Keynote Speakers and Panelists



Rohit Prasad - Vice President and Head Scientist, Alexa at Amazon

Rohit Prasad is Vice President and Head Scientist, Alexa at Amazon and leads R&D in speech recognition, natural language understanding, and machine learning technologies to enhance customer interactions with Amazon’s products and services. Prior to joining Amazon, Rohit was the Deputy Manager and Sr. Director for Speech, Language, and Multimedia Business Unit at Raytheon BBN Technologies. In that role, he was directing US Government sponsored R&D efforts in speech-to- speech translation, psychological health analytics, document image translation, and STEM learning. Rohit is a named author on over 100 scientific articles and holds several patents.

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Richard Socher - Chief Scientist, Salesforce

Richard Socher is Chief Scientist at Salesforce. He leads the company’s research efforts and works on bringing state of the art artificial intelligence solutions to Salesforce.

Prior to Salesforce, Socher was the CEO and founder of MetaMind, a startup acquired by Salesforce in April 2016. MetaMind’s deep learning AI platform analyzes, labels and makes predictions on image and text data so businesses can make smarter, faster and more accurate decisions than ever before.

Socher was awarded the Distinguished Application Paper Award at the International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML) 2011, the 2011 Yahoo! Key Scientific Challenges Award, a Microsoft Research PhD Fellowship in 2012 and a 2013 "Magic Grant" from the Brown Institute for Media Innovation and the 2014 GigaOM Structure Award.

Socher obtained his PhD from Stanford working on deep learning with Chris Manning and Andrew Ng and won the best Stanford CS PhD thesis award.


Rikard Steiber - President Viveport, HTC Vive

As President of Viveport and SVP of Virtual Reality at HTC, Rikard manages the global Viveport VR app store business and mentor Vive X companies. Prior to HTC Vive, Rikard successfully built up several international businesses in Video on Demand, YouTube MCNs and eSports, as the CEO for MTGx and Chief Digital Officer at Modern Times Group. At Google, he was Global Marketing Director of Mobile and Social Advertising and prior to this ran marketing for all Google’s products in Europe. He co-founded Scandinavia Online (AOL of Nordics) and was the CEO of Xlent Strategy Consulting. Founder of Women in Tech (WIT) and Women in VR (WIVR) in Europe. Future Astronaut with Virgin Galactic. MSc from SDA Bocconi (Italy) and BSc from Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden).


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John Martinis - Lead of Quantum Computing Group, Google

John Martinis pioneered research on superconducting quantum-bits as a graduate student at U.C. Berkeley.  He has worked at CEA France, NIST Boulder, and UC Santa Barbara.  In 2014 he was awarded the London Prize for low-temperature physics research on superconducting qubits.  In 2014 he joined the Google quantum-AI team, and now heads an effort to build a useful quantum computer.


Helen Greiner - Founder, CyPhy Works

Helen Greiner is known for both innovation, and for business strategy in the field of robotics. Helen Greiner is the Founder of CyPhy Works, a leading drone company delivering aerial platforms to defense, public safety, agriculture, energy , marine, construction, mining, and transportation. Co-founding iRobot (NASDAQ:IRBT) in 1990, Ms. Greiner served as President until 2004, and Chairman until 2008. During her tenure, Ms. Greiner guided iRobot into its position as a global leader with the release of the Roomba™, the PackBot™, and SUGV Military Robots. She built a culture of practical innovation and delivery that led to the deployment of over 6,000 PackBots with our troops. In addition, Ms. Greiner led iRobot’s financing efforts, raising $35M in venture capital for a $75M initial public offering. Greiner holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a master’s degree in computer science, both from MIT.


Bryan Johnson - CEO (founder Braintree), Kernel

Bryan Johnson is an American entrepreneur and venture capitalist. He is founder and CEO of Kernel and OS Fund, a $100 million fund that invests in quantum-leap developments that promise to rewrite the operating systems of life.

Prior to founding Kernel, he served as founder, chairman and CEO of Braintree, an online payment system that was acquired by eBay for $800 million in 2013. Since then, Bryan has dedicated his life to improving mental vibrancy in an effort to increase quality of life as expectancy increases.

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Manuel R. Gutierrez-Novelo - CEO & President, ImmersiON VRelia, Inc.

