So what is the AI Innovator of the Year Award?

By establishing a unique award category for leading professionals in the field of AI evolution – we will bring to the fore and raise the profile of those who are making a change through AI initiatives.

The award will showcase projects that have made a significant impact on how businesses operate and run. This year for the first time we have opened the award up to recognise the distinct skills and experience of those in AI tech development and those in AI implementation.




Arjit Sengupta, Founder & CEO, Aible

Arijit pioneered the generation of business insights from raw data using AI at BeyondCore and then oversaw the acquisition of BeyondCore by Salesforce. Instead of resting on his laurels, Arijit ended up writing a book entitled “AI is a Waste of Money” based on lessons learnt from a decade of delivering more than 1,000 AI projects. The core contents of this book led to a Harvard Business School MBA program course.


Felix Wick, Corporate Vice President, Data Science, Blue Yonder

In 10 years at Blue Yonder, Felix has reimagined how AI works within supply chain, developing solutions by working directly with customers to solve needs, then generalizing for other customers. His philosophy can be summed up as “automated decision-making of repetitive tasks allows humans to focus on strategic decisions and exceptions”. Using this, he has developed ML-based solutions for retailers and manufacturers, including demand forecasting and subsequent cost-function-based order optimization and probabilistic estimation of actual perpetual inventory.


Gina Schaefer, Managing Director, Deloitte Consulting

Recognizing an unmet opportunity in the market, Gina championed the creation of the US Intelligent Automation practice five years ago, where she specializes in helping large enterprises embrace AI-enabled automation technologies and process re-imagination. Within a year, the practice exploded from zero to a headcount of 200. Since then, Gina’s market-driven guidance has grown the practice to 500 strong, established scaled delivery capabilities, and generated nearly $500M in sales.


Mara Pometti, Global AI Strategist, IBM

Mara Pometti, IBM’s first AI Strategist, helps business leaders and technologists understand the potential AI solutions can bring their organizations. Known throughout the industry and across several continents for her impressive use of data visualization, which helps audiences easily comprehend the power behind their data and how to leverage principles of AI strategy.


Fabiana Clemente, Co-Founder & CDO, YData

Fabiana combines data privacy with deep learning as her main fields of work and research. Her mission is to unlock data with privacy by design, and therefore developing synthetic data which has new ways for augmentation and AI acceleration not done before.


Ashit Talukder, Managing Director of Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning, Moody’s Analytics

Ashit has transformed Moody’s Analytics advanced AI capabilities by strategically embedding AI into the DNA of the organization. Responsible for creating and implementing AI strategy across all levels, he championed the AI center for excellence with the organization, leading AI initiatives and bringing together different business units in formulating new AI solutions. He continues to drive AI innovation by enabling hackathons, ideation sessions, workshops and leads new R&D efforts for integrated risk assessment and automation. Through these collaborative efforts, new concepts are formed and turned into successful new AI products.

Dominique Izbicki, Executive Director AI Product, Comcast

Dominique Izbicki is an ED of Product Management in the Technology and Product part of Comcast, focused on using artificial intelligence to enhance XFINITY Products. Since mid-2016, Dominique has been a thought leader in the organization helping to develop and mobilize the company’s initial artificial intelligence strategy to enhance content discovery across our products and create more custom viewing experiences. The team has received coverage and praise for their efforts combining NLP, computer vision, voice search and analytics.


Shahram Ebadollahi, Chief Data & AI Officer, Novartis

Strategically focused technology and business leader, senior executive and innovator in the expansive field of digital Health, Shahram has an outstanding record of leading cutting-edge innovation, resulting in the creation of novel health solutions and services for multi-billion-dollar businesses. Now working at pharmaceutical corporation Novartis, Shahram has revolutionized the data and AI strategy. He is responsible for overseeing the operations for applications of data science and AI across the value chain, from early discovery to manufacturing.


Bjorn Austraat, Senior Vice President & Head of Artificial Intelligence, Truist

At Truist, Bjorn has spearheaded implementation of a holistic policy modernization project, providing a solid foundation for all AI and analytics innovation including best-in-class agile methodologies and auto-ML driven deployments. Providing executive leadership to fund crucial implementation of industry-leading ModelOps solution that will provide significant acceleration for a broad set of stakeholders, including machine learning experts and the companies ‘citizen data scientists’. He has also designed and executed the first-ever Truist Natural Language Processing Summit, a key cross-functional showcase for 55+ business and technical stakeholders resulting in immediate identification of 15+ synergy and project opportunities and establishment of joint code repository to optimize reuse of NLP code assets.


Tiffany Perkins-Munn, Managing Director, BlackRock

Dr. Perkins-Munn joined BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, in April 2018 to drive the build of a data-driven Marketing organization — a groundbreaking undertaking for a legacy organisaton that saw her fuses research, analytics and data with AI, NLP, and ML capabilities to use the existing data to drive impactful, quantitative decisioning for the future.


Arti Zeighami, Former Chief Data & Analytics Officer at H&M Group, current Partner & Director, BCG GAMMA

Arti was instrumental in moving H&M from laggard to leader; utilizing AI as enterprise-wide capability and implementing solutions across the entire value chain. Spearheading AI as amplified intelligence, he shifted the mindset at the core of the retail giant, paving the way for the operationalization of AI capabilities across the group, leading to phenomenal business results and attracting and retaining talent within the company.