Top 20 AI experts you should follow on Twitter

Top 20 AI experts you should follow on Twitter
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As artificial intelligence (AI) increases in importance in new technology and applications, several people have risen to the top of the field—achieving expert-level status and providing insight into breakthroughs, new applications and ideas about the technology.

The people on this list are an interesting collage with very different backgrounds. Some are traditional AI Ph.D. scholars who have slogged through research long before AI’s recent resurgence. Others are cross-over experts from one advanced science who saw the benefit of AI in their research and became experts in a second field. 

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The short summaries of each persons’ biographical information add depth to the tweets. The biographical information was extracted from public sources, such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Wikipedia, university websites, Crunchbase and business websites. Given the suspicions about the authenticity of news stories, the biographical information about each person adds a level of diligence to choose if the reader finds personal value in following one of them.

Arizona State University researchers used this list in a study (pdf) that measured the sentiment of expert and non-expert regular tweeters about AI. It is based on a list first published by IBM on its Watson blog. I’ve also compiled the list of AI experts in a Twitter list on my Twitter page. The list is open to the public, so you can see all of their recent tweets and you can copy the list if you like. That list includes an additional 10 AI experts. 

  1. Nathan Benaich (@NathanBenaich) – Benaich is a former genetics researcher turned AI venture capitalist who has a Ph.D. in computational and experimental cancer research from the University of Cambridge.
  2. Joanna Bryson (@j2bryson and @j2breve) – Bryson developed the action selection model. It explains how an animal or artificially intelligent agent determines what to do next. Action selection is a key mechanism in the design of intelligent systems. Bryson has one Twitter handle for verbose tweeting and another for sparse tweeting about developments she believes are important.
  3. Alex J. Champandard (@alexjc) – This Rockstar AI game developer was the mastermind behind AiGameDev.com, the largest online hub for AI in games. He has worked in the industry as a senior AI programmer for many years, most notably for Rockstar Games.
  4. Soumith Chintala (@soumithchintala) – Chintala is a researcher in AI, machine learning and computer vision at Facebook AI Research, where he works on deep learning, reinforcement learning, generative image models, agents for video games and large-scale high-performance deep learning.
  5. Adam Coates (@adampaulcoates) – Coates is director of Chinese search engine and web company Baidu's Silicon Valley AI Lab, looking at AI that scales to at least 100 million people. At Stanford University, Coates co-developed the most sophisticated autonomous helicopter in the world, capable of advanced aerobatic maneuvers, and worked on perception systems for household robots. His recent work investigated deep learning of large neural networks trained from large datasets and large-scale deep learning with distributed clusters and GPUs.
  6. The CyberCode Twins (@cybercodetwins) – The CyberCode Twins are America and Penelope Lopez. These twin sisters from East Los Angeles have won awards in tech competitions and hackathons at NASA’s International SpaceApps Challenge, AT&T Developer Summit, HackForLA, and IBM’s Global Mobile Innovators Challenge. Social entrepreneurs, their current interests are using mobile and wearable to end human trafficking and make communities safer.
  7. Jana Eggers (@jeggers) – Eggers is the CEO of Nara Logics, an AI recommendation and decision engine that works across a variety of information classes and customer verticals, using advanced techniques in neural networks and machine learning.
  8. Oren Etzioni (@etzioni) – Etzioni is CEO of AIlen Institute for AI, computer science professor at the University of Washington, Madrona Venture Partner and serial entrepreneur. The Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence works on AI systems with reasoning, learning and reading capabilities to support AI research and engineering.
  9. Martin Ford (@MFordFuture) – Ford is a futurist and New York Times bestselling author of Rise of the Robots, which is about AI, robots, job automation and the future economy.
  10. Adam Geitgey (@ageitgey) – Geitgey is a software engineer, engineering manager and blogger on AI and software engineering topics. He writes the best and most accessible AI tutorials under the title Machine Learning is Fun. Tech people interested in learning about machine learning should start with his blog.
  11. John C. Havens (@johnchavens) – Havens is executive director of The IEEE Global Initiative for Ethical Considerations in Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems. He is the author of Heartaficial Intelligence and a frequent speaker about the field of AI.
  12. J.J. Kardwell (@jjkardwell) – Kardwell is the CEO and co-founder of EverString, which sells a  predictive analytics platform that helps companies identify and engage with their best customer prospects. Prior to EverString, Kardwell worked for VC firm Summit Partners, McKinsey & Company, Windhorst New Technologies and The Walt Disney Company.
  13. David Kenny (@davidwkenny) – Kenny is senior vice president of IBM Watson and Cloud Platform, spearheading the Watson technology platform development, as well as optimizing IBM’s public cloud for data and cognitive workloads. Prior to that, he was chairman and CEO at Digitas Inc., a top global integrated brand agency.
  14. Tessa Lau (@tessalau) - Lau serves as Chief Robot Whisperer at Savioke, Inc. She is passionate about building systems that improve people's lives. She uses her machine learning expertise as a roboticist combined with human-computer interaction expertise to build user-focused systems. Savioke is developing robots that will revolutionize the service industry. Lau holds a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Washington.
  15. Angelica Lim (@petitegeek) – Lim is an A.I. roboticist at SoftBank Robotics, building AI software for robots to interact in a smart, but fun way. A robot enthusiast since she was a child, Lim imagined robots with feelings. Her research combines neuroscience, machine learning and developmental psychology to fulfill the robotic emotions she imagined when she was young. Lim holds a Ph.D. and master’s degree in computer science from Kyoto University.
  16. Satya Mallick (@LearnOpenCV) – Mallick is an entrepreneur who loves computer vision and machine learning. He co-founded a computer vision company, TAAZ Inc., that applies vision technology to problems in beauty and fashion. TAAZ proved scalability of its computer vision and machine learning algorithms tested by more than 100 million users. His most personally satisfying work in collaboration with the Scripps Research Institute solved a problem in Cryo-Electron Microscopy that is part of the 3D reconstruction pipeline. Mallick holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego.
  17. Gary Marcus (@GaryMarcus) – Marcus is AI’s biggest evangelist and at the same time its biggest critic. He works at the nexus of computer science and neuroscience. A recent tweet posed the question, is AI stuck in a rut? Not a surprising question from Marcus because he approaches AI from the perspective of child development and regularly speaks about what AI cannot do compared to what his young children can do. Geometric Intelligence, founded by Marcus, was recently acquired by Uber. He holds a Ph.D. from MIT's Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences.
  18. Chris Messina (@chrismessina) – Messina is an X Uberer and Xoogler best known for introducing the #hashtag to Twitter as a BarCamp organizer based on the #hashtag’s use on internet relay chat (IRC). He is an advisor to Tagboard, which is a software platform that uses the hashtag to aggregate multi-network social media advertisers and marketers, displaying content in an engaging visual format. Messina also is the organizer of botness, a conference that focuses on bot startups, tools, bots for work and play, discovery and engagement.
  19. Elon Musk (@elonmusk) – Musk, one of the most popular heroes in the tech culture, is known for his warning about the risks of AI despite the fact that Tesla’s self-driving program uses machine learning at least partially to navigate without a driver. He is associated with the founding of OpenAI with $1 billion in funding, whose mission is to build safe artificial general intelligence (AGI) and ensure AGI's benefits are as widely and evenly distributed as possible, to reduce the influence of the significant concentration of AI research by IBM, Google, Facebook and Microsoft.
  20. Andy Pardoe (@DrAndyPardoe) – Pardoe is the founder and curator of homeAI.info, an index of information resources on AI and machine learning related topics. He holds a Ph.D. in neural networks from Warwick University.
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