Who are AIs top ten powerbrokers?

Generative AI is a black swan moment for humanity. The technology will dramatically reshape the course of human history. But who are the influential men and women behind the new machine age. 

The, ironically, very human battle for power at Open AI has thrust the sector’s key players into the glare of the media spotlight. From the folk AI hero Sam Altman to the top-down mega-tech influencer Elon Musk, we give a run-down of AI top ten powerbrokers. 

The list represents a blend of pioneering researchers and influential entrepreneurs who are actively shaping the future of AI. These individuals have played integral roles in advancing AI through their research, leadership, advocacy, and support for AI-driven initiatives, significantly impacting the field’s trajectory and applications.

Sam Altman

As the former CEO of OpenAI (watch this space) and a major figure in AI, Sam Altman has played a significant role in advancing AI technologies like ChatGPT. His tenure at OpenAI was marked by substantial developments in AI research and application. His leadership and vision have been pivotal in shaping modern AI, making him one of the most influential figures in the industry.

Elon Musk

 A key proponent of AI, Elon Musk, through ventures like Neuralink, is exploring the convergence of AI and human cognitive enhancement. Musk’s role in co-founding OpenAI, despite stepping back to avoid conflicts with Tesla’s AI development, marks his significant influence in the AI sphere. His views on the ethical development and potential risks of AI contribute to important industry dialogues.

Geoffrey Hinton

Known as the “godfather of deep learning,” Geoffrey Hinton’s research, particularly on neural networks and backpropagation, has been fundamental to the AI revolution. His contributions have greatly impacted areas like computer vision and speech recognition, and he remains an active and influential figure in AI research and education.

Yann LeCun Yann LeCun’s work, especially in developing convolutional neural networks, has been crucial in advancing computer vision. His ongoing contributions at Facebook AI Research (FAIR) and as a professor continue to shape the field of AI, influencing both academic research and practical applications.

Andrew Ng 

As a co-founder of Google Brain and a leading figure in machine learning, Andrew Ng has been instrumental in advancing deep learning technologies. His work in natural language processing and computer vision, along with his educational initiatives like Coursera, has had a lasting impact on the field of AI.

Demis Hassabis

CEO of DeepMind, Demis Hassabis has been at the forefront of developments in deep reinforcement learning. His work on AI programs like AlphaGo has demonstrated the potential of AI in complex problem-solving. Hassabis continues to lead DeepMind in pushing the boundaries of AI for scientific and societal benefits.

Fei-Fei Li

An influential figure in AI, Fei-Fei Li has made significant contributions to computer vision and AI ethics. Her work on ImageNet has been instrumental in advancing deep learning technologies. Li’s research also focuses on human-centered AI, emphasizing ethical and social considerations in AI development.

Judea Pearl

 Renowned for his work in probabilistic reasoning and causal inference, Judea Pearl’s contributions have been fundamental in shaping the understanding of causality in AI. His theories continue to influence various fields, underscoring the interdisciplinary impact of his work.

Anima Anandkumar

A prominent figure in AI, Anima Anandkumar’s research focuses on machine learning, especially tensor algorithms and their applications. She is known for her work at NVIDIA and as a professor at Caltech. Anandkumar’s contributions to both theoretical and practical aspects of AI have made her a key influencer in the field.

Daphne Koller

Co-founder of Coursera and a leading researcher in machine learning, Daphne Koller’s work in probabilistic graphical models and bioinformatics has been influential. Her efforts in online education have also significantly democratized access to AI and machine learning education.

Blockshot newsletter

Join thousands of other innovators, investors and decision-makers to access data-driven reports and premium insights on how global blockchain adoption is reshaping wealth, economics, politics, sustainability and culture.