Manuel founded TDVision in 2003 providing an entire solution for the full HD 3D to the home ecosystem in 2006, now ISO MVC standardized for Blu-ray 3D and internationally awarded with a Lumiere 2013 for his contributions to the 3D industry. In 2014, he created ImmersiON with the mission to provide the users with the entire platform for Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. He performed a strategic fusion and Acquisition of VRelia, creating ImmersiON-VRelia,Inc accelerating the development of HMDs and HUDs with a wide field of view and the creation of the AlterSpace platform for content deployment. Manuel leveraged his knowledge, network and expertise to create SanMillan Productions, Quantum Jump Project and Quantum training project for immersive experiential 360 interactive content for corporate, cinematic and training purposes respectively. Gutierrez Novelo architected A.I.L.E.E.N.N., an Artificial Intelligence Neural Network, a powerful engine that emulates the way the human brain works by creating different cortexes of interaction and multidimensional synapses of any pattern with a polymorphic object oriented inheritance multilayer and multidimensional memory map space neurons along with Fuzzy Logic to understand contexts, predict and forecast results and finding correlation and covariance patterns of any dataset in an unsupervised learning convolutional neural network. Manuel Co-Founded AngelInventum, a company with the mission to help inventors to bring their ideas to the market, leveraging years of know-how and expertise to design the business strategy and accelerate the time to market to maximize the return of investment. Manuel Holds a Bachelor Science degree in Electronics Engineering from ITESO with Digital Control and Digital Systems emphasis. Holds more than 45 patents issued worldwide, and has been an active contributor in the standards like SMPTE, ATSC, MPEG, ISO, VRCOUNCIL, ITA3D as an inventor, entrepreneur, Multilanguage speaker. He is the master architect of the ImmersiON, AlterSpace, TDVision, The Quantum Jump Project, The Quantum Training project and AILEENN initiatives.

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Ryan Gariepy - Co-founder and CTO, Clearpath Robotics(Otto)

Ryan Gariepy focused on the development of intelligent systems from the very beginning of his engineering studies. The explosion of interest in this field in both industry and popular culture has solidified his belief that the ubiquitous presence of autonomous robotics is not far away. He believes that the benefits of robotics should be accessible to anyone, and is personally driving this vision as the CTO of Clearpath.

Ryan drives the development of Clearpath's autonomous control software modules while guiding the continued expansion of Clearpath's research platform lines and custom industrial automation solutions. He completed both a B.A.Sc. degree in Mechatronics Engineering and a M.A.Sc. degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Waterloo. He has presented on multiple occasions at the RoboBusiness Leadership Summit and the Unmanned Systems

Canada conference, and in 2013 spoke on behalf of the Canadian High Commission at the Global Intelligent Systems conference in London, England. Most recently, Clearpath joined the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots where Ryan is spokesperson for the company. He is also a co-founder of the Robot Operating System developers' conference and is on the Board of Directors for the Open Source Robotics Foundation.

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Jennifer Ouellette - nationally recognized science writer

Jennifer Ouellette is a nationally recognized science writer and the author of four popular science books. She is former science editor of Gizmodo, and her freelance work has appeared in the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times Book Review, Discover, Slate, Salon, Smithsonian, and New Scientist, among others. She was the founding director of the Science and Entertainment Exchange, a Los Angeles-based initiative of the National Academy of Sciences aimed at fostering creative collaborations between scientists and entertainment industry professionals in Hollywood. She holds a black belt in jujitsu, and lives in Los Angeles, California, with her husband, Caltech physicist Sean (M.) Carroll.

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Stefanie Tellex - Professor, Brown University

Stefanie Tellex is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Assistant Professor of Engineering at Brown University. Her group, the Humans To Robots Lab, creates robots that seamlessly collaborate with people to meet their needs using language, gesture, and probabilistic inference, aiming to empower every person with a collaborative robot. She completed her Ph.D. at the MIT Media Lab in 2010, where she developed models for the meanings of spatial prepositions and motion verbs. Her postdoctoral work at MIT CSAIL focused on creating robots that understand natural language. She has published at SIGIR, HRI, RSS, AAAI, IROS, ICAPs and ICMI, winning Best Student Paper at SIGIR and ICMI, Best Paper at RSS, and an award from the CCC Blue Sky Ideas Initiative. Her awards include being named one of IEEE Spectrum's AI's 10 to Watch in 2013, the Richard B. Salomon Faculty Research Award at Brown University, a DARPA Young Faculty Award in 2015, and a 2016 Sloan Research Fellowship. Her work has been featured in the press on National Public Radio, MIT Technology Review, Wired UK and the Smithsonian. She was named one of Wired UK's Women Who Changed Science In 2015 and listed as one of MIT Technology Review's Ten Breakthrough Technologies in 2016.


