World’s Top Artificial Intelligence Influencers in 2020

Most of the names from this list are already well known. I have compiled this list based on my understanding of the field and the people I follow on different platforms. They are the ones who are excelling in the technology world with unprecedented vitality.

Kindly note that this list is not sorted based on any order. Let’s go.

Kirk Borne

He’s currently working as Principal Data Scientist and Executive Advisor at Booz Allen Hamilton. His area of specialisation includes Transdisciplinary Data Science, Big Data, and Large Databases, Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery.

Kirk has done his graduation in Physics from Louisiana State University and went on to study Astronomy and earned his Ph.D. from California Institute of Technology.

Andrew Ng

Andrew Ng is Co-founder of Coursera, and an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University. His machine learning course is the MOOC that had led to the founding of Coursera!

Ng also works on machine learning, with an emphasis on deep learning. He had founded and led the “Google Brain” project, which developed massive-scale deep learning algorithms. He led Baidu’s ~1300 person AI Group, which developed technologies in deep learning, speech, computer vision, NLP, and other areas.

Adam Coates

Adam Coates is currently a Director at Apple. He received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 2012 and was the director of the Silicon Valley AI Lab at Baidu Research until September 2017, then an Operating Partner at Khosla Ventures until 2018.

During his graduate career, Adam co-developed an autonomous aerobatic helicopter, worked on perception systems for household robots, and early large-scale deep learning methods.

Andreas Mueller

He’s an Associate Research Scientist at the Data Science Institute at Columbia University and author of the O’Reilly book “Introduction to machine learning with Python”, describing a practical approach to machine learning with python and scikit-learn.

Mueller is one of the core developers of the scikit-learn machine learning library, and has been co-maintaining it for several years.

In the past, he worked at the NYU Center for Data Science on open source and open science, and as Machine Learning Scientist at Amazon.


Li is a Chinese-born American computer scientist, non-profit executive, and writer. She is the Sequoia Capital Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University. Li is a Co-Director of the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence, and a Co-Director of the Stanford Vision and Learning Lab.

She served as the director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (SAIL) from 2013 to 2018. In 2017, she co-founded AI4ALL, a nonprofit organization working to increase diversity and inclusion in the field of artificial intelligence.

She was the leading scientist and principal investigator of ImageNet

Geoffrey Hinton

Hinton is an English Canadian cognitive psychologist and computer scientist, most noted for his work on artificial neural networks. He works at University of Toronto and at Google Brain.

Hinton was co-author of a highly cited paper published in 1986 that popularized the backpropagation algorithm for training multi-layer neural networks.

Hinton is viewed by some as a leading figure in the deep learning community and is referred to by some as the “Godfather of Deep Learning”. The image-recognition milestone of the AlexNet designed by his student for the ImageNet challenge 2012 helped to revolutionize the field of computer vision.

Hinton was awarded the 2018 Turing Award alongside Yoshua Bengio and Yann LeCun for their work on deep learning.

Yann LeCun

He is a French-American computer scientist working primarily in the fields of machine learning, computer vision, mobile robotics, and computational neuroscience. He is the Silver Professor of the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University, and Vice President, Chief AI Scientist at Facebook.

He is well known for his work on optical character recognition and computer vision using convolutional neural networks (CNN), and is a founding father of convolutional nets.

He is co-recipient of the 2018 ACM A.M. Turing Award for his work in deep learning.

Yoshua Bengio

He is a Canadian computer scientist, most noted for his work on artificial neural networks and deep learning.

He was a co-recipient of the 2018 ACM A.M. Turing Award for his work in deep learning.[4] He is a professor at the Department of Computer Science and Operations Research at the Université de Montréal and scientific director of the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms (MILA).

Ian Goodfellow

Goodfellow is currently employed at Apple Inc. as its director of machine learning in the Special Projects Group. He is a researcher working in machine learning. He was previously employed as a research scientist at Google Brain.

Goodfellow is best known for inventing generative adversarial networks. He is also the lead author of the textbook Deep Learning. As of today his paper on GAN has been cited 20,649 times.

Oriol Vinyals

Oriol Vinyals is employed as a Principal Research Scientist at Google DeepMind, leading the Deep Learning team there. He has also led the AlphaStar team that developed the first AI that defeats the top professional players of the game, StarCraft. In the past, he was a Senior Research Scientist in the Google Brain team.

Soumith Chintala

Soumith Chintala has co-created and led PyTorch, an open-source Machine Learning library developed by the Facebook AI Research lab for Computer Vision and Natural Language Processing applications. Having worked in the past on projects such as Google Street View House Numbers, pedestrian detection, sentiment analysis, and at New York University, he is also an extensive researcher in the ML space.

Andrew Trask

Andrew is a PhD student at the University of Oxford and a Senior Research Scientist at DeepMind studying Privacy and AI. He is also a passionate AI teacher, having taught 2 different introductory AI courses and written an introductory Deep Learning book.

He also started and leads OpenMined, an open source community of over 5000 researchers, engineers, and enthusiasts dedicated to making the concepts and tools necessary for privacy preserving AI reach mainstream adoption. He is also a member of the United Nations Privacy Task Force, raising awareness and lowering the barrier-to-entry for the use of privacy preserving analytics within the public sector.

Andrej Karpathy

Karpathy is the director of artificial intelligence and Autopilot Vision at Tesla. He specializes in deep learning and image recognition and understanding.

He graduated with PhD from Stanford University in 2015 under the supervision of Fei-Fei Li, focusing on the intersection of natural language processing and computer vision, and deep learning models suited for this task.

He joined the artificial intelligence group OpenAI as a research scientist in September 2016[10] and became Tesla’s director of artificial intelligence in June 2017.

Karpathy was named one of the MIT Technology Review Innovators Under 35 for the year 2020.