March 16th, 2021 · 8 minute read

Stop Looking Now - Top 10 AI and ML Influencers to Follow

Updated: March 16th, 2021

AI and ML Influencers

The Top 10 Influencers in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI and ML)

It is very hard to come up with a list of top ten influencers in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), AI and ML. The two disciplines are intertwined, and many top influencers are experts in both AI and ML.

This list below is not conclusive – there are simply too many brilliant minds in the world to whittle this list down to ten individuals. While the AI and ML hype has only taken over the popular media in recent years, AI and ML specialists have been honing their knowledge and skills over decades. Here follows a list in no particular order.


Andrew Ng

Andrew NG is one of the most well-known leaders in artificial intelligence and machine learning. He is Co-Chairman and Co-Founder of Coursera and an Adjunct Professor at Stanford University and Director of its Stanford AI Lab.

Andrew is known for founding and leading Google's Deep Learning project, Google Brain, where the team developed massive-scale deep learning algorithms. He is a former Vice President and Chief Scientist at Baidu where he was responsible for the company's Artificial Intelligence Group.

Andrew is also the co-founder of Coursera and has personally taught more than 2.5 million students through his online courses.

He has founded Landing AI, an organization that helps companies become AI-driven through AI-powered SaaS products and its Transformation Program.

Andrew is one of the world’s most-recognized and influential computer scientists and was named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in 2012, and Fast Company's Most Creative People in 2014.

Andrew also promotes AI through investment. In 2018 he launched AI Fund to support AI startups.

He has 561K followers on Twitter.


Allie Miller

With 774K followers on LinkedIn, and 750K on Twitter, Allie Miller is one of the top AI influencers in the world.

Allie was US Head of AI Business Development, Startups and Venture Capital at Amazon before she became Global Head of Machine Learning Business Development for the same company in December 2020.

While she worked as lead project manager at IBM Watson, her team of 30 engineers built IBM’s first-ever trained multi-modal AI system.

She holds a double-major MBA from The Wharton School, a Certificate of Management from Stanford University, and an AB cum laude from Dartmouth College.

Allie was named by Forbes and AI Summit as 2019‘s AI Innovator of the Year and was a LinkedIn Top Voice for Technology in 2019 and 2020.

Allie has received multiple awards throughout her career.


Bernard Marr

No list of top technology influencers will be complete without a mention of Bernard Marr. He started his own company in 2006 and has since then established himself as a thought leader in the fields of business and technology.

He has written 18 best-selling books and is a regular contributor to Forbes. Bernard advises and coaches government organizations and corporations on business and technology.

He is a sought-after keynote speaker and has a large following on social media – in the region of 2 million. LinkedIn has ranked him as one of the top 5 business influencers in the world and the No 1 influencer in the UK.

He is regularly approached by TV, radio and mainstream publications like The Financial Times, CFO Magazine, and Wall Street Journal for his expert opinions on business and technology.


Fei Fei Li

Dr. Fei-Fei Li is the inaugural Sequoia Professor in the Computer Science Department at Stanford University and the Co-Director of Stanford’s Human-Centered AI Institute. She served as the Director of Stanford’s AI Lab from 2013 to 2018. From January 2017 to September 2018, she was Vice President at Google and served as Chief Scientist of AI/ML at Google Cloud, responsible for Cloud-related AI research.

Dr. Fei-Fei Li holds a B.A. degree in physics from Princeton and a Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the California Institute of Technology.

Dr. Li is a keynote speaker at many academic and key or influential conferences, such as the World Economic Forum and the Grace Hopper Conference 2017.


Elon Musk

Elon Musk has done much to popularize the global discussion around AI. He is known the world over for many different reasons, all related to technology and his different technology companies.

Elon Musk is an industrial designer and engineer who has founded or co-founded multiple highly successful companies, including his five current companies. He is the founder, CEO, CTO and chief designer of SpaceX, CEO and product architect of Tesla Inc., co-founder of Neuralink, founder of The Boring Company, and co-founder of OpenAI. OpenAI works to ensure that artificial general intelligence benefits all of humanity.

