Hilary Mason's career is defined by pushing the limits of what big data and machine learning can achieve. She is the co-founder and CEO of Hidden Door, a new gameplay platform that uses generative AI and LLMs to allow users to play in the world of their favorite book, movie, or TV show. She is also the Founder of Fast Forward Labs, a machine intelligence research company. A genuinely charming speaker who resonates with both tech and nonspecialist audiences, Hilary speaks about the challenges and the rewards of working with big data, with a special focus on machine learning.
In her former role as the Data Scientist in Residence at Accel, a leading Silicon Valley venture capital firm, she advised companies large and small on their data strategy. In her four-year tenure as Chief Scientist for bitly, the popular link-shortening service, she led a team that studied attention on the internet in realtime, doing a mix of research, exploration, and engineering.
Hilary is the co-founder of HackNY, a non-profit that helps talented engineering students find their way into the startup community of creative technologists in New York City; co-host of DataGotham, an annual event for professionals involved in data science; and member of NYCResistor. She advises a number of companies, including Mortar, knod.es, collective[i], DataKind, Betaspring, and TechStars New York. She also served on Mayor Bloomberg’s Technology and Innovation Advisory Council.
Hilary is on Fast Company's 100 Most Creative People in Business 2013 and 1000 Most Creative People in Business 2014. Other honors include the TechFellows Engineering Leadership award, the Fortune 40 under 40 Ones to Watch list and the Crain’s New York Business 40 under Forty.
How Big Data Is Changing the Way We Work, Live, and Dream
More and more data is being generated by people engaging in everyday activities. The resulting data exhaust is an amazing source of insight about human behavior — insights based on actual behaviors, not samples. This talk will review the evolution of big data technologies; explore why this shift is happening now; and discuss is likely to change in the near future. Mason will share stories of big data and analytics done well by different types of organizations. She will also explain practical tools and techniques attendees can consider when thinking about how to use their own data — as well as how to best use their companies' data.
Engineering Our Data-driven Future
We're seeing a shift from developing systems that generate data as a side-effect to designing products that help people make better decisions from data. Hilary explains what this means for technologists, why it's happening now, and what the opportunities look like, with examples from her work at bitly and others.