Forrester’s J. P. Gownder on Machine Meets World

J.P. Gownder, VP, Principal Analyst at Forrester, talks artificial intelligence with James Kotecki, Director of Marketing at Infinia ML.

Machine Meets World streams live on YouTube weekly. It’s also available in audio form on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify, and Stitcher.

Key Quote

“. . . for AI, we need to have more comprehensive governance that includes everything from ethics to explainability to accountability to bringing together all of the operational side of a model. Is it working properly? Is it being retrained continuously? Is it getting better? Does it need to be retired? But also, wedding that to some of these broader customer-relevant and employee-relevant issues.” [15:17]

“ . . . what AI is trying to do using probability is creating new conundrums that the business isn’t used to dealing with. And people aren’t very good at probabilistic thinking in the first place. So I think unfortunately, it’s one of these cases where you’ve got to bring everyone together to do this internally. My colleague Michele Goetz and I did a whole bunch of interviews around this. And we found that even some really large, sophisticated technology companies haven’t mastered every dimension of AI governance.” [16:09]

Other Highlights

A human-centered view of artificial intelligence [9:21]

The coming decade of job loss, job gains, and job transformation [24:49]

Gownder’s science fiction recommendations, which tackle inequality, climate change, and AI [27:24]

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Technovation’s Tara Chklovski on Machine Meets World

Tara Chklovski, CEO and founder of Technovation, talks artificial intelligence with James Kotecki on Infinia ML’s Machine Meets World.

The video show streams live on YouTube weekly. It’s also available in audio form on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify, and Stitcher.

Recorded June 23rd, 2020.

Key Quote

“Most adults don’t know how machine learning works, how the face recognition on the phone works, what’s behind all of this. And that’s the idea – kind of unpacking this black box of AI technologies because it’s everywhere.

“When you don’t know something, it can be very scary. You don’t know what the implications are and so you tend to sort of shut it down even more, and you’re resistant to any kind of re-skilling, up-skilling, which will have to happen no matter what.” [3:44]

Other Episode Highlights

A Focus on Grassroots AI [6:34]

How Technovation Demystifies AI [24:39]

The Technovation “Trick”: Adults and Kids Learn AI Together [26:51]

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Neo4j’s Amy Hodler on Machine Meets World

Amy Hodler, Director, Graph Analytics and AI Programs at Neo4j, joins Infinia ML’s James Kotecki on Machine Meets World, the interview show about artificial intelligence.

The video show streams live on YouTube weekly. It’s also available in audio form on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher.

Recorded June 16, 2020.

Key Quote

“I definitely think we need a public conversation about what our expectations are for AI. So it’s not just ‘I want more accurate AI.’ It’s do we want AI doing particular things? We need to bring together, I would say, people from different walks of life.

“So you’ve got your scientists that we all think about, but also your ethicists and your business leaders, your citizens, your policymakers, and have more of a joint dialogue about what we want from AI systems. They are different than software we’ve had in the past because of the reach and the power that they really have the ability to amplify the best and the worst of what we can do.” [20:40]

Other Episode Highlights

Striking Examples of AI Failure [5:10]

Why Talking to Data Scientists Gives Her Hope  [18:45]

Bias Isn’t Always Bad [24:35]

See Also

Amy Hodler’s Speech on Responsible AI (November 11, 2019)

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Cognizant’s Ben Pring on Machine Meets World

Ben Pring, the Director of Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work, recently joined Infinia ML’s James Kotecki on Machine Meets World, the interview show about artificial intelligence.

The video show streams live on YouTube weekly. It’s also available in audio form on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify, and Stitcher.

Recorded June 9, 2020.

Key Quote

“If we don’t want to be seen as the cigarette executives of 2040 or 2050, I think it behooves us, as people who love technology, who are in positions of some responsibility or a lot of responsibility, to use technology in a way that we won’t be the villains in the movies that are made about what went on now in another generation or two.”

