SXSW Panel: Big Data & AI: Sci-Fi vs. Everyday Applications

What was once considered futuristic sci-fi has already become a reality, due to advancements in AI and big data. Robots performing complex surgeries, algorithms predicting our purchase behaviors, operating systems that talk to us and self-driving cars are already here.

And as we continue to amass and analyze data, the more sophisticated machines will become. So is a machine takeover in the near future? Are robots in our homes, self-driving spaceships and genetically-designed babies just around the corner?

Join our SXSW official panel Big Data & AI: Sci-Fi vs. Everyday Applications on Friday, March 11 from 11-12PM at ACL Live at the Moody Theater, where panelists from Narrative Science, Cycorp, University of Chicago and Lucid will lead an expert discussion about what the future holds for AI and Big Data.



Robin Goad is the Chief Marketing Officer at Lucid. Prior to Lucid, Robin had a 17-year career at Dell, starting in K-12 schools distributing the first laptop computers in schools throughout Texas. Moving to Federal Alliances where she was responsible for managing over $500 M in revenue for Dell’s system integrator community. Ultimately Robin built a Global Cloud Eco-System bringing together infrastructure organizations, cloud providers and a channel and sales strategy in India, Singapore and the US. She led the Dell Public Services organization through infancy and was responsible for delivering solutions specifically for public accounts. Robin built a business development and capture team to support the Federal Government Civilian organization. Robin brings a wealth of experience on how to build successful global teams to deliver products to market with immediate value. She is passionate about and brings authentic leadership to Lucid.


Dr. Doug Lenat is the CEO of Cycorp, where he has spent 21 years commercializing the immense ontology and knowledge base technology he developed while at the MCC research consortium, where he served as its Principal Scientist from 1984 to 1994.  He served as a professor of computer science at both Carnegie-Mellon University and Stanford University. Dr. Lenat worked with Bill Gates and Nathan Myhrvold to establish Microsoft Research Labs and is the only person to have served on the technical advisory boards of both Apple and Microsoft. He also co-founded and still serves as a technical advisory board member of TTI Vanguard. He has been awarded the bi-annual IJCAI Computers and Thought Award, which is the highest honor in Artificial Intelligence, and he was also named the first Fellow of the American Association of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) and Fellow of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).


In addition to being Narrative Science’s Chief Scientist, Kris is a professor of Computer Science and Journalism at Northwestern University. Prior to joining the faculty at Northwestern, Kris founded the University of Chicago’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. His research has been primarily focused on artificial intelligence, machine-generated content and context-driven information systems. Kris currently sits on a United Nations policy committee run by the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR). Kris received his PhD from Yale. Kris was also named 2014 Innovator of the Year by the Best in Biz Awards and Technologist of the Year 2015 by the Illinois Technology Association.


Rayid Ghani is a Research Director and Senior Fellow at the Computation Institute and the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago. He is also the co-founder of Edgeflip, an analytics and social media startup that is focused on helping non-profits, advocacy groups, and charities do better fundraising, volunteer recruiting, outreach and advocacy. Previously, Rayid was the Chief Scientist for the Obama 2012 Election Campaign focusing on analytics, data, and technology. Rayid created and runs the Eric & Wendy Schmidt “Data Science for Social Good” Summer Fellowship which brings together aspiring data scientists to work on data science projects in partnership with governments and nonprofits. In his spare time, Rayid advises several startups and nonprofits and speaks at, attends, and organizes academic and industry machine learning and data mining conferences.