Pulling Back the Curtain on Machine Learning Apps in Business – Lorien Pratt

Daniel Faggella

Daniel Faggella is Head of Research at Emerj. Called upon by the United Nations, World Bank, INTERPOL, and leading enterprises, Daniel is a globally sought-after expert on the competitive strategy implications of AI for business and government leaders.

Pulling Back the Curtain on Machine Learning Apps in Business - Lorien Pratt 2

Episode Summary: If you’re in the San Francisco Bay area, it’s not all that novel to be trained in or working on some form of AI; however, to be doing so in the 1980s and 1990s was a more rare occurrence. Dr. Lorien Pratt has been working with neural nets and AI applications for many decades, and she does lots of consulting work in implementing these technologies with companies in the Bay area. In this episode, Lorien provides her unique perspective on decades of development and adoption in AI as we ask, where is the traction today in places where it wasn’t 5 or 10 years ago? We also discuss where Lorien thinks machine learning applications in business and government seem to be headed in the near term.

Expertise: Machine learning, artificial intelligence, software design

Recognition in Brief:  Lorien Pratt, PhD, is co-founder and chief scientist at Quantellia, a consultant firm for machine learning applications in business and industry. Pratt previously served as global director of telecommunications research for Stratecast (a division of Frost & Sullivan) and also worked at Bellcore and IBM. She is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Rutgers University and holds three degrees in computer science, including a PhD and MS from Rutgers. A recipient of the CAREER award from the National Science Foundation, and the author of dozens of technical papers and articles, Pratt is also a well-known speaker, author, and co-editor of the book Learning to Learn. 

Current Affiliations: Chief Scientist at Quantellia


Interview Highlights

(1:52) Where do you see AI and Machine learning gaining traction today?

(6:08) What are some examples of vision projects that people come to you, or other boutique consultants with, that are vision problems, or are the experts really the ones suggesting, or are people out there desirous of vision because they see what Facebook and Google are doing?

(13:12) In addition to seeing where the traction is today…in the next 5 or 10 years, where do you see more big companies and governances moving in terms of implementing and applying AI and why?

(21:29) It sounds as though you’re of the belief that governments are waking up to same possibility (of AI-powered decision support processes)?

(23:46) When folks are weighing these options, seems to be the ecosystem of machine learning – not as many big players as in customer relationship management (CRM)…how are people, being as there isn’t really a great vendor comparison out there, how are CEOs and folks in important positions in governments making decisions around such a niche, boutique, tailored type of technology?


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