Artificial intelligence (AI) is still taking the world by storm as millions of people and organizations continue to explore and weigh in on its potential. With the field still in its early stages of adoption and development, entrepreneurs are racing to do for it what giants like pioneers in computing and ecommerce did for their own. One of those looking to shape the world of AI is Ahmed Reza, an AI expert and serial entrepreneur whose vision for the technology has inspired a new era of AI-driven entrepreneurship worldwide.
Known to many as “Mr. AI”, Reza is one of the experts and visionaries who helped shape the AI industry as we know it today. His journey into the world of AI began at Cornell University, where he completed his major in computer science and electrical engineering while also participating in distinguished events like the DARPA Grand Challenge.
“Tinkering with AI for the first time as part of the competition was where everything started for me. I fell in love with the technology immediately and have been an AI geek ever since,” says Reza, who helped his team develop its vehicle’s self-driving AI system. “This was 20 years ago, which is surprising to most people as they believe AI is a recent development while, in reality, it has been steadily advancing for decades. I’m fortunate to have watched and contributed to this progress firsthand.”
Reza founded his first tech startup in 2012 after working as a software engineer for several companies and startups across various industries. His startup, Dental Web Now, offered AI-powered marketing analytics solutions to dental practices looking to retain and attract new patients. NPI would eventually acquire the startup and result in Reza meeting, who would become one of his closest collaborators: Dr. Edward Zuckerberg.
With the launch of Yobi in 2018, Reza’s two greatest passions would take center stage in his professional life. Originally envisioned as a means for companies to automate their customer support operations, Yobi’s platform now makes it possible to create synthetic agents that can be applied to areas like marketing, sales, and communications. The startup has experienced great success, raising over $2.3 million in funding in 2023.
In addition to running one of the most successful AI startups in the United States, Reza has also gained notoriety as a speaker and advisor by collaborating with organizations both at the private and public levels. Reza’s efforts to incentivize innovation and cooperation around AI have reached the global stage, with the entrepreneur recently addressing a group of Middle East leaders to call for global cooperation in AI.
“I’ve always been a big fan of hackathon culture and the collaboration that comes with it. If we can bring that same spirit to the world of AI, we will see even more groundbreaking advancements and a positive impact on society,” explains Reza, who actively advocates for entrepreneurship in the Florida region through Trephub, the nonprofit he co-founded in 2012. “I’m extremely grateful to now be in a position to help support the AI ecosystem, especially the next generation of AI enthusiasts and entrepreneurs.”
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