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Artificial Intelligence Experts: Top 10 AI Leaders Focused on Innovation

Generative AI
Domantas Alosevičius

If you run a small business or enterprise, you should probably consider using AI in some way in your business. With the AI market currently worth more than $200 billion, it is probably something you should consider getting involved with.

Artificial intelligence experts

So for your convenience, here are some of the best artificial intelligence experts who can inspire you to implement artificial intelligence in some way.

What are artificial intelligence experts?

Artificial intelligence (AI) experts are individuals or companies with deep knowledge and experience in building and applying intelligent systems. They come from various backgrounds, but all share a common understanding of:

  • Machine learning algorithms: how computers learn from data without explicit programming.
  • Computer science fundamentals: algorithms, data structures, and programming languages.
  • Specific AI applications: like computer vision, natural language processing, or robotics.

What do AI experts do?

What do AI experts do?

Its core function is to design and implement intelligent systems that can solve real-world problems. This involves a mix of skills and responsibilities:

  • Developing AI models and algorithms: You will design and build the algorithms and models that drive AI systems. This requires expertise in machine learning, deep learning, natural language processing, and computer vision.
  • Data analysis: They work extensively with data, collecting, cleaning, and analyzing it to train and improve AI models.
  • Collaboration: They work with different teams, including data scientists, engineers, and product managers, to understand problems and develop effective AI solutions.
  • Implementation and monitoring: In addition to designing AI systems, they oversee their implementation and monitor their performance to ensure accuracy and efficiency. They may also need to refine the models over time.
  • Keeping up to date: The field of AI is constantly evolving. AI professionals need to stay abreast of the latest developments, tools, and trends to ensure their expertise remains relevant.

What is the salary of an AI expert?

The salary of an AI expert can vary depending on several factors, including:

  • Experience: Entry-level AI specialists can expect a lower salary than those with several years of experience.
  • Location: AI experts in major tech hubs like Silicon Valley or New York City typically command higher salaries than those in other areas.
  • Industry: The specific industry can also impact salary. For instance, AI experts in finance or healthcare may earn more than those in other sectors.
  • Job Title: There are various job titles within the AI field, and each may have a different salary range. AI engineers, for example, may earn more than AI researchers.

That being said, here’s a general idea of what AI experts can expect to earn:

  • Payscale: The average salary for an AI Specialist in the US is $132,579 per year.

Although I have to add that this is based on only 6 different salaries, as there aren’t many similar jobs like this at the moment, and we’re likely to see more of them in the next few years, so the average salary is not accurate and I’d suggest taking this statistic with a grain of salt.

Who are the experts in AI?

This list is in no particular order, and I’ve tried to include as many different people as possible, from AI CEOs and tech companies to deep learning specialists and researchers.

Andrej Karpathy

Andrej Karpathy

Organization: OpenAI, Tesla, Inc.

Position: Director of AI and Autopilot Vision, Research Scientist

Andrej Karpathy was born in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia) in 1986. In 2016, Karpathy earned his Ph.D. from Stanford University, where he focused on the intersection of natural language processing, computer vision, and deep learning under Fei-Fei Li. Stanford’s first deep learning course, CS 231n, was taught by Karpathy. The course gained significant popularity.

Karpathy worked as a research scientist at OpenAI from 2015 to 2017, and later joined Tesla as the director of AI and Autopilot Vision, reporting to Elon Musk. In 2020, MIT Technology Review named him an Innovator Under 35. After leaving Tesla in July 2022, he created educational YouTube videos on artificial neural networks. He returned to OpenAI in 2023 but left again in 2024.

Yann LeCun

Yann LeCun

Organization: AT&T Bell Laboratories, New York University, Meta

Position: Researcher, Professor, Vice-President and Chief AI Scientist

Yann LeCun is a French-American computer scientist who specializes in machine learning, computer vision, mobile robotics, and computational neuroscience. He is a professor at New York University and holds the position of Vice-President and Chief AI Scientist at Meta. He is also a co-creator of DjVu image compression and the Lush programming language. 

His notable awards include the Turing Award (2018) and Legion of Honour (2023). He developed machine learning methods like convolutional neural networks and worked on image recognition and OCR at AT&T Bell Labs. At NYU, he focuses on energy-based models, feature learning in computer vision, and mobile robotics.

Geoffrey Hinton

Geoffrey Hinton

Organization: University of Toronto, Google

Position: Professor, Researcher

Geoffrey Everest Hinton is a British-Canadian computer scientist and psychologist known for his work in artificial neural networks. Geoffrey Hinton co-founded the Vector Institute and has worked at Google and the University of Toronto. He focuses on neural networks, machine learning, and AI. 

