September 23: Hiring, Team & Process

In the fourth episode of the Scaletech AI Product series, we turned to staffing and the processes needed to properly develop and test AI-driven products. This time, Alistair interviewed Deborah Harrison—who writes Cortana’s personality—for a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to build a smart agent, and many of the pitfalls of conversational AI. And Theresa talked with Riana Lynn, founder of Journey Foods, about how data science can tackle systemic problems in food supply and tracing.

In addition to chatbots and food supply, we touched on the need for diversity in every step of development and testing; the challenges of building the right team from the outset; and tricks that can help bootstrap access to data for early-stage startups.

Deborah Harrison

Deborah leads a team of writers and artists designing artful experiences and teaching deep neural network algorithms to reflect the nuances of responsible and ethical interaction. Her team is responsible for developing products that draw on intelligent services, and they have deep expertise in developing persona-driven conversational content for bots and agents.

They are passionate about creating ethical, inclusive, positive conversations and helping offer that expertise and experience across the entire tech space.

Riana Lynn

Riana loves working on the growth challenges in Fortune 500 companies and new, fast growing startup ecosystems.

Consumers spend $3 Trillion a year on packaged foods. At the same time, there’s undeniable evidence that eating packaged foods is related to the increase in chronic diseases – cancer, diabetes, and poor mental health. Our manufacturing and farming practices emit tons of carbon emissions that affect the nutrient values of our food every year. We can change these problems with better science and data tools.

She works on solving the greatest problems in food that affect her family, our communities, and the world.