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Canada’s AI Renaissance: Go North 2017

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At a point in time in the hi-tech industry, Canada was synonymous with Blackberry: phone of epic proportions with a full-blown QWERTY keyboard and rugged security. Going by last week’s Go North conference hosted by Google in Toronto, AI seems to be Canada’s next frontier, as the nation leads the way by backing cutting-edge AI research along real-world AI deployments.

Justin Trudeau eloquently put forth his government’s intentions around fostering the dense startup community along the Windsor-Toronto corridor as well as developing the next Silicon Valley in Canada. His repeated jibes at Eric Schmidt over “stealing Canadian talent” prompted  Alphabet’s honcho to promise continued investments by Google in Canada.

If the government’s recent alacrity and enthusiasm in getting Amazon to set up its next major hub in Canada isn’t evidence enough of the nation’s intentions, the recent announcement by City of Toronto in partnering Sidewalk Labs to develop a “first of it’s kind” smart city, should definitely put any doubts to rest. Apparently, self-driving cars will be one of the vehicles of change to reduce emissions and cut congestion, though both sides did not elaborate on this any further.

The highlight of the day for me as a technologist, was Geoffrey Hinton’s talk on the future of Neural Nets. One of the pioneers of AI, Hinton claims the current state of applications using Neural Nets (namely machine vision), that he labelled as a “bag of tricks”, were more a chance than a plan.

He reckons Neural Nets have a long way to go before becoming truly intelligent. His early research looks promising on a whole new kind of Neural Net – one that can infer spatial relationships and recognize entities from any viewpoint, much like the human cognitive system.

The day closed with a scintillating performance by Taryn Southern – an artist who purposes AI to design melodies. She reverses the creative process of music. While musicians widely pen the words first and have the melody render the soul, Southern let’s AI concoct melodies first and then let’s her words render the soul to her craft.

A massive thanks to Google and Mars for handpicking Wysdom to attend the event. Our team at Wysdom has already begun envisioning the future state of our Neural Nets and the event provided us plenty of inspiration and food for thought (not to mention, food too!).

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Data Scientist

As a Data Scientist, your day-to-day will involve writing queries, building dashboards, and preparing analytical reports about product performance for our clients and the Wysdom.AI team.  You will work with SQL, Tableau, and Python and ML Frameworks/libraries (among other tools) to create stunning visuals showing how Wysdom.AI is making their customers’ experience even better.

Implementation Engineer

As an Implementation Engineer you will be responsible for the solution integration of an enterprise grade conversational AI experience from a technical perspective. You will work closely with the lead solutions architect and be the technical face of the implementation team and lead the customer through the entire implementation cycle. You will work with one of the most diverse teams of linguists, data scientists, and innovators to deliver the best AI enabled customer experience.

Solution Architect

As a Solutions Architect within the Client Services team, you act as trusted advisor, responsible for the technical requirements and end to end solutions integration of Wysdom cognitive services within the client’s environment.  You will work with one of the most diverse teams of linguists, data scientists, and innovators to deliver the best AI enabled customer experience.

Cognitive Data Specialist

As a Cognitive Data Specialist, you will be responsible for the performance of the AI and quality of the corpus and will focus primarily on the VA training.  You will work with the client as required to ensure corpus is performing in an optimal manner.

Conversational Experience Designer

As a Conversational Experience Designer, you will be responsible for the designs of the overall customer experience, including the end-to-end dialog flows & journeys of the solution ensuring  design leverages  UxD best practices for optimal customer experience.

Conversational AI Specialist

As a Conversational AI Optimization Specialist, your responsibility will be to help drive the success of our solution for our clients. This involves building conversation flows, performing AI training, and partnering with clients to enhance their deployments.

Conversational AI Lead

As a Conversational AI Lead, you will be responsible for leading all Conversational AI program activities.  You will work with all team members to ensure deliverables are completed on time, with high quality and exceeds client expectations and goals.

Program Director

Responsible for the overall success for the client, including the end-to-end delivery and optimization of the solution, you will manage the sales process from pillar to post, including technical and commercial proposals, pipeline management, sales forecasting, and contractual documentation.

David Trotter, Wysdom

David Trotter

SVP, Sales & Marketing

David has 30 years of global sales leadership experience as a collaborative leader who believes in a strong team concept within sales and marketing organizations. David has spent many years working with growth companies and enjoys being face to face with customers and partners to create solutions that have a lasting effect on the customer’s business environment. 


Prior to joining Wysdom, David was the Vice President, Sales at Scalepad, and previously spent 11 years as Vice President for Latin America and Asia Pacific for Absolute Software. He also held senior sales management positions at GE Capital and Clevest.  

Michel Benitah

VP, Optimization & Delivery

Michel has 20 years of experience in leading the successful delivery of Conversational AI and Natural Language Customer Care solutions to some of the largest financial, telco, healthcare, utilities, and retail enterprises throughout North America. 

 

Prior to joining Wysdom, Michel spent 20 years at Nuance Communications, holding senior management and leadership positions within the enterprise division, most recently as director of the Toronto office and professional services team.

Frederic Lam

SVP, Sales

Fred brings in 25 years of international experience in sales and business development across North America, the Caribbean, Asia-Pacific, Europe, and the Middle-East.

 

Prior to Wysdom.AI, he held sales leadership positions at Oracle, Redknee, and Movius/Glenayre, successfully growing revenues in both large and small organizations. Fred has also been involved in the start-up community in the earlier stages of his career as an Investment Manager with SP Capital and was an alternate director on a few investee companies.

Karen Chan

Chief Engineering Officer, Co-Founder

With 20 years of experience in software and mobile, Karen has held senior technical roles at 5 startups, including Wysdom.AI, Clickfree, Mobile Diagnostix (HP), Teamatic, and Virtualthere.

Karthik Balakrishnan

Chief Technology Officer

Karthik has over a decade of hands-on, proven global expertise in emerging technologies and implementing intricate platforms and solutions for telecommunications and enterprise during his time at Amdocs, with senior positions in their India, Cyprus, America, and Canada offices.

Nitin Singhal

Chief Operating Officer

Nitin has over 20 years of success in global executions of business technology, driving operational efficiency and digital scalability for some of the world’s largest enterprise clients. 

 

Nitin spent 16 years at Redknee holding executive positions in Research and Development, Customer Operations, Partner Alliances, and most recently as COO.

Jeff Brunet​

President, Co-Founder

Jeff has more than 20 years of experience in the startup world, founding and growing 4 software companies: AracNet, Mobile Diagnostix (HP), ClickFree, and Wysdom.AI. 

 

His in-depth understanding of software development and the challenges in making new technologies successful in the startup world prove invaluable as he serves on the boards of XMG, SurfEasy (Opera), Locationary (Apple), Groupie, and as an advisor to Pushlife (Google), LogMeIn (IPO) and HP. 

 

Jeff holds 23 issued patents in the wireless and consumer electronics spaces and is the lead inventor on 30+ pending patents.

Ian Collins​

CEO, Co-Founder

Ian has founded and grown 6 technology companies over the past 20 years, primarily in the enterprise software space including Wyrex, Mobile Diagnostix (HP), Clickfree, and most recently Wysdom.AI. 

 

Ian invests, mentors, and sits on the boards of several startups in the Toronto area.