AI Decision-Making Summit Palo Alto 2018

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AI Decision-Making Summit Palo Alto 2018, is introducing the world's first AI platform for decision-making.'s unique AI platform brings together the tools and technologies to take AI beyond pattern recognition, to decision-making. The new AI platform enables autonomous, adaptive and data-efficient decision making in complex, dynamic and uncertain environments such as in financial portfolio management, logistics, ride sharing, and autonomous systems.

We have coalesced a group of great minds at our 1 day event in Palo Alto May 9 to share bold provocations on the future of AI - chaired by David Rowan, founding Editor-in-chief, WIRED UK edition.


Welcome from Vishal Chatrath, CEO of

Introduction from David Rowan, founding Editor-in-chief, WIRED UK edition

Lorien Pratt, Quantellia - Why the time is now for decision-making AI

Peter Dayan, UCL and Uber - A computational neuroscience perspective on decision-making

James Hensman, - Probabilistic modelling technologies for decision-making

Haitham Bou-Ammar, - How decision-making can be efficiently scaled for high-dimensional problems

Oliver Lewis, UK Cabinet Office & - Using simulations to make decisions from a regulatory viewpoint

Enrique Munoz de Cote & Sofia Ceppi, - Multiple decision makers: What can go wrong and how to fix it

Andrew Fursman, 1QBit - How quantum processors will tackle problems machine-learning techniques avoid

Nagendra Nagaraja, AlphaICs - New chip architectures and how AI is going from a data user to a data generator

Juha Seppa, - Introduce the world’s first AI platform for decision-making, demo industry applications

Kari Vatanen, Varma Mutual Pension Insurance Company - Implementing AI in the financial markets

Closing Remarks from Nathan Benaich

Wrap up from David Rowan


Vishal Chatrath is CEO and Co-Founder of, the first company to generalise decision-making using principled AI. Principled AI makes reliable decisions in complex, dynamic and uncertain environments in real-time. The platform is already transforming fields like finance, logistics, fleet optimisation and smart cities.

He is a serial entrepreneur and global manager whose work experience spans fundamental research, manufacturing, operations, R&D, product management, corporate strategy and business development. Vishal was previously Head of Automotive at Nokia, Founder of Chleon Automotive and Chief Business Officer of VocalIQ, which was acquired by Apple in 2015.

He has lived in 18 cities across 6 countries ranging from the Equator to the Arctic. He is a keen barefoot runner and avid reader with a love for the oddball. He seems to have a special attraction to mud and stormy weather.

David Rowan, founding Editor-in-chief of WIRED’s UK edition, is currently writing a book about bold corporate innovation. He’s taken 130 flights in the past year to investigate the companies and entrepreneurs changing our world, recently spending time with the founders of WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Google, Spotify, Xiaomi, Nest, Twitter and countless other ambitious startups from Tel Aviv to Shenzhen. For his book, published early in 2019, he’s currently on a global quest for successful examples of companies transforming themselves effectively in the face of technology-led disruption. His recent keynote talks have included events for banks, governments and Fortune 100 companies, and stage interviews have ranged from to James Murdoch and David Cameron. David has been a columnist for The Times, GQ, Condé Nast Traveller and The Guardian. He's an early-stage investor in 43 tech companies and co-founder of a non-profit taking amazing people for weekend adventures in the world’s most extraordinary locations. And he is still searching for the future.

Lorien Pratt, Ph.D., Chief Scientist at Quantellia: Pratt has been delivering artificial intelligence solutions for her clients for over 30 years. These include the Human Genome Project, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, the US Department of Energy, and the Administrative Office of the US Courts. She is a machine learning pioneer, having led the teams that invented Transfer Learning and Decision Intelligence (DI). She received the CAREER award from the National Science Foundation, an innovation award from Microsoft, and the Exemplary Research award from the Colorado Advanced Software Institute. Formerly a computer science professor at the Colorado School of Mines, Pratt often speaks internationally and has given two TEDx talks. As cofounder and chief scientist at Sunnyvale-based Quantellia, her team offers ML, DI, and full-stack software solutions to clients worldwide. Quantellia subsidiaries provide AI and DI-based banking, health care, democracy, and educational solutions. Previously a leading technology analyst, Pratt has also authored dozens of academic papers, was on the program committee for the NIPS conference, was invited editor for the journals Machine Learning and Connection Science, co-edited the book: Learning to Learn, and wrote the book: Decision Engineering Primer. Pratt’s team is a five-star rated provider with the Harvard Innovation Lab’s Experfy platform, and was recently technology lead for the Buckminster Fuller-inspired Silicon Valley SimCenter. Recently interviewed by GigaOm, TechEmergence, on the JohnMac radio show, and covered in Forbes, Pratt curates the Decision Intelligence News, is on the AI technical committee for NASA’s Frontier Development Lab, is co-founder at, chief scientist at, leads the LinkedIn DI group, and blogs at Her next book is ­Link: Connecting AI and Humans to Solve the World’s Most Important Problems.

Peter Dayan studied Mathematics at Cambridge University, did his PhD in Computational Neuroscience at the University of Edinburgh with David Willshaw, and postdocs with Terry Sejnowski at the Salk Institute and Geoff Hinton at the University of Toronto. After three years as an assistant professor at MIT, he helped found the Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit at UCL in 1998. He was Director of the Unit from 2002-2017, and is currently on sabbatical at Uber Technologies. Dayan's interests centre on mathematical and computational models of neural processing, with a particular emphasis on representation, learning and decision making.

