Top 10 AI Thought Leaders to Follow in 2021

Top 10 AI Thought Leaders to Follow in 2021

Artificial Intelligence is growing at an exponential rate.  Here are our picks for the top 10 AI thought leaders/influencers. Follow them to keep abreast of the latest thoughts and developments in AI-powered space.

Artificial Intelligence has the potential to change businesses forever. From taking care of employees’ benefits to calculating the duration of their breaks at work. AI gives the much-needed time to be more productive and help complete tasks that are impossible for either machines or humans single-handedly.

AI  is used mostly by enterprises through AI-powered machine learning (ML) and predictive analytics.

According to Statista, the global artificial intelligence (AI) software market is forecast to proliferate in the coming years, reaching around $126 billion by 2025. The overall AI market includes a wide array of natural language processing (NLP), robotic process automation (RPA), and ML.

Let us introduce you to the top 10 AI thought leaders – who have a significant role in shaping the AI-centric world. From journalists and writers to product innovators and CTOs. Add these leaders and influencers to your followers’ list for 2021 and stay updated while you carve your AI-powered path.

1.Andrew Ng, founder & CEO of Landing AI

Andrew-NgAndrew is a world-renowned AI technology leader, co-founder of Coursera, and one of the founders of Google Brain. He is one of the most influential ML scholars globally. To date, over 3.2 million students have taken his ‘Machine Learning’ course on Coursera. Almost 400,000 students have studied his ‘AI for Everyone’ course. Also, these are just two of the eleven courses he has created on Coursera.

Andrew was listed in Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people globally in the year 2013. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University and one of the MOOC movement catalysts – where he has led the development of Stanford’s MOOC platform. 

Recently, he had announced the grand opening of his company’s first international office in Medellin, Colombia. 

LinkedIn: Andrew Ng | Twitter: @AndrewYNg

2. Cassie Kozyrkov, Chief Decision Scientist at Google


Data scientist and statistician Cassie Kozyrkov is on a mission to “democratise Decision Intelligence and safe, reliable AI.” Currently at Google, she guides the search giant in making safe and effective use of AI-powered technology.

Cassie has advised over 200 teams on their analytics processes, inspired more than 400 new projects and trained over 15,000 analysts and decision-makers in using ML-powered technology to transform their work.  

She shares her knowledge and unique insight generously outside the classroom and boardroom as well.

LinkedIn: Cassie Kozyrkov | Twitter: @quaesita

3. Moustapha Cissé, Research Scientist and Head of Google AI Center, Accra

Moustapha-CisseMoustapha is the founder and director of the African Master of Machine Intelligence at the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences. At AMMI, the one-year intensive graduate program is fully funded and offered in partnership with Facebook and Google. In 2019 alone, the institute received 7000 applicants. 

Before joining Google, Moustapha was a research scientist at Facebook, where he worked in AI. He earned his master’s degree in AI, then his PhD in Computer Science at Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris, and a master’s degree in Computer Science in Montreal in between. 

LinkedIn: Moustapha Cissé | Twitter: @Moustapha_6C

4. Karen Hao, Senior AI Reporter at MIT Technology Review

Karen-HaoKaren Hao is a senior AI reporter at MIT Technology Review. He writes and tweets about breaking news in AI-based tech, black AI, technology scholars, social and justice issues inherent to AI use and more. Karen’s work has appeared in Mother Jones, Sierra Magazine, New Republic, Quartz and more. After a brief stint as an application engineer after her graduation, she figured out that her passion is in media and helping the world by demystifying AI. Karen earned her Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from MIT.

She gave a great TEDx Talk earlier in 2020 in Mumbai on ‘Why We Need to Democratise How We Build AI’.

LinkedIn: Karen Hao | Twitter: @_KarenHao

5. Brian Solis, Digital Thought Leader and Author

Brian-SolisBrian Solis is a digital analyst, speaker and author. He has been studying the impact of digital on people and businesses for over 20 years. A prolific writer who has authored over 60 research papers and bestselling books that includes Life scale: How to Live a More Creative, Productive, and Happy Life; X: The Experience When Business Meets Design and What’s the Future of Business (WTF). He is one of the most-loved columnists in CIO, Fast Company, AdWeek and more. Brian is the Global Innovation Evangelist for Salesforce. He has explored fields like digital transformation, innovation and disruption. 

