It’s the 1950s, and a bunch of brilliant minds are huddled together at Dartmouth College. They’re laying the groundwork for what we now call artificial intelligence (AI). People like that may have been under the radar back then, but today, they’re top AI Influencers.

This list puts together the brightest minds shaping the future of AI. You’ll learn who to follow to stay on top of the latest AI developments and why you need them on in your social feeds.

🤖✨ AI Influencers You Must Follow This Year

Sam Altman

Sam Altman leads OpenAI and is known for his work in developing large language models (LLMs) like GPT-3 and GPT-4 that power ChatGPT. His efforts have made OpenAI a key player in developing technologies that are both innovative and ethically responsible.

If you’re drawn to the latest in AI, especially around how AI may influence the way we work and interact with each other, Sam is someone to keep an eye on. As one of the Y-Combinator founders, he is also a great source of productivity and entrepreneurship advice.

⚒️ ExpertiseAchievements📨 Follow
AI research and ethicsDevelopment of GPT models, co-founder of Y Combinator, OpenAI, and LooptX, LinkedIn, personal blog

Andrew Ng

A co-founder of Google Brain and Coursera, Andrew Ng is another key figure in the AI space. He is known for making AI and machine learning accessible to a wider audience through his online courses. His work has had a profound impact on applications of AI, driving innovation in fields ranging from autonomous vehicles to healthcare.

Andrew continues to influence the future of AI through new educational initiatives and research. His vision for AI is grounded in its potential to benefit humanity, emphasizing the importance of ethical AI development. Ng’s insights are invaluable for professionals and enthusiasts looking to stay at the forefront of AI trends and education.

⚒️ ExpertiseAchievements📨 Follow
Machine learning, AI education, machine vision, NLPCo-founder of Google Brain and Coursera, founder of DeepLearning.AILinkedIn, X, Medium, personal website and blog

Demis Hassabis

Demis Hassabis is another co-founder of DeepMind as well as Isomorphic Labs, a company that uses artificial intelligence for drug discovery. His other projects include AlphaGo, a program that plays the board game Go, and AlphaFold designed to predict protein structure.

Hassabis’ journey began as a child prodigy in chess, evolving into a career in neuroscience and computer science. If you’re interested in the intersection of AI and human cognition and how it can solve humanity’s biggest challenges, Hassabis is a key figure to follow.

⚒️ ExpertiseAchievements📨 Follow
AI research, neuroscience, deep learningCo-founder of DeepMind, AlphaGo, AlphaFold, Isomorphic LabsLinkedIn, DeepMind blog, X

Ian Goodfellow

Ian Goodfellow is the inventor of Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) that revolutionized the way machines learn by simulating creativity. This has had wide-ranging applications, from art generation to improving computer vision. Goodfellow’s contributions to AI go beyond technical aspects and include efforts to address AI security and privacy concerns.

Before his current role at DeepMind, Goodfellow held positions at major technological companies including Apple and OpenAI where he contributed to advancements in deep learning. His work emphasizes the importance of responsible AI development, which makes him an authority in the safety of AI technology and its ethical implementation.

⚒️ ExpertiseAchievements📨 Follow
Machine learning, AI securityInventor of GANs, former director of machine learning in the Special Projects Group at Apple, Foreign Policy’s list of 100 Global ThinkersLinkedIn, Google Scholar, X

Fei-Fei Li

Fei-Fei Li, a professor at Stanford University, is a prominent figure in the field of computer vision. Her work on ImageNet, a large visual database instrumental for training AI, has been crucial in the advancements of machine learning and AI. Li’s research aims to address ethical issues and promote diversity within the AI community.

Beyond academia, Li has actively worked to bridge AI technology with practical applications, contributing to healthcare and environmental projects. Her influence extends to advocating for AI’s role in society, emphasizing the importance of human-centered AI technologies. Li offers invaluable insights for anyone interested in the ethics and societal impact of AI.

⚒️ ExpertiseAchievements📨 Follow
Computer vision, machine learning, AI in healthcare, cognitive neuroscienceCreator of ImageNet, member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts and SciencesLinkedIn, Twitter

Kaiming He

Kaiming He is known for his contributions to computer vision and deep learning, particularly through the development of models and algorithms that have significantly improved the accuracy of image recognition and classification. His work on ResNet, a deep neural network architecture, is a cornerstone in both academic research and practical applications.