Dr. John R. Smith - Fellow, IBM

Dr. John R. Smith is IBM Fellow and Manager of Multimedia and Vision at IBM T. J. Watson Research Center.  He leads IBM’s Research & Development on image and video comprehension for IBM Watson Developer Cloud Visual Recognition and IBM Intelligent Video Analytics (IVA), as well as recent innovative research projects on Video Understanding for Augmented Creativity for Filmmaking and Automating Dermatology Image Analysis for Improving Patient Care for Skin Cancer.  Dr. Smith served as co-General Chair of ACM Intl. Conf. on Multimedia Retrieval (ICMR-2016) in New York City.  He was Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Multimedia from 2010 – 2014.  Earlier Dr. Smith led IBM's participation in MPEG-7 / MPEG-21 standards and served as a Chair of the MPEG Multimedia Description Schemes Group and Editor of MPEG-7 Standard.  Dr. Smith is a Fellow of IEEE.


David Bradwell - Co-Founder/CTO, Ambri

David leads Ambri’s technical team to develop and commercialize the ‘Liquid Metal Battery’ technology, with a focus on creating a low cost, safe, and long-lifespan storage technology for grid-scale energy storage applications. The project has raised over $60M in funding, including early funding from The Deshpande Center at MIT, ARPA-E (US DOE), and three round of equity financing for Ambri Inc. from Bill Gates, Total SA, Khosla Ventures, KLP Enterprises, and GVB.

David earned a BSc in Engineering Physics from Queen's University, and an MEng and a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2010, he received a TR35 award for being a top innovator under 35 from Technology Review magazine.


Kristian Bouw - Founder, NotionTheory

Kristian Bouw is a serial entrepreneur and the founder of NotionTheory, a boutique creative product agency located in Washington, D.C. As a leading advocate of augmented and virtual reality, Kristian brought high end VR to the general public through the launch of the first virtual reality arcade on the east coast and produced the first available open-source webVR framework (PrimroseVR) for rapid VR application development on the web. Kristian’s passion lies in human computer interfaces, where he has created custom augmented and virtual reality content for clients such as Johns Hopkins Hospitals. Outside of work, he regularly hosts events to educate growing local businesses and communities about the applications of new technologies, including artificial intelligence, robotics, VR, and AR.


Kent Bye - Producer, Voices of VR Podcast

Since May 2014, Kent Bye has traveled to the top VR gatherings around the world and conducted over 500 Voices of VR podcast interviews featuring the pioneering game developers, enthusiasts and technologists driving the resurgence of virtual reality. He's writing the "The Ultimate Potential of VR" book that distills the diverse thoughts and impressions of these leading visionaries, creators, and academics, and provides a holistic look at the future of virtual reality told by the people who are making it. He has also conducted over 90 interviews about Artificial Intelligence for his upcoming podcast The Voices of AI. You can follow his latest thoughts about VR on Twitter @kentbye.


Liam Paull - research scientist, Distributed Robotics Lab

Liam Paull is a research scientist in the Distributed Robotics Lab led by Professor Daniela Rus, where he is helping to lead the new CSAIL/Toyota Autonomous Car Project. He is also the Chief Operating Officer of Duckietown Engineering Co, which is a fictional start-up used to teach the class MIT 2.166 Autonomous Vehicles. Previously Dr. Paull was a Postdoc in the Marine Robotics Group headed by Professor John  J. Leonard. He completed is PhD at the University of New Brunswick under the co-supervision of Professors Mae Seto, Liuchen Chang, and Howard Li.


Jasjit Maggu - COO, Galaxy AI

Jas is Chief Operating Officer and co-founder of Galaxy.AI. She was Associate Director at BDC venture capital and served on the board of the fund's portfolio companies. She has worked in business development for several life science companies. Jas is a Commonwealth scholarship holder, is a Master in Bioscience enterprise from Cambridge University and a B.Eng in Biotechnology.


Manohar Paluri - Research Lead, Facebook

Manohar Paluri is currently a Research Lead at Facebook and manages the Computer Vision team in the Applied Machine Learning organization. He is passionate about Computer Vision and in the longer term goal of building systems that can perceive the way humans do. He spent considerable time looking at Computer Vision problems in Industry and Academia. He worked at renowned places like Google Research, IBM Watson Research Labs, Stanford Research Institute before helping co found Facebook AI Research directed by Dr. Yann Lecun and co found Applied Machine Learning organization directed by Dr. Joaquin Quineros Candela. Manohar spent his formative years at IIIT Hyderabad where he finished his undergraduate studies with Honors in Computer Vision and joined Georgia Tech. to pursue his Ph.D. For over a decade he has been working on various problems related to Computer Vision and has made various contributions through his publications at CVPR, ICCV, ECCV, ICLR, KDD, IROS, ACCV etc. He is passionate about building real world systems that are used by billions of people. Some of these systems are running at Facebook and already have tremendous impact in how people communicate using Facebook.


