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Announcing the 5th annual VentureBeat AI Innovation Awards at Transform 2023


Jun 28, 2023
Announcing the 5th annual VentureBeat AI Innovation Awards at Transform 2023


Join top executives in San Francisco on July 11-12, to hear how leaders are integrating and optimizing AI investments for success. Learn More

As generative artificial intelligence (AI) has rapidly emerged as a transformative force across numerous industries, shaping the way we interact, create and innovate, VentureBeat returns on July 11 with its annual flagship event, Transform, which will focus this year on getting ahead of the generative AI revolution.

Transform, will be a two-day in-person event, July 11 and 12, featuring industry experts and peers coming together to provide comprehensive insights and best practices on the data journey of enterprises. As an added bonus, participants will have numerous opportunities to forge meaningful connections and expand their networks.

At the July 12 in-person event at San Francisco’s Marriott Marquis, VentureBeat will recognize and award enterprise, innovative, visionary and inclusivity initiatives through our fifth annual VB AI Innovation Award.

The nominees are drawn from our daily editorial coverage and the expertise, knowledge and experience of our nominating committee members. Prepare to witness the trailblazers and game-changers in the realm of generative AI take center stage as we recognize their outstanding contributions.


Transform 2023

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Introducing the 2023 AI Innovation Awards nominating committee

Matei Zaharia, cofounder and CTO at Databricks

Matei Zaharia is a cofounder and Chief Technologist at Databricks as well as an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University. He started the Apache Spark project during his PhD at U.C. Berkeley in 2009, and has worked broadly on other widely used data and AI software, including MLflow, Delta Lake, Dolly and ColBERT. He works on a wide variety of projects in data management and machine learning at Databricks and Stanford. Matei’s research was recognized through the 2014 ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award, an NSF CAREER Award, and the U.S. Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). 

Tonya Custis, director of AI research, Autodesk

Tonya Custis leads the Autodesk AI Lab, a team that does fundamental and applied AI Research, primarily in generative AI and deep learning for CAD geometry. She has over 15 years of experience in performing AI research and leading AI research teams and projects at Autodesk, Thomson Reuters, Honeywell and eBay. She has a Ph.D. in Linguistics, an M.S. in Computer Science, an M.A. in Linguistics, and a B.A. in Music.

Curtis is a returning member of the nomination committee. “I’m thrilled to be part of VentureBeat’s Transform nomination cohort because my team and I are on the frontlines of developing the technologies that will enable our customers’ workflows for the future, and we need to ensure that we’re in sync and up to date on the latest in this space,” she told VentureBeat. “Above all, we want to ensure we provide the right expertise and solutions that are both trusted and valuable.”

Di Mayze, global head of data and AI, WPP

Di Mayze has over 20 years of technology and data experience across media, FMCG, finance and retail, offering consulting for companies such as Hearst UK, dunnhumby & Walgreens Boots Alliance.

She joined WPP in 2014 as MD of Acceleration (part of Wunderman Thompson) and left in 2017 to become a freelance data strategy consultant for Wavemaker, VML, Geometry, Wunderman Thompson and MediaCom. In January 2020, Di joined the OPEN team and became global head of data and AI for WPP. 

Mayze is also a returning member of the nomination committee.

Prem Natarajan, Chief Scientist, Head of Enterprise AI at Capital One

Prem Natarajan, Ph.D., is chief scientist, head of Enterprise AI at Capital One, where he leads the technology strategy, architecture, and development for Capital One’s enterprise data, analytics, and machine learning initiatives, including advancing its AI capabilities, tools, and research efforts. Prem previously led Amazon’s Alexa AI organization and brings more than two decades of experience leading science, technology, and commercialization efforts in natural language processing, speech recognition, computer vision, forecasting, and other machine learning applications.

“I’m honored to serve on the nominating committee for this year’s AI Innovation Awards. We are at an incredibly exciting and historically important inflection point in the advancement of AI. When executed responsibly and effectively, AI has the potential to beneficially transform every aspect of our professional and personal lives — from how we develop code and applications, to how we discover and consume information, to how we make it easier for everyone to interact with systems and even with our environments,” Natarajan told VentureBeat. “Today more than ever, it’s important that we identify and elevate the leading thinkers and innovators making meaningful contributions to this field, and I am delighted to support VentureBeat’s efforts to do just that.”

Kalyan Veeramachaneni, principal research scientist at MIT College of Computing

Kalyan Veeramachaneni is a co-founder of DataCebo, a commercial product based on the Synthetic Data Vault (SDV). Veeramachaneni is also a principal research scientist at the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing. In 2015, he founded MIT’s Data-to-AI (DAI) Lab (part of MIT LIDS) where he directs a team that builds technologies that enable development, validation, and deployment of AI applications developed using data. Veeramachaneni has previously founded two other AI start-ups: Feature Labs, a data science automation company that enabled enterprises to create machine learning models from their data with automated feature engineering, and PatternEx, an AI cybersecurity company.

AI Innovation Awards categories

Generative AI Innovator of the Year

This award will go to the company that has pushed the boundaries of generative AI the furthest in the past year and demonstrated the most innovative use of the technology. The winner will have created an application, platform or service that showcases the vast potential of generative AI in a creative, impactful way.

Best Enterprise Implementation of Generative AI

This award will highlight the top enterprise company that has implemented generative AI technology in a truly transformative way.

Most Promising Generative AI Startup

This award will go to the most promising startup that has developed an innovative generative AI application and demonstrated high growth potential, but has raised less than $30 million in funding.

Generative AI Visionary

This award will go to an individual who has made significant contributions to the field of generative AI through their thought leadership, research, or work building foundational technologies. The winner would be judged based on the novelty and influence of their contributions, as evidenced by publications, patents, or products developed.

Generative AI Diversity & Inclusion

This award will recognize the company, organization or individual that has done the most to promote diversity and inclusion in the generative AI field. This could include advancing AI ethics, making AI technologies more accessible, providing opportunities and support for underrepresented groups, or using AI in a way that reduces bias and promotes social justice.

Generative AI Open Source Contribution

This award highlights the person, team or company that has made the most significant contribution to open source tools, datasets, or other resources to help advance generative AI.

Counting down to the AI Innovation Award

We look forward to sharing a list of final AI Innovation Award nominees at the start of July, as well as editorial and social media coverage of nominees and winners. Awards will be presented at VentureBeat’s in-person event at Transform on July 12 in San Francisco. Stay tuned!

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