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10 AI influencers you should be following on Twitter

19 Feb 2019

Want to expand your knowledge of the AI world? Make sure you’re following these industry leaders on Twitter.

The world of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics is evolving all the time, with job opportunities and new products springing up constantly.

It’s never been a better time for someone interested in building a career in AI. While the jobs, companies and skills may vary, the wider industry trends are always worth keeping an eye on if you’re serious about an AI career.

One of the best ways to keep yourself immersed in the AI world is by following the leaders, experts and influencers in the field. To help you start building that industry knowledge, we’ve chosen 10 major AI players for you to start following on Twitter right now.

Andrew Ng (@AndrewYNg)

Anyone who wants to pursue a career in AI should know Andrew Ng. Widely considered an AI star, Ng founded the Google Brain deep learning project. He also was Chinese tech giant Baidu’s chief computer scientist until he left in 2017.

Ng transformed the AI strategies of Google and Baidu, where he laid the foundation for some of their biggest products to date.

Last year, Ng unveiled the AI fund, raising $175m to invest in new start-ups. He is also writing a book for those interested in machine learning, which he distributes for free.

Joanna Bryson (@j2bryson)

Joanna Bryson is an associate professor in the department of computing at the University of Bath. She works on AI, ethics and collaborative cognition.

Bryson is an internationally renowned expert on AI ethics, developing AI and understanding human intelligence, human cooperation and cultural change, including why inequality covaries with political polarisation.

In 2017 she won an outstanding achievement award from Cognition X. She regularly appears in US national media talking about human-robot relationships and the ethics of AI.

Spiros Margaris (@SpirosMargaris)

Venture capitalist Spiros Margaris has reached ‘the triple crown’ of influencer rankings by being ranked the global number one influencer in fintech, AI and blockchain by Onalytica.

In 2017, he published an AI white paper, ‘Machine learning in financial services: Changing the rules of the game’, for the enterprise software vendor SAP. Margaris regularly examines how AI and machine learning can impact the world of fintech.

He is also the founder of advisory boutique firm Margaris Ventures and has more than 25 years’ experience in investment management.

Kate Crawford (@katecrawford)

Kate Crawford is a leading researcher, academic and author who has spent the last decade studying the social implications of data systems, machine learning and AI.

Crawford is a principal researcher at Microsoft Research New York, and a visiting professor at the MIT Media Lab. She is also co-founder and co-director of the AI Now Research Institute, an interdisciplinary research centre dedicated to studying the social impacts of AI.

In July 2016, she co-chaired the Obama White House symposium on the impacts of AI in the near term.

Martin Ford (@MFordFuture)

Futurist and author Martin Ford is a major voice in the world of AI and the future of work, focusing on the impact of artificial intelligence and robotics on society and the economy.

He has written three books on AI, the most recent of which came out last year. Ford gave a 2017 TED talk on the impact of AI and robotics on how we will earn money and the future of jobs. Ford has also written on future technology for various publications including The New York Times, Forbes, The Washington Post and The Guardian.

Fei-Fei Li (@drfeifei)

Dr Fei-Fei Li is a professor at the computer science department at Stanford University. She was chief scientist at Google Cloud, until she relinquished her role in 2018 to return to Stanford University full-time.

Li is currently the co-director of the Stanford Human-Centered AI (HAI) Institute, a Stanford University institute to advance AI research, education, policy and practice to benefit humanity by bringing together interdisciplinary scholarship across the university.

Li is also co-founder and chairperson of the national non-profit organisation AI4ALL, dedicated to increasing diversity and inclusion in AI education.

Rodney Brooks (@rodneyabrooks)

If you follow trends in AI, you’ll want to follow robotics entrepreneur Rodney Brooks (if you don’t already).

Brooks is a former director of the computer science and artificial intelligence laboratory at MIT and co-founder of iRobot, the company that created the Roomba.

He was the CTO, chair and founder of Rethink Robotics, which raised nearly $150m in funding over the course of 10 years before closing its doors late last year. However, German automation specialist HAHN Group acquired all of the patents and trademarks from Rethink Robotics.

Kathleen Walch (@kath0134)

AI and machine learning expert Kathleen Walch is a serial entrepreneur, savvy marketer and tech industry connector.

She is principal analyst, managing partner, and founder of Cognilytica, an AI research and advisory firm, and co-host of the popular AI Today podcast. She also frequently writes for Forbes on the topic of AI.

Walch also spent many years as the content and innovation director for TechBreakfast, a monthly morning tech meet-up in the US. She is also a SXSW Innovation Awards judge and AI and hardware meet-up organiser.

Yann LeCun (@ylecun)

Yann LeCun is a French computer scientist working in machine learning, computer vision, mobile robotics and computational neuroscience.

LeCun is currently vice-president and chief AI scientist at Facebook AI Research and a part-time professor at New York University.

He is also the co-founder of Element, which develops and distributes a mobile-based, software-only platform for biometric identity.

Tessa Lau (@tessalau)

Formerly known as the chief robot whisperer at robotics company Savioke, Tessa Lau is now the founder and CEO of Dusty Robotics, which aims to improve construction productivity by automating the dull and dirty jobs performed on construction sites.

Previously, Lau was a research scientist at Willow Garage, where she led an effort to develop simple interfaces for personal robots based on end-user programming. She also spent 11 years at IBM Research developing end-user programming systems for enterprises.

Lau helped organise IBM’s Grace Hopper conference for women in computing. She also serves on the board for the Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research.

Jenny Darmody
By Jenny Darmody

Jenny Darmody became the editor of Silicon Republic in 2023, having worked as the deputy editor since February 2020. When she’s not writing about the science and tech industry, she’s writing short stories and attempting novels. She continuously buys more books than she can read in a lifetime and pretty stationery is her kryptonite. She also believes seagulls to be the root of all evil and her baking is the stuff of legends.

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