Industry Insider Series: Volume 1

Welcome to our Industry Insider series, where we ask our faculty of expert speakers to weigh in on industry trends, innovation and more.  This week’s insiders work in AI-driven fields and have extensive knowledge of the AI landscape.

Parham Aarabi is the Founder and CEO of ModiFace – A L’Oréal Group Company. ModiFace creates augmented reality tech for beauty brands and is the leading beauty-focused AR company.  He is also a Professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Toronto.

Inmar Givoni is an Autonomy Engineering Manager at Uber Advanced Technology Group, Toronto, where her team’s mission is to guide research to production  with cutting-edge deep-learning models for self-driving vehicles.

John Zupancic is the CEO and Founder of Wriber, a technology company that helps brands and agencies create optimized content for their audiences. Wriber won the Crowd Favourite title at last year’s Data Marketing Toronto Exhibition.

What’s one significant way AI will affect the industry you work in?

PA: The first and most important is to be able to analyze videos and to simulate beauty products in a realistic way, so that users can get an idea of what a product could look like before purchasing it.

IG: AI is a critical component for building the technology for self-driving. For example, detecting other vehicles on the road and predicting where they will go next.

JZ: We are going to see even more content published. AI will start aiding on the creative side. You will not be able to tell whether an article was written by a human or a machine.

What is one game-changing technological advancement in your field that the general public may be unaware of?

PA: Deep learning on the edge (meaning, on mobile devices), enables anyone to have a photo-realistic makeup or hair simulator in their pocket.

IG: LiDAR technology is a critical technology that is less understood by the general public. LiDAR is one of the sensors we use on our self-driving vehicles to collect data points about how far away objects are from our vehicle. Our software system takes that data and makes decisions based on what surrounds the vehicle.

JZ: Almost everyone has heard of Alexa and Google Home but they haven’t thought through the marketing implementations of these technologies. Marketers are going to have to factor in how they can get into voice search results.

Those outside the tech industry have a difficult time defining exactly what AI is. We’d like to know: What isn’t AI?

JZ: Anything that isn’t actively learning is not AI.  Think of a tool that you use; does it get better the more you use it OR do you get the same result every time?

PA: There is definitely confusion.  But to be honest, most things out there are really not AI.  The combination of advanced machine learning techniques such as deep neural networks or GANs with very large data sets are what I would define as steps towards AI.

IG: A magic, silver-bullet solution for any problem one can think of.

Parham, Inmar and John will be at AI Toronto 2018 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Hear from Parham on June 13th at 2pm, Inmar on June 12th at 3:30pm, and John at 3pm on June 13th.

Find out more about our conference program on our website and make sure you follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn to catch our next edition of Industry Insider.

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