Currently at Facebook AI Research (FAIR), His innovations continue to influence a range of AI technologies. His research has practical implications for how AI is applied in the real world, from enhancing computer vision technologies to improving AI efficiency. Whether you are a professional or AI hobbyist, his work is an excellent source of knowledge.

⚒️ ExpertiseAchievements📨 Follow
Computer vision, deep learningOne of the creators of ResNet, associate professor at Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyLinkedIn, Facebook AI Research Publications, Google Scholar

Andrej Karpathy

Andrej Karpathy is a leading figure in the field of artificial intelligence, known for his work on deep learning and computer vision. As the former Director of AI at Tesla, Karpathy played a crucial role in advancing autonomous driving technologies, applying neural network solutions to real-world challenges. He focuses on solving complex problems through AI models.

Karpathy’s contributions to AI extend beyond the automotive industry. He has been influential in the development of convolutional neural networks and their application in image recognition and classification. If you’re interested in cutting-edge AI applications in real-world scenarios, you should follow Karpathy for a wealth of knowledge and insights.

⚒️ ExpertiseAchievements📨 Follow
Deep learning, computer visionFormer Director of AI at Tesla, co-founder of OpenAI, author of the first deep learning course at Stanford, MIT Technology Review’s Innovators Under 35X, LinkedIn, personal website

Rachel Thomas

Rachel Thomas is a co-founder of She’s also a professor at the University of San Francisco where she focuses on making deep learning more accessible and ethical. Her work emphasizes the importance of creating AI technologies that are not only powerful but also equitable and fair. Thomas advocates for diversity in AI and challenges biases in AI models.

Thomas has developed courses that lower the barrier to entry into the field of AI, enabling a broader audience to engage with advanced technologies. Her commitment to ethical AI and education makes her an essential follow if want to navigate the complexities of AI ethics.

⚒️ ExpertiseAchievements📨 Follow
AI ethics, deep learning education, Co-founder of, professor at USF, founding Director of the Center for Applied Data Ethics at the University of San FranciscoX, Blog

Kate Crawford

Kate Crawford is yet another leading researcher and author in the field of AI ethics. She focuses on the social and political implications of artificial intelligence. Her work examines the impact of AI on privacy, surveillance, and discrimination to encourage a more responsible and equitable approach to AI development and deployment.

Through her book and numerous publications, Crawford has influenced both policymakers and technologists, urging them to consider the broader consequences of AI. Her perspective is invaluable for those who wish to understand the ethical considerations of AI.

⚒️ ExpertiseAchievements📨 Follow
AI ethics, social implications of artificial intelligence technologyA principal researcher at Microsoft Research (Social Media Collective), co-founder and former director of research at the AI Now Institute at NYU, a member of the WEF’s Global Agenda Council on Data-Driven Development.X, personal website

Allie K. Miller

Allie Miller is an AI business leader and a former U.S. Head of AI Business Development for Startups and Venture Capital at Amazon where she focused on integrating AI technologies into new ventures. If you’re interested in the wider applications of AI in commerce, Miller’s insights will give you a great starting point.

Miller is also recognized for her advocacy for women in tech, contributing to diversity and inclusion in the AI field. Her engagement in various initiatives and speaking engagements makes her an inspiring figure for aspiring AI professionals and entrepreneurs.

⚒️ ExpertiseAchievements📨 Follow
AI in business, entrepreneurshipYoungest-ever woman to build an artificial intelligence product at IBM, former U.S. Head of AI BD for Startups and VC at Amazon, author of 10 guidebooks on building and scaling AI solutionsLinkedIn, X

👋 Parting Words

So, we’ve seen the big names, the movers and shakers in AI for 2024. Whether we like it or not, all this innovation is in the hands of a few. But you can still make a difference. 

Stay curious, stay informed, and most importantly, stay engaged. Your voice, your ideas, and your participation in the broader conversation around AI and technology matter. Whether it’s by contributing to open-source projects or simply joining discussions on ethical AI.

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