Aya Soffer

Aya Soffer

Director, AI Tech
IBM Research AI

As Director of AI Tech for the IBM Research AI organization, my goal is to inspire hundreds of IBM scientists around the world and help shape their ideas into new AI technology that can bring value to real use cases. An important part of my job is making sure these amazingly talented people have the freedom and flexibility to be creative and continue to dream up new ideas. My vision is to help us reach the point where computers can truly master language in all of its richness. To accomplish this we need to advance the state-of-the-art AI capabilities for understanding unstructured data, including image, video, speech, text, and multi-modal data. Going beyond the data, we are teaching computers to extract knowledge from data, apply reasoning, and interact through dialog and natural language queries. In my 19 years at IBM, I’ve had the opportunity to lead strategic initiatives that grew into successful IBM products and solutions, as well as contribute to the Jeopardy IBM Grand Challenge that led to developing IBM Watson. I have authored over 50 papers, served in numerous conference organization roles, and delivered a TED talk at the TEDMED event in Jerusalem.

Diverse representation is a priority for us. We're proud to say that our Summit speakers are 80% queer women, 50% women of color, 25% Black & Latinx, and 15% transgender and gender nonconforming.