SXSW PANEL: Big Data and AI Need Each Other and You Need Both

We’re kicking off SXSW Interactive with a full day of official panels on big data from 11a.m. to 4.30p.m. on Friday, March 13. Umbel’s SXSW big data panel track will include a line-up of global experts representing some of the most innovative media companies, agencies, sports teams, brands, social networks and event companies in the world. Our expert panels will highlight data insights, best practices, success stories and the very latest in big data technologies enabling us to do more in a data-driven landscape. Panels are open to all SXSW Interactive badge holders.

PANEL 1: Big Data and AI Need Each Other and You Need Both
Friday, March 13, 11AM-12PM at ACL Live at The Moody Theater

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Industry leaders from strategy and consulting companies will examine how Artificial Intelligence is transforming the entire ecosystem of business growth, data and jobs. Rated as one of the must-attend panels of SXSW 2015, this panel will explore the cross-section of how big data and AI can help companies find new sources of revenue, drive new products, and enhance the customer experience.

Panel Overview

An average company in 15 of the 17 U.S. commercial sectors has more data in its systems than the Library of Congress. Yet, the companies benefitting most from data are the big data companies themselves (47% of the growth for top 50 public cloud companies is driven by big data). For everyone else, beyond thought leadership, will Artificial Intelligence be the catalyst that brings ROI and tangible asset value to data? 

Whether you’re a large company or a startup, the cross section of big data and A.I. will help you find new sources of revenue, drive new products, help win and keep loyal customers & enhance customer experience. A 2013 Oxford University study found that A.I. technology could soon take over nearly half of all U.S. jobs. Scary for some, but also a huge opportunity for entrepreneurs in this space. In this session our panelists will help us understand if Big Data will fuel the growth of A.I. or if A.I. will be the key to unlocking Big Data. Either way, this future is upon us.


Amir Husain, Founder & CEO, SparkCognition Inc. & Advisor to IBM Watson
Amir Husain is the founder and CEO of SparkCognition Inc. an award-winning machine learning and AI-driven cognitive analytics company. Amir is a serial entrepreneur with deep expertise in AI, IP strategy, product design and development, acquisitions, and systems architecture. Amir also serves as an advisor and board member to IBM Watson, Techjango, AM Networks,, OpenWorks, ClearCube among others. 

Maher Masri, Partner, McKinsey & Company
Maher Masri is an associate principal in McKinsey’s Marketing and Retail practices in the San Francisco office and an expert in consumer intelligence. Previous companies include Accenture, IBM Business Consulting Services and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Manoj Saxena, Managing Director, The Entrepreneur’s Fund 

Mr. Manoj Saxena serves as Managing Director of The Entrepreneur’s Fund. Mr. He also serves as General Partner of The Entrepreneurs’ Fund IV, L.P. Previously, Manoj served as General Manager and was responsible for the commercialization efforts of IBM’s Watson technology globally. He also served as the Vice President at IBM Global Services (U.S.). Prior to joining IBM in 2006, he was a member of the IT venture capital community. 

Michael Stewart, Chairman & CEO, Lucid Holdings Inc.
Michael Stewart is the chairman and CEO at Lucid Holdings which is leading the evolution of Artificial Intelligence by delivering customized solutions derived from the world’s most comprehensive and developed intelligence platform, called “Cyc.” At present, Lucid is creating innovative AI applications for global finance, energy, healthcare, devices, and social media. Each of Lucid’s solutions tackle big data challenges by utilizing Cyc’s ability to reason like humans, but to do so across thresholds of information complexity, scale, velocities, and endurance levels which humans cannot.