“. . . the people in the plastics industry are not particularly held in high esteem now, because we can see the damage that has been done. The waste in the oceans, that those people weren’t particularly interested in the sort of damage that they unleashed, if you like. And that’s clearly the discussion we’re beginning to have around some aspects of technology at the moment.” [22:42]

Other Episode Highlights

The Machine Learning Demo that Scared Him [11:51]

The Modern Relevance of Orwell’s 1984 [18:32] — Ben says the book was published on June 9th, but it was actually published June 8th. We’re inclined to let this slide.

Regulation: Adding Traffic Signs to the Information Superhighway [27:35]

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Axe Throwing at Durham’s Urban Axes

New Year, new skills — the Infinia ML team tried a hand at axe throwing during our annual holiday party on January 10th, 2020. While everyone went home with all of their fingers still intact, we did discover that a few members of our data science team have been harboring their hidden talent.

A company-wide bracket competition led to a final showdown between our COO, Rob Delaney, and Principal Data Scientist, Patrick Rabenold. While both threw valiantly, it was Patrick that became Infinia ML’s Next Top Axe Thrower.

Here are a few shots of the Infinians in action:

Data Scientist Justin Ellis casually celebrating a bullseye victory.


Director of Business Development Mike McDonel keeping it cool & collected.


Data Scientists Ben Lackey and Ikenna Odinaka square off as the bracket narrows.


Office Manager & Executive Assistant Carissa Nickel brings the heat with a power throw.




Principal Data Scientist Patrick Rabenold and COO Rob Delaney in the final showdown.


We’re joyful for the start of 2020 and that we all survived axe throwing — Happy New Year from Infinia ML!











Award Wins for Engineering + Sales!

Congratulations to Infinia ML Web Developer Kevin Hofmaenner and Director of Business Development Mike McDonel for adding two new awards to our trophy shelf!

The Elevate Awards recognize the best technology and sales talent in the Triangle.” Frankly, we already knew Kevin and Mike were the best, but it’s nice to see the community recognize that too!

In the Technology category, Kevin scored the Rising Star award for “[e]merging leaders in the field whose work reflects exceptional growth and potential for leadership.”

In Sales category, Mike snagged the Impact award for “[i]ndividual contributors who have achieved great success in the past year, exceeding expectations for their field.”

Of course, it’s well known that combining a Star with Impact creates a comet and thus a Deep Impact. In other words, these awards are truly earth shattering.

Thank to HireNetworks for the honors!

Communication breakdown: Facing machine learning’s all-too-human failure

James Kotecki, our Director of Marketing and Communication, recently spoke at the Strata Data Conference in New York City. From the description:

Miscommunication between business leaders and technical experts can doom even the best data science project. Don’t let it drive you insane! In this session, we’ll dissect many flavors of communication failure, from goal misalignment to machine learning misunderstanding. Then, we’ll explore practical ways to bridge these gaps.

A Message from CEO Robbie Allen

November 8th, 2019

In the coming weeks, I will be transitioning out of the CEO role to become a Senior Advisor to Infinia ML. I’m proud of what we’ve built, and I believe fresh leadership can help take Infinia ML to the next level. To do that, Rob Delaney is joining Infinia ML as Chief Operating Officer.


Infinia ML’s Got Game: Celebrating Our 2nd Birthday at Boxcar Bar + Arcade

We officially turned two years old on September 15th, 2019! To celebrate our second year, we partook in a few classic arcade games and brews at Boxcar in Durham. Hidden talents were revealed, pizza was shared, and we raised a glass to our time at Infinia. 

Here are a few photos that highlight birthday #2:

Software Engineers Cheuk Tse and Ethan Steinman putting the pedal to the metal.


CEO Robbie Allen reflecting on the past year and sharing what’s to come for the future.


Director of Marketing and Communication James Kotecki poised at the beginning of a dance revolution.


Cheers to another great year!


Thank you to all of the Infinians who make coming to work every day a delight.

Onward to year three!