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An Interview With Tyler Gallagher
“Women need to set higher expectations for themselves and not limit their sights because they seem too lofty. Ask yourself “why not?” But you must be prepared to work really hard to go after your dreams and if you pick the right path, it won’t be painful because you will love what you are doing.”
As part of our series about the women leading the Artificial Intelligence industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Elissa Moses.
Elissa is Managing Partner at HARK Connect, a QualTech company focused on AI applications providing advanced functions for marketers. She is also CEO of BrainGroup Global, and teaches Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning in the Technology Management Graduate Program, with a book chapter on AI in Marketing soon to be published. Prior to this Elissa was CEO of Neuro and Behavioral Science at Ipsos, and held senior strategy/research positions at Gillette, Philips, Seagram; ad agencies BBDO, DMB&B, Grey and consultancies EmSense & BrainWaves.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you share with us the ‘backstory” of how you decided to pursue this career path in AI?
I would have to say it’s my passion for understanding human emotion and how it impacts our behavior and my insatiable curiosity.” This has led me on a journey where I became a pioneer in neuromarketing at the very beginning of the field about 15 years ago (where methodologies from neuroscience are applied to understanding response to advertising, packaging, products, etc.) and working with developers to utilize AI/ML to make outstanding new methods such as facial coding and implicit reaction time testing. From there I became smitten with technology innovation and being an industry change agent. This led me to go back to school and get an MS in Technology Management at Columbia to be current and I now teach AI/ML in the same program. My inspiration is to take AI to a new level for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of advertising and to make better tools for marketers.
What lessons can others learn from your story?
We must stay open to new opportunities and technology is the greatest opportunity because it is always advancing with limitless potential. We must also keep ourselves current to be of greatest value to our industries. Change is inevitable and it is much better to lead it than to be a victim of it. Have courage.
Can you tell our readers about the most interesting projects you are working on now?
At HARK Connect I am working with our developer team to create the essence of a virtual project assistant who if personified, speaks over 60 languages, is a wiz at taking and organizing notes and can read the emotions of everyone in the room.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are?
Can you share a story about that?
I have had the good fortune to have had several outstanding mentors and I advise others to go with jobs that have mentorship potential. But regarding AI/ML I would have to say Mike Lee who was CEO and founder of EmSense, my first job in Neuromarketing. Mike taught me a lot, not just about technology and product innovation, but also about entrepreneurship and the whole Silicon Valley culture. It was him, me and a bunch of recent MIT grads from the MIT Lab and we had an absolute blast innovating and doing many things for the first time, changing how market research is done at big corporations like Coca-Cola, AT&T and Intel and serving as industry change agents and thought leaders.
What are the 5 things that most excite you about the AI industry? Why?
The potential is limitless. It is taking understanding of any situation and exponentially magnifying brain power and capabilities.
It has the ability to crush conventional wisdom such as, and I know this is controversial, developing a “formula” for how to create effective advertising or challenging the ridiculous paradigm of belief that ““Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half” (Wanamaker)
AI has the ability to do really important things that are actually lifesaving and in service to humanity such as improving cancer diagnosis or safer cars.
AI will soon be embedded into everything we do or touch. It is the next revolution with even greater likely impact than the internet.
As a new field, it is not controlled by decades of an “old boys” network and promises extraordinary opportunity for creative women.
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