Christopher BadaouiSr - Associate, Techstars

Chris helps manage the Techstars Internet of Things accelerator in partnership with PwC, GE Ventures, Bosch, SAP, and Verizon. Previously, he was responsible for business development at Forge, an on-demand platform for hourly labor. He has a background in growth and fundraising for startups and Fortune 500 companies.

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Randy Thompson - Director of Product Management, Wind River

Randy Thompson is the Director of Product Management for the Wind River Helix Device Cloud application for IoT device management. Thompson has worked with over 200 companies on IoT and connected products since 2001. His time in a customer success role provided valuable experience in the technical, business, and adoption challenges of IoT projects. As product manager, he has at the forefront of emerging needs for security and manageability of IoT devices. Thompson has an MBA from Bryant University and a BSEE from the University of Texas.


Sasha Huang, CEO - AquaFresco

After getting her PhD degree from MIT in 2016, Sasha and her colleagues started working full-time in AquaFresco, which is an innovative wastewater treatment solution for cleaning processes. With a combination of breakthrough filtration technology, cloud control, and smart sensing system, AquaFresco transforms the linear cleaning process to a closed loop cycle, cutting down water and detergent use by 90% and greatly improved the global water sustainability.


Victor Gerdes - VP, ThingWorx Product Management, PTC

Victor Gerdes is a VP of product management for ThingWorx, is a complete, end-to-end technology platform designed specifically for the Internet of Things. Mr. Gerdes has held leadership positions at PTC in ThingWorx Studio for Augmented Reality (AR), IoT, UX Design, Architecture and R&D Labs, the Enterprise Deployment Center and Windchill PLM.  Victor has worked in technology & manufacturing since 1986 and with PTC for 20 years developing technology solutions that transform the way companies create, operate, and service products.


Joe Piccolo - Corporate Fellow, Johnson Controls

Joe Piccolo is a Corporate Fellow at Johnson Controls (formerly Tyco International) and the manager of global system architecture for fire detection products.  Joe has 30 years of experience in product development and has worked on connected services for systems installed on customer sites for the past 10 years.



Steven Levy is editor in chief of the online tech publication Backchannel, part of Conde Nast’s WIRED Media Group. He is the former senior staff writer for WIRED, the former chief technology correspondent for Newsweek, and author of seven books, including Hackers, Artificial Life, Crypto, and, most recently, the New York Times bestseller and Amazon Business Book of the Year In the Plex. The Washington Post describes him as “America’s premier technology journalist… a Silicon Valley insider who writes for the rest of us on the outside.”


Matt Joyal - CTO and Co-Founder, Pillar Technologies Inc.

Matt Joyal is the CTO and Co-Founder of Pillar Technologies Inc, a sensor-based predictive analytics platform that monitors construction sites and collects real-time data which is automatically analyzed to pinpoints problem areas and potential hazards. Pillar is transforming the industry by becoming proactive and preventative. Matt spearheads Pillar's technical direction and is responsible for creating the best technology offering.

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Pavan Pant - Senior Vice President of Products, TempAlert

Pavan Pant is the Senior Vice President of Products at TempAlert , a leading provider of IoT solutions designed to assist with remote monitoring of your most critical assets. TempAlert started out of MIT in 2005 and helps automate food safety, pharmacy safety processes. They have deployed their system at over 50,000 locations around the world and enable sensor-driven decisions for over 2,000 organizations. With nation wide deployments with CVS, Walmart, and Costco they are one of the most successful IoT companies you have never heard of.

Pavan has more than 15 years of experience in bringing innovative products to market at both startups and large companies. He is an enterprise software aficionado and prior to TempAlert he held product leadership positions at RSA Security (now Dell), Aveksa (acquired by EMC) and CloudSwitch (acquired by Verizon).

A firm believer in giving back to the community, Pavan has volunteered for the Big Brothers Association of Greater Boston, participated in the Citizen Schools program and is on the board of a non-profit called Ideas In Action Inc. that sponsors a local TEDx event (TEDxBeaconStreet). Pavan is currently a graduate student at MIT Sloan and he likes to spend his time with his wife, his 4 year old son, his fellow Sloanies and his colleagues at TempAlert (in that order)