Distinguished Machine Learning Expert Phil Long Joins Artificial Intelligence Startup Sentient Technologies

Sentient continues to add top AI talent and is on course to double in size by year-end


Sentient Technologies, an artificial intelligence startup seeking to solve the world’s most complex problems, is proud to announce the strategic hire of Phil Long, distinguished machine learning expert formerly from Microsoft.

Phil’s background in machine learning is extensive, ranging from research into theoretical foundations to getting into the “nitty gritty” with applications. His work has spanned diverse domains such as molecular biology, medicine, computer vision, web ranking and security.

The 77-person San Francisco-based company plans to accelerate its growth to reach 120 employees by the end of 2015. Sentient has already added more than 30 people in the past six months to its San Francisco office. The company recently raised $103.5 million, which is the largest venture round for an AI company, bringing it to a total of $143 million in funding.

“We’re excited to have Phil join Sentient as we accelerate the productization of our core AI technologies, including deep learning for visual intelligence,” said Nigel Duffy, chief technology officer. “Phil has made many significant contributions to the field of machine learning and is a senior voice in the field. An innovative researcher and deep thinker, Phil will advance our core technologies and continue to be a leading figure at conferences and in the community.”

Combining deep learning with other machine learning approaches, Sentient’s visual intelligence technology has been designed to automatically analyze and curate visual content and then recommend actions based on that understanding. This technology can transform how personalized, contextual experiences are created for ecommerce, social media, marketing and a variety of other use cases.

Phil has been a co-program chair of COLT, and on senior program committees of ICML and NIPS, and an action editor of Machine Learning. He previously held roles at the National University of Singapore, the Genome Institute of Singapore, Columbia University, Google, NEC and Microsoft. Additionally, he has been published in various journals and conferences, such as Science, the SIAM Journal of Discrete Mathematics, STOC, FOCS, ICML, NIPS, COLT, JMLR and Machine Learning.

“I’m thrilled to be joining Sentient – it is a company that is both ambitious and pragmatic,” said Long. “Sentient has made huge strides at distributing and scaling AI to solve really hard problems and I look forward to helping accelerate the company’s next phase of growth in machine learning.”