paradigm shift taking place in AI research, one that will result in a move away from specialised narrow intelligence, toward artificial general intelligence.

Ben Goertzel and Robot Sophia

7. Angelica Lim – AI Roboticist & Assistant Professor @ Simon Fraser University

Dr Angelica Lim is a Canadian-American Computer Scientists and Roboticist. She is the Principal Investigator for the SFU Rosie Lab, focusing on creating robots with improved emotional intelligence.

Her research focuses on a combination of neuroscience and machine learning to address the question “Could a robot have feelings?”

She was recently named in Forbes 20 Leading Women in AI and has previously appeared as a speaker for TEDx.

Angelica Lim discusses emotional machine learning

8. Tamara McCleary – CEO @ Thulium, Technology Futurist & Influencer

Tamara was previously named as a top influencer in the field of AI, and describes herself as a Technology Futurist. She has given several talks on the potential applications of AI and believes advancements in research will bring about positive societal changes.

In 2006 she founded Thulium, a social media marketing agency that have worked with the likes of IBM, Cisco, SAP, Dell & Verizon.

9. Gary Marcus – CEO & Founder @ Robust.AI

Gary Marcus has written several bestselling books, including “Rebooting AI” and “The Future of the Brain”, in 2016 he sold his Machine Learning company Geometric Intelligence to Uber.

His current company, Robust.AI, are focusing on the creation of context-aware robots that can interpret the world around them. His ultimate aim is to build a human mind from scratch. 

Marcus is a vocal contributor to debates on the nature of intelligence, Deep Learning and the pursuit of AGI.

10. Nick Bostrom – Philosopher & Author

Swedish Philosopher Nick Bostrom is best known for his work on the existential threats posed by the development of a superintelligent AI. His Ted Talk on the subject is one of the most popular on the site, and has amassed nearly 5 million views.

He also heads up the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University, where a team of scientists, philosophers and mathematicians discuss big picture questions about the future of humanity.   

While many disagree with his assessment of the direction of AI research he remains an influential figure in the field.

Nick Bostrom

Nick Bostrom - CoffeeCC BY-SA 4.0

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