Excellence in Technology
DeepMind astonished the world in March 2016 when its AlphaGo program defeated eighteen-time Go world champion Lee Sedol – a feat of AI widely believed to be unachievable for at least a decade, and prompting Sedol to remark: ‘Today, I am speechless’.
Under Shane’s leadership, DeepMind’s team of researchers, described by the FT as ‘the most formidable community of machine intelligence academics anywhere in the world’ has produced a string of breakthroughs, including programming a computer to win Atari games without any instructions or prior knowledge.
With three articles in Nature magazine under its belt, DeepMind continues to make impressive strides, notably creating a program with human-like ‘memory’, using previously acquired skills to accelerate its learning of new ones. DeepMind has put its AI to the test both at its parent company, reducing Google’s data centre electricity usage by 40%, and through industry partnerships.
As CTO, Bryan plays a critical role at a company where two thirds of all employees are technical, overseeing all of product management, design, and infrastructure. Under Bryan’s leadership, Skyscanner has cemented its reputation as a byword for technical excellence and a European flag-bearer for innovation at scale.
Whilst its takeover by Chinese travel giant Ctrip was the landmark news of 2016 for Skyscanner, Bryan and his team have been working in the background to develop a standard API across the airline industry.
This development is key to Skyscanner’s efforts to transform itself from a metasearch company to a marketplace. It will allow Skyscanner to ensure a more consistent and higher quality experience for users, as well as giving the company greater control over conversion metrics. This is happening in tandem with a focus on improving Skyscanner’s mobile proposition.
Blippar is one of the most exciting companies in the emerging Augmented Reality (AR) space. Omar has been the driving force behind Blippar’s technology, responsible for both AR and AI, and has brought over 66m users to the platform. The business has grown to over 300 employees (70 technical) in 12 countries, raising almost $100m in the process.
Over the past 12 months, Blippar has added a number of features to its app, including facial recognition technology for both users and celebrities. The product also won Best App for AR/VR at GSMA’s Global Mobile Awards 2017 in March, and recently partnered with Hearst Magazines and Covent Garden to create the world’s first AR shopping experience. In the same month, the company released its Computer Vision API, as well as its two free AR tools, Blippbuilder and Blippbuilder Script.