With 44.8 million followers on Twitter, Elon Musk has a larger-than-life influence on the discussions on the future of technology and the future of mankind.


Spiros Margaris

Spiros Margaris is a Swiss venture capitalist, futurist, keynote speaker, and senior advisor to organizations like the wefox Group, SparkLabs Global, mediastalker, Yield Growth, and F10 Accelerator.

He is globally recognized as an expert in Fintech, Insurtech, AI, and blockchain technology. He is the first international influencer to achieve ‘The Triple Crown’ ranking. He was ranked the No. 1 international FinTech, Blockchain, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) influencer by Onalytica in 2018.

Spiros is the founder of Margaris Ventures and serves the company as Vice Chairman and Advisor. He serves as board member or advisory board member of several organizations.

He regularly appears in the top three positions of established global industry influencer rankings. He is a keynote speaker at international FinTech and InsurTech conferences. In 2019 he was the first non-IBM keynote speaker at the biggest IBM event in Europe.

Spiros has 106.3K flowers on Twitter.


Yoshua Bengio 

Yoshua Bengio is a Canadian computer scientist who is recognized as one of the world’s leading experts in artificial intelligence and a pioneer in deep learning.

Since 1993, he has been a professor in the Department of Computer Science and Operational Research at the Université de Montréal. He is Co-Director at CIFAR’s Learning in Machines & Brains Program. CIFAR is a Canadian-based global research organization. He is also the founder and scientific director of Mila, the Quebec Artificial Intelligence Institute. It is the world’s largest university-based research group in deep learning.

In 2018, his many high-impact scientific contributions earned Bengio the distinction as the computer scientist with the most new citations worldwide.

In 2019, he received the ACM A.M. Turing Award, “the Nobel Prize of Computing”, jointly with Geoffrey Hinton and Yann LeCun for conceptual and engineering breakthroughs that have made deep neural networks a critical component of computing.


Jürgen Schmidhuber

Jürgen Schmidhuber is a Swiss scientist famous for his work in the field of artificial intelligence, deep learning, and artificial neural networks. He is a co-director of the Dalle Molle Institute for Artificial Intelligence Research in Manno and a co-founder of NNAISENSE. He serves as Chief Scientist of NNAISENSE, which aims to build the first practical general-purpose AI.

At a young age, Schmidhuber famously said he wanted to build an AI smarter than himself so he can retire.

His lab’s Deep Learning Neural Networks such as Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) have revolutionized machine learning and AI.

Prof Schmidhuber is the recipient of numerous awards and has authored more than 350 peer-reviewed papers. He is a frequent keynote speaker and advises various governments on AI strategies.


Kate Crawford

Kate Crawford is a well-respected researcher and academic author. Her research focuses on the social implications of data systems, AI, and machine learning.

She is the co-founder and co-director of the AI Now Institute at New York University, which is an interdisciplinary research center dedicated to studying the social impacts of AI.

Her other two current posts are principal researcher at Microsoft Research New York and visiting professor at the MIT Media Lab.

She is a member of the World Economic Forum's AI and Robotics Future Council, and the chair of WEF’s Network on “AI, IoT, and The Future of Trust.”

Her expertise has been called upon by policymakers in the White House, the Federal Trade Commission, the United Nations, and the City of New York. She is a regular speaker at high-profile events and has 68.1K followers on Twitter.


Kirk Borne

Dr. Kirk Borne is a data scientist and astrophysicist and a leading influencer in Big Data and AI.

Currently the Principal Data Scientist & Data Science Fellow, and Executive Advisor at Booz Allen Hamilton, Kirk Borne is counted as a top artificial intelligence influencer.

He was professor of astrophysics and computational science at George Mason University (GMU) for 12 years and worked as an astrophysicist at NASA. After 9/11 he was called upon to advise the President on the role of data mining to detect a possible terrorist attack.

He is in high demand as a keynote speaker where he shares his expertise and insights in many disciplines including, machine learning, data mining, data analytics, big data, computational science, astroinformatics, and more.

He blogs at and has 60K followers on LinkedIn and 273K followers on Twitter.


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