Think Beyond: How culture shapes the future of AI

November 27th, 2018

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It’s here. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is well underway with artificial intelligence at the forefront, rapidly transforming everything — whether we know it or not, like it or not. AI is impacting how we work, shop, play, even form our opinions.

In November, our Chief Technology Officer, Jenai Marinkovic, gathered a diverse panel of brilliant AI experts at our San Francisco office to take a deep dive with us into “How Culture Shapes AI” — and vice versa:

  • Amy Benziger – Innovation Architect at Cisco Hyper Innovation Living Labs (CHILL), and authority on the intersection of AI and human networks — both social and business-based.  An investment, startup and community building guru, Amy guides innovation from conception to production — exploring the far reach of what technology can do.
  • Daniel Doulton – CEO at AI PARC, inventor of the natural language platform that powers Siri, and enthusiastic advocate for humanity + AI. As a master builder, investor and advisor, Daniel accelerates seamless communication between man and machine-, leveraging technology and creativity to bring forth “the ultimate user experience.”
  • Manuel Ebert – Founder at, neuroscientist, and cyborg aficionado. His work explores and applies what AI can learn from biological models, and vice versa. Through his machine intelligence consulting firm, Manuel helps companies leverage their data and integrate machine learning into their business logic.   
  • Paul Holland – General Partner at Foundation Capital, tested entrepreneur and startup savant. Steeped in the world of venture capital, Paul primarily focuses on helping early-stage start-ups go from zero to $100M in revenue. He has guided successful venture-funded IPOs, and currently serves on the boards of multiple prominent technology firms.

Jenai and these doers in the world of AI took the standing-room-only crowd well beyond the buzzwords. They dove deep into vital questions around AI and culture, weighing in on how diversity and localization shape perceptions of the human experience and how these might — or should — impact the progression of AI. They looked at how empathy affects training and design, and how machine learning might raise human emotional intelligence. They led thought-provoking discussions around topics like:

  • The impact of culture in designing AI
  • AI and the personalization of user experience
  • Empathy and the development of digital assistants — in both the consumer and enterprise worlds

Using real-time, real-world examples, we got an insider’s window into individuals and companies that are actively tackling how we can better understand, prepare for and shape AI’s broad and irrevocable impact on society and culture moving forward.

One of the key takeaways we didn’t expect? AI is poised to help us fast-track humanity’s understanding of itself. What?! Wow. Let that settle in…

Stay tuned for more of what we learned in our three-part series “Brains, Bias, and the Humanizing Potential of AI.”