Presented By O’Reilly and Intel Nervana
Put AI to work
September 17-18, 2017: Training
September 18-20, 2017: Tutorials & Conference
San Francisco, CA

Vertical AI: Solving full stack industry problems using subject-matter expertise, unique data, and AI to deliver a product's core value proposition

4:50pm–5:30pm Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Verticals and applications
Location: Franciscan AB Level: Non-technical
Secondary topics:  Finance, Healthcare
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 2 ratings)

What you'll learn

  • Explore vertical AI startups and learn why they are working when many others (MLaaS, bots) are not
  • Discover how enterprises can avoid AI traps and how to find the applications in your business where AI can make a big impact right away


Low-level task-based AI gets commoditized quickly, and more general AI is decades off. In the meantime, it’s unclear whether new AI startups will be able to succeed or whether the value will instead accrue to Google and Facebook.

While most of the machine learning talent works in big tech companies, massive, timely problems lurk in every major industry outside tech. If you believe the “software is eating the world” hypothesis, then every company in every industry will need to become a tech company.

Bradford Cross explains how vertical AI startups leverage subject-matter expertise, AI, and unique data to deliver their product’s core value proposition. Drawing on his personal experience, Bradford outlines why vertical AI startups are interesting and discusses big problems for the future in different verticals, such as finance, healthcare, transportation, energy, agriculture, and the environment.

Photo of Bradford Cross

Bradford Cross


Bradford Cross is a founding partner at DCVC, a leading machine learning and big data venture capital fund. Previously, Bradford founded Prismatic, which used machine learning for personalized content ranking and natural language processing for topic classification, and FlightCaster, which used machine learning to predict the real-time state of the global air traffic network using FAA, carrier, and weather data. A hedge fund investor and a venture investor, Bradford started his career working on statistical value and momentum strategies at O’Higgins Asset Management and was a founding partner of Data Collective. He was also a systems engineer and worked on distributed systems at Google. Bradford studied computer engineering and finance at Virginia Tech and mathematics at Berkeley.