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William Tunstall-Pedoe      

AI Business Leader; Founder of Evi: now Amazon Alexa.

William Tunstall-Pedoe is an entrepreneur focused on AI and pioneering, industry-changing products and applications. His company Evi was sold to Amazon and provided much of the Artificial Intelligence for Alexa which he played a key role in developing.

With an early interest in computer programming, by the age of 13 William was programming the mainframe computer that the college next to his school owned and earning an income from software design. After university he joined Acorn Computers and the Isaac Newton Institute. He developed commercial AI programmes, including chess and complex anagram programmes. His anagram software was even used by Dan Brown in the writing of The Da Vinci Code and his name appears in the credits of all 80million copies sold.

William went on to establish True Knowledge, a company focused on creating practical applications for AI systems. The company re-branded as Evi and launched a pioneering voice assistant that gained over a million users in its first four months and became number one in the app store. The goal was to create a more natural user-machine interface, and Evi’s work grabbed the attention of a number of big tech companies. Amazon won the race to buy Evi and William and his team joined the company to create their groundbreaking Alexa devices. William served as a senior member of Amazon’s product team for over three years, defining, building and launching the home assistant device. Evi is now Amazon’s Cambridge development centre.

As well as explaining just what AI is, how it works and its prospects, William considers how it can change the world, its capabilities and practical applications. He looks at the latest developments, and the short and long-term possibilities for products that were once the preserve of science fiction. He now invests in and advises startups around the world, particularly those involved in machine learning and AI, and is involved in projects encouraging work in STEM areas and entrepreneurship. He also once calculated that 11th April 1954 was the most boring day in history.

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