Hinton’s key contributions include backpropagation, Boltzmann machines, deep learning, and capsule neural networks. He was awarded the Turing Award in 2018 and various other honors. Hinton’s recent resignation from Google highlights his concern over AI’s potential risks, including existential threats, misuse, and economic impacts. He also has a notable family history in academia and science.

Maja Pantić

Maja Pantić

Organization: Imperial College London, Facebook

Position: Professor, AI Scientific Research Lead

Maja Pantić was born in Belgrade in 1970. She is a well-known researcher in artificial intelligence and robotics. Currently, Pantić is a Professor at Imperial College London and an AI Scientific Research Lead at Facebook London. She is an expert in analyzing human behavior using machines, including facial expressions and body gestures, as well as multimodal analysis. 

Pantić has made significant contributions to various fields, such as assisted living for the elderly, healthcare, autism, and driverless cars. She is a Fellow of several prestigious organizations and actively engages in public discussions and media on AI and women in technology. 

Peter Norvig

Peter Norvig

Organization: Google, Stanford University, NASA Ames Research Center

Position: Computer Scientist, Distinguished Education Fellow, Director of Research

Peter Norvig was born on December 14, 1956. He is an American computer scientist known for his work in Artificial Intelligence (AI). Norvig co-authored the leading AI textbook, ‘Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach.’ He has had an extensive career, including roles at NASA Ames Research Center, Google, and Stanford University. 

Norvig has made significant contributions to AI, natural language processing, and information retrieval. He co-developed an online AI course with Sebastian Thrun, which was attended by over 160,000 students. 

Jürgen Schmidhuber

Jürgen Schmidhuber

Organization: Dalle Molle Institute for Artificial Intelligence Research, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology

Position: Scientific Director, Professor

Jürgen Schmidhuber was born on 17 January 1963 in Munich, West Germany. He is a renowned computer scientist and a leading figure in artificial intelligence, particularly known for his work in neural networks. Schmidhuber made significant contributions to AI, including developing Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM), meta-learning, generative adversarial networks, and linear transformers. 

In 2014, he founded Nnaisense to focus on commercial AI applications. Schmidhuber significantly influenced modern AI technologies like Google Translate and Siri. 

Samuel Harris Altman

Samuel Harris Altman

Organization: OpenAI

Position: CEO

Samuel Harris Altman was born on April 22, 1985, in Chicago, Illinois. He is an American entrepreneur and investor, best known for his role as the CEO of OpenAI. Altman later joined Y Combinator, where he served as president from 2014 to 2019. In 2019, he co-founded OpenAI and assumed the role of CEO. Altman has been involved in various ventures. 

He co-founded YC Research and worked on the cryptocurrency project Worldcoin. In November 2023, he was briefly fired as CEO of OpenAI but later reinstated. Altman, who is openly gay, married Oliver Mulherin in January 2024. He is recognized for his contributions to AI and entrepreneurship and has received accolades such as Time magazine’s CEO of the Year in 2023.

Andrew Ng

Andrew Ng

Organization: Stanford University, Google Brain, Baidu, Coursera, Landing AI

Position: Professor, Researcher, Technology Entrepreneur

Andrew Yan-Tak Ng is a British-American computer scientist and entrepreneur. He was born in the UK in 1976. Ng is a prominent figure in machine learning and AI, having worked at Google Brain, and Baidu, and co-founded Coursera. He has been involved in significant research and projects in AI, including the Stanford Autonomous Helicopter and the Google Brain project. 

In 2018, Ng launched the AI Fund, a venture capital fund for AI startups. He has received numerous awards and has been listed on prestigious lists, such as Time’s 100 Most Influential People in AI. 

Demis Hassabis

Demis Hassabis

Organization: DeepMind

Position: CEO and Co-Founder

Demis Hassabis was a chess prodigy from the age of 4. After Cambridge, he worked at Lionhead Studios before founding Elixir Studios. Hassabis pursued a PhD in cognitive neuroscience at University College London. He researched episodic memory and imagination. In 2010, he co-founded DeepMind, which focuses on AI and machine learning. 

The company’s notable achievements include AlphaGo and AlphaFold. Hassabis has received numerous awards and honors, including a CBE and being named in the Time 100 Most Influential People list. 

Who is the best expert in AI?

There’s no single “best” expert in AI, as the field is wide and includes many branches. This question is entirely up to you, so there is no one right answer.

Final thoughts

Final thoughts

There are a lot of artificial intelligence experts out there. Of course, some claim to be AI experts, but in reality, they just do some mid-level ChatGPT prompt engineering. 

This list has compiled a few AI experts and their work focuses on different kinds of areas. Some are better in data science, some are better in advanced research and some are just entrepreneurs.

If you want to learn more about the latest trends and news about AI, I suggest you read these articles: AI sales tools or Sora OpenAI.


Domantas Alosevičius

Domantas Alosevičius

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