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People to Watch 2019

Sri Ambati
Founder and CEO of

SriSatish Ambati, the CEO of, had just taken the stage at H2O World in San Francisco yesterday morning. His keynote had barely begun, but Ambati clearly had something to get off his chest. “Time is the only non-renewable source,” he said. “Our time is not coming back to us. So make it count. Make every moment yours.”

You could say that Ambati has made quite a bit of his time up to this point. In addition to authoring the H2O machine learning library and co-founding (initially called 0xdata), he co-founded the big data analytics company Platfora. His professional career also took him to DatastaxAzul Systems, and RightOrder, while his academic career involved sabbaticals in theoretical neuroscience at Stanford and Berkeley and an M.S. in math and computer science from the University of Memphis.

Datanami: Sri, you’ve had tremendous success with, which has become one of the core open source tools used by data scientists at 18,000 organizations around the world.  What surprises you most about the journey?

Sri Ambati: How with focus, a small team of individuals can build a large ecosystem and bring non-trivial change to the universe with open source; how deep purpose and culture beats cash; although the biggest surprise has been how giving oneself purely to a cause not only makes one strong but also value comes back many times over!

Datanami: The cloud has emerged as a major enabler of AI. How do you see the cloud impacting data science in 2019?

AI is the gateway to cloud – rewiring of modern AI-first applications will be cloud native with automatic machine learning from data. Model life cycle management and tool chain for monitoring model fitness and decay will take center stage. Open and alternative data clouds will power automatic machine learning efforts via cloud.

Datanami: How do you see AI evolving over the next five years, and what will’s role be in that?

“AI to do AI” will evolve into “AI to Print AI” and animate the world. Continuously learning and truly distributed AI will set the stage for the emerging intelligent edge. We are excited that can be a strong innovator with a purpose, freestanding open AI software company at the center of AI innovation, integrating feedback from the data science community.

At we envision that – H2O is needed for life on this planet and AI for life on all of the universe!


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