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AI: The Business of Change

A bright, colorful designed image that shows three people who work in artificial intelligence.
Change is what you make of it. Often uncomfortable at first, it brings new ideas, possibilities, and ways of doing things that reshape the ways we move and engage with life.

Right now, artificial intelligence is shaking up almost every industry and market faster than most can understand. As questions about its long-term value, hidden risks, and opportunities take shape, we looked to our Wildcats working at the forefront of this new frontier for answers. What we found is a shared understanding of what it takes to make positive change happen: a shift that has to begin with the way you see yourself and the world around you.

Gabriel Flores (Business Administration, ’11)
Enterprise Engineering Manager, Latitude AI

A designed headshot of Gabriel Flores.

Gabriel Flores has spent more than a decade as an engineer, building efficient server networks around the globe for giants like LinkedIn and Airbnb, working on the frontlines of large, highly disruptive forces in technology during inflection points. Today, he is an enterprise engineering manager at Latitude AI, a subsidiary of Ford that develops hands-free, eyes-off driving technology. A truly new frontier, research suggests that 12 percent of new passenger cars will be sold with autonomous technologies by 2030—and that number is going to aggressively hit the accelerator with adoption.

“I love the challenge,” Flores said. “Being a part of something new is where the fun
is, it’s where the excitement and a sense of purpose are for me. The companies I’ve
worked for were all doing something new, something we hadn’t considered, and
they’ve changed the game.”

Read the full profile.

Liane Thompson (International Relations, German, ’91)
CEO, Aquaai

Liane Thompson was among the first video journalists to report on the ground during 9/11, in Haiti after the earthquake of 2010, covering Israel-Palestine conflict in the 1990s, and at many other globally disruptive events—her broadcasting résumé includes National Geographic, NPR, The New York Times, CNN, and more.

Her work as a storyteller led her to the forefront of modern television’s new era, serving as executive producer on reality shows Trauma: Life in the E.R. (for which she has two Primetime Emmy Award nominations), Anthony Bourdain’s A Cook’s Tour, and others.

More recently, she co-founded an award-winning environmental tech firm with her spouse, Simeon Pieterkosky. Using AI technology that mimics nature’s patterns and textures, they’ve brought affordable technology that makes aquaculture and waterways more sustainable, efficient, and resilient to climate change.

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Pratik Mehta (MA, Computer Science, ’11)

Head of Artificial Intelligence, CloudMedx

A headshot of Pratik Mehta.

When people think of AI in healthcare, robots performing miraculous surgeries with absolute precision are probably what spring to mind. “AI can get there one day,” Pratik Mehta explains. “But there are some grassroots-level problems that need solving first.” More pointedly: finding ways to remove obstacles between patients getting the essential care they need from medical providers.

As head of artificial intelligence at CloudMedx, a company that uses predictive analytics to improve healthcare for patients and providers, Mehta is constantly asking what will meaningfully impact as many lives as possible using the technologies available today.

Read the full profile.