James Hensman is an ex-academic with numerous publications in the field of statistical machine learning. He has applied his statistical thinking to engineering, epidemiology and the environment, with over 50 peer-reviewed publications. He's working to empower's platform with the number-crunching ability of modern machine learning frameworks backed by the rigour of statistical analysis. He also loves the great British summer, and will cheerily barbecue in the rain.

Haitham Bou-Ammar leads the reinforcement learning group at located in Cambridge, the United Kingdom. Prior to joining, Haitham was a Professor at the Department of Computer Science at the American University of Beirut (AUB), Lebanon. Before the AUB, he was a research associate at the Department of Operations Research and Financial Engineering at Princeton University. Prior to joining Princeton, Haitham was a postdoctoral research associate at the Department of Computer and Information Science at the University of Pennsylvania and a member of the General Robotics, Automation, Sensing, and Perception (GRASP) lab. Haitham's primary research interests lie in statistical machine learning and artificial intelligence focusing on reinforcement learning, lifelong learning, multitask learning, and knowledge transfer. He is also interested in learning using massive amounts of data over extended time horizons (i.e., big-data problems). Haitham's research interests also extend to analysing behavioural emergence in large-scale networks. His research also spans different areas of control theory, where he contributes to designing algorithms at the intersection of control theory and machine learning.

Oliver Lewis is an innovation adviser and public servant with interests in near future technologies, institutional and corporate culture, games, diplomacy and national security. On a career break from the British civil service Oliver built a public sector business for British start-up Improbable and managed corporate development. Prior to joining Improbable, Oliver was a civil servant in the Ministry of Defence and Foreign & Commonwealth Office at home and abroad, often working alongside the military in conflict zones. He co-founded the Near Future Society and remains a senior research associate at the University of Oxford.

Enrique Munoz de Cote is the head of multi-agent systems at He has published over 70 academic papers in top-tier journals and conferences in AI, including a book in multi agent learning. His studies involve understanding asymmetric interactions between (bounded) rational decision makers by combining notions from machine learning, AI and game theory.

Sofia Ceppi is a Senior Machine Learning Researcher at, where she is part of the multi-agent systems team. Her work aims to combine the advantages of mechanism design with reinforcement learning techniques. She holds a PhD in Information Technology Engineering from Politecnico di Milano and in the past years she has been a visiting student at the University of Southampton, post-doc at Microsoft Research and research associate at the University of Edinburgh. She started her research career focusing on the problem of designing incentives for competing rational agents and then moved to scenarios in which agents behave more like humans.

Andrew Fursman is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of 1QBit - the world’s first software company dedicated to building applications for quantum computers. Andrew holds a faculty position at Singularity University and is a Q7 Fellow at the University of Toronto's Creative Destruction lab. He has been recognized as a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum, and is a founding member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Council on the Future of Computing. Prior to 1QBit, Andrew cofounded the earth observation satellite company Satellogic and was a founding partner at Minor Capital.

After pursuing degrees in Economics from the University of Waterloo and Philosophy and Political Science at the University of British Columbia. Andrew was accepted to the first full cohort of Singularity University's Graduate Studies Program focused on the policy, law and ethics of exponential technologies before completing grad school in Financial Engineering at Stanford's MS&E program in Hong Kong. After founding the British Columbia based Venture Capital Corporation, Minor Capital, Andrew relocated to Vancouver in 2012 to found 1QBit, attracting investment from groups such as the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Accenture, Fujitsu and Allianz to pursue the creation of novel IP, applications and software for optimization, simulation and machine learning with quantum and quantum-inspired processors.

When he is not travelling to advance quantum software, Andrew spends his time in British Columbia, Canada working with the team at 1QBit. Aside from his work on quantum computers, Andrew indulges his passions for kayaking in the gulf islands and exploring practical applications of microbiology; his small laboratory on Vancouver Island is dedicated to experiments with saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Nagendra Nagaraja is CEO and Founder of AlphaICs. Nagendra has 18 years experience in Semiconductor design and Architecture. He has 23 granted patents and 8 pending applications. He has worked on mobile and AI processors extensively and currently leading Big Bang of Real AI.

Juha Seppä has over 25 years of experience in software engineering, product development and telecommunications. He holds an MSc in Computer Science and has gained his industrial experience in leading technology companies. Recently he has focused on hi tech start-ups, and he is presently heading operations and product delivery for, which is a Cambridge based AI decision-making start-up.

Kari Vatanen is a head of cross asset derivative strategies and allocation at Varma Mutual Pension Insurance Company. He is responsible for developing and managing both systematic and discretionary investment strategies. He has spent over 7 years by trading derivatives on the equity markets, bonds, FX and commodities, and by developing alternative risk premia strategies. Prior to this he worked over 10 years as a risk manager and a quantitative analyst in various investment organizations. Kari holds a MSc in Engineering Mathematics from Helsinki University of Technology and a MA in Philosophy from University of Helsinki. He is a CFA Charterholder and holds the Financial Risk Manager (FRM) certification.

Nathan Benaich is an investor focussed on intelligent systems and data-driven companies. He is the founder of Air Street Capital and a Venture Partner at Point Nine. Nathan runs the Research and Applied AI Summit and London.AI, which accelerate the science and applications of AI. He earned a PhD at the intersection of computational and experimental cancer biology from the University of Cambridge.

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