Sep 23–26, 2019
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Building and leading a successful AI practice for your organization

Rossella Blatt Vital (Wonderlic), Ross Piper (Wonderlic), Daniel Schmerling (Wonderlic)
9:00am12:30pm Tuesday, September 24, 2019
Location: 1A 10
Secondary topics:  Culture and Organization
Average rating: ****.
(4.17, 6 ratings)



Machine learning is an exciting field with incredible untapped potential to create value and strengthen the organization’s competitive advantage. Creating and leading a successful ML strategy requires an elegant orchestration of many components: master key ML concepts to make sound decisions that align with the company’s vision and mission, operationalize ML workflow, prioritize highest-value projects, know what to look for in ML talents (and how to develop it), build and motivate high-performing teams, nurture strategic partnerships (internal and external), etc.

Rossella Blatt Vital empowers you with fundamental concepts, key insights, and lessons learned to drive a successful machine learning strategy. You’ll get a primer on machine learning, arming you with an understanding of the key ML concepts relevant to drive a high-value ML roadmap and strategic insights to build and lead a flourishing ML practice.


A primer on machine learning

  • What is and isn’t machine learning: The difference between artificial intelligence and machine learning, how it relates to data science, big data, programming, and traditional statistical methods, and a brief history of AI, current trends, and where it’s going
  • What problems AI can solve (an ML approaches overview): The 5 groups (symbolists, Bayesians, connectionists, evolutionarists, and analogizers) and their methods (respectively, decisions trees and random forests, Bayesian inference and Bayesian networks, artificial neural networks and deep learning, and k-NN, support vector machines, and recommender systems)
  • Machine learning and statistics pitfalls and how to prevent them

How to develop a successful ML strategy

  • Operationalize AI (workflows and processes): The iterative process of building, training, and deploying to production a machine learning product and how to manage an AI project
  • Talents and team: How to create a high-performing machine learning team—skills you need, recognizing unicorns, effectively investing in development, and insights from I/O studies
  • The critical role of internal and external partnerships: Executive buy in, partnership with business experts, the criticality of data strategy and partnership with other tech team, and ML as a key player in an open innovation ecosystem

You’ll walk away with insights and lessons to empower other leaders to accelerate the success of their organization by harnessing the power of ML and driving a successful ML strategy.

Prerequisite knowledge

  • Experience as a manager or leader (useful but not required)

What you'll learn

  • Learn how to create and lead a successful ML strategy
Photo of Rossella Blatt Vital

Rossella Blatt Vital


Rossella Blatt Vital is the director of innovation and AI at Wonderlic, where she leads the machine learning and innovation program by establishing a culture driven by creative thinking, collaboration, customer centricity, and a focus on talent development and recognition. Previously, she headed projects in machine learning in the academic field with relevant social impact that ranged from lung cancer diagnosis to a brain-computer interface and crime forecasting; she led the AI and data science initiatives in the corporate world at NewEdge and Societe Generale; designed and executed the machine learning road map and headed a team that addressed the detection and prevention of financial fraud along with pricing, compliance, and customer service as the director of machine learning at Remitly. Rossella is a passionate and visionary thought leader in the field of artificial intelligence and an accomplished speaker who has been invited to give keynote lectures on AI and innovation at conferences worldwide, and she’s been published in numerous scientific peer-reviewed journals. A native of Italy, Rossella holds an MS and BS in telecommunications engineering from Politecnico di Milano and pursued a PhD in information technology. Rossella loves innovation and how, if driven by the right principles and culture, it can contribute to make a difference and create a better tomorrow.

Ross Piper


Passionate about using ethical AI to enhance users’ experiences and grow businesses

Daniel Schmerling


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