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Building machines that can read and write

Sean Gourley (Primer)
11:05am-11:45am Thursday, September 6, 2018
AI Business Summit, AI in the Enterprise
Location: Continental 5
Secondary topics:  Text, Language, and Speech
Average rating: ****.
(4.50, 4 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • CxOs, vice presidents, and directors of brand, legal, finance, or research

What you'll learn

  • Understand how breakthroughs in natural language understanding and generation are helping the largest organizations in the world scale human analysts


Individuals have access to more information than all previous generations combined, but more information doesn’t always result in more knowledge. Finance, media, legal, research, and intelligence analysts across every vertical spend countless hours collecting, deduplicating, reading, and summarizing thousands of documents to find hidden insights. Due to human attention and memory limitations, analysts often reduce the corpus of data they analyze or skim past important pieces. These human limitations lead analysts to miss the context that could mean closing a legal case faster, making money in a new investment, or saving a life on the front line.

After seeing these problems firsthand, Primer has deployed breakthroughs in AI and natural language processing to create machines that can read and write, augmenting human analysts. Sean Gourley dives into the technical aspects of building these machines, including multidocument abstractive summarization, multidocument event detection, classification, and unsupervised entity extraction as well as advanced fundamental lower-level technologies like novel information detection and Chinese character segmentation.

Photo of Sean Gourley

Sean Gourley


Sean Gourley is founder and CEO of Primer. Previously, he was cofounder and CTO of augmented intelligence company Quid. He sits on the board of directors at Anadarko and is a TED fellow. Sean holds a PhD in physics from Oxford, where his research as a Rhodes Scholar focused on complex systems and the mathematical patterns underlying modern war.