Darren Oberst | Transforming a Lifelong Passion into an International Leadership Career

Absolute AI | Conversations With the Humans Behind Artificial Intelligence

Absolute AI Podcast | Darren Oberst, Episode 3 — Innodata

Highlights

·  1:51      Darren’s educational history and its role in his journey to professional success

·  6:03     His role at HCL and its integration of AI

·  15:09   Darren’s hobby as a ML developer/researcher and its impact on his perspective regarding models

·  29:05  His methods for becoming a successful leader

·  33:47  Darren’s vision of the future for AI

Darren's Insights

13:28 “I think in the real world, start with the simplest model, the simplest solution that you have, make sure that you’ve got really good data and really good data quality, and that’s usually the best place to start in any kind of AI initiative.”

16:15 “These types of predictive technologies grounded in machine learning aren’t going away. They are the future, you know, they’ve become more prevalent in our  life today than they were five years ago. They’re going to be even more prevalent in our life five years from now.” 

22:29 “In every day, I’m personally probably torn between those two poles of, ‘Wow, maybe we really are near some emergent moment, right? Where there is some sort of generalized AI,’ and on the other hand, thinking, ‘Perhaps all of this is misguided.’”

36:40 “I would not bet against AI. I would say over the next 20 years, there will be transformational moments in it, that I would be equally careful in 2021, or 2022 or 2024, to lean out too far against that curve.”

Show Notes

Melody’s very special guest on the podcast this week is Darren Oberst, Senior Corporate Vice President and Global Head of HCL Software. Formally educated in the fields of Law, Physics, and Philosophy, Darren has built upon his lifelong interest in technology, especially coding, to become a leader in product and corporate development throughout the world. Today, he takes listeners through the journey of his career, offering valuable insights into the world of technology, AI, and leadership, which are as fascinating as they are informative. 

Darren begins by describing the role that his background in natural science and the humanities played in the vast amount of success he has enjoyed throughout his career, particularly his innovative work with HCL. A passionate hobbyist in ML development and research, Darren also has a great deal to share about the success criteria necessary when developing and testing models. This, paired with his many years of international experience, render him a leadership expert with extensive insights and helpful advice in this area as well. As you listen in, the sheer amount of information and wisdom which Darren possesses will strike you, along with the sincere enthusiasm this seasoned professional brings to the work that both inspired him as a child and continues to excite and drive him forward today.

Before becoming a part of the founding team of HCL Software, Darren spent 10 years at IBM in a diverse set of leadership roles and had also launched and run businesses throughout the world. He has served as the Senior Vice President and General Manager for webMethods, a leading e-business infrastructure software company, and started his career in Silicon Valley as an investment banker at Robertson Stephens. Darren has a JD with Honors from Harvard Law School and a BA summa-cum-laude from UC-Berkeley with dual degrees in Physics and Philosophy.

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