LinkedIn: Brian Solis | Twitter: @briansolis

6. Bernard Marr, Futurist, Influencer and Data Advisor

Bernard-MarrBernard Marr is a bestselling author and strategic business advisor at a global level. LinkedIn has recognised Bernard Marr as one of the world’s top 5 AI influencers. Among the 16 bestselling books he has authored books that include Tech Trends in Practice: The 25 Technologies that are Driving the 4th Industrial Revolution; Data Strategy: How to Profit from a World of Big Data, Analytics and the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence in Practice: How 50 Successful Companies Used AI and Machine Learning to Solve Problems.

LinkedIn: Bernard Marr | Twitter: @BernardMarr

7. Rama Akkiraju, IBM Fellow and Director at IBM Watson


Rama Akkiraju is an IBM Fellow and Director at IBM’s Watson division. She is also a master inventor and a member of the IBM Academy of Technology. Rama has been named under the ‘Top 20 Women in AI Research’ by Forbes Magazine in May 2017. She was also named under the top 6 ‘A-team for AI’ by Fortune Magazine in July 2018 and ‘Top 10 pioneering women in AI and Machine Learning’ by Enterprise Management 360 in April 2019. She was awarded YWCA Technical Women in Industry (Twin) award in 2014. Rama served as the President of the International Society of Service Innovation Professionals (ISSIP) in 2018. 

Rama holds a Master’s degree in Computer Science and an MBA. She has received a Gold medal for the highest academic achievement in MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business. In her work with IBM, Rama has explored new ways to make AI work for enterprise business. She and her team have developed a wide range of ML and NLP-powered AI services, including Personality Insights, Tone Analyzer and Emotion Analysis.  

LinkedIn: Rama Akkiraju | Twitter: @rama_akkiraju

8. Dr Craig Brown, Data Scientist and Lead Big Data Architect


Dr Craig Brown is a data science and data analytics expert, the CEO & Sr. Partner of STEM Resource Partners. He is the author of Untapped Potential: The Supreme Partnership of Self. As a technology and business consultant, he has been working on technological and innovative projects for top fortune 1000 companies for over 30 years. He holds a degree in bachelor of science from the University of Pennsylvania. Afterwards, he completed his MBA at The Wharton School before tackling his doctoral degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and Cornell University.

LinkedIn: Craig Brown, PhD | Twitter: @DrDataScientist

9. Fei-Fei Li, Stanford’s Leading AI Scientist

Fei-Fei-LiFei-Fei Li is the director of Stanford’s Artificial Intelligence Lab (SAIL). Fei-Fei Li led over 20 faculty and 100 students in the education and research of AI. She served for close to two years as Google Cloud’s Chief Scientist of AI and ML, as well as the VP. She is also the co-founder and Chairperson of the national non-profit organisation AI4All

Fei-Fei Li is also recognised as the leading AI scientist at Stanford, where she continues her work as a Professor in Computer Science and leads the Human-Centered AI Institute. Her primary research focuses on AI, ML, deep learning, computer vision, computational neuroscience, cognitive neuroscience and the intersection of AI and healthcare.

LinkedIn: Fei-Fei Li | Twitter: @drfeifei

10. Paul Roetzer, Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute founder & CEO


Paul Roetzer is the CEO and founder of the Marketing Artificial intelligence Institute. He is also the Marketing Artificial Intelligence Conference (MAICON) creator and the AI Academy for Marketers. Paul is the author of The Marketing Performance Blueprint and The Marketing Agency Blueprint. 

Paul is a graduate of Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. He is a prolific writer. He still runs PR 20/20 as well as his first business and HubSpot’s first agency partner. 

LinkedIn: Paul Roetzer | Twitter: @paulroetze