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Dr. Maya  Ackerman

Dr. Maya Ackerman

Expert on Computer Creativity, WaveAI CEO & Computer Science Professor


World renowned AI Researcher and entrepreneur, Dr. Maya Ackerman, named “Woman of Influence” by the Silicon Valley Business Journal, is a leading expert on Creative AI. She is frequently invited to speak on creativity in the age of AI, as well as how to overcome gender and racial biases in entrepreneurship ecosystems. Maya is a vibrant and engaging speaker, who inspires her audiences to be more creative in their own lives, and bring greater fairness and equality to their organizations. Interviews with Dr. Ackerman appear on NBC News, New Scientist, Forbes, Grammy.com, and international television stations across the globe. A sought-after speaker, she has appeared on many top stages, including at the United Nations, IBM Research, Microsoft, NVIDIA, Oracle, and Samsung. Read More >

Dr. Ackerman’s early career focused on fundamental research in Machine Learning, publishing highly cited research on cluster analysis during her PhD studies at the University of Waterloo. Following her Postdoc at Caltech, Maya refocused her research on Computational Creativity. This led her to become CEO/Co-Founder of WaveAI, which is transforming the music industry through AI systems that deepen and expand the creative capabilities of artists across the globe. In recent years, Ackerman has published impactful research on bias in venture capital, which has been utilized by the US Congress and Amnesty International.

Dr. Ackerman is the recipient of awards from the Association of Computational Creativity, Office of Naval Research, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Shanghai Yangpu Global Competition, the Startup Conference and more. Since 2007, she has published over forty-five peer-reviewed research publications and has been on the program and reviewing committees of twenty different AI journals and conferences. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

The Future of Music

Bias in Venture Capital | Santa Clara University

Wave.Ai | Samsung Next

On Computational Creativity

ALYSIA: Startup Conference Finalist

Speech Topics

Human Creativity in the Age of AI

Now that machines are increasingly engaging in creative tasks from music and art to cooking and interior design, what will become of human creativity? This talk will discuss myths about creativity and core differences in the creative capabilities of humans and machines. We will provide practical tools for becoming more creative, with and without the aid of creative machines, and share what the future of creativity will look like in the age of AI.

Gender & Racial Bias In Venture Capital

From the world's major innovation hubs, startups have blossomed into businesses of unprecedented scale, impacting billions of people across all walks of life, geographies, genders, and racial backgrounds. In spite of the proven benefits of diversity for a company’s success, gender and racial biases continue to persist in the venture capital sector, hindering funding opportunities for diverse founders. This talk will discuss these pressing issues and propose solutions for lasting change.

Unleash Your Inner Artist with Creative AI

Many fear that machines will take away the pleasure of human creative expression. But what if, instead, machines could genuinely elevate our creative abilities? In this interactive workshop, we will utilize several Computational Creativity systems to discover your inner poet, artist, and musician, and show how creative machines can help you delve deeper into your own creative potential.

Can Computers Be Creative?

Computational creativity in an emergent field in artificial intelligence, centering on fundamental questions such as: What is creativity? Can computers be creative? Instead of using the computer as a tool, can it be an equal collaborator, or even an independent artist? This talk will discuss goals of computational creativity as well as present notable systems at the intersection of computing with visual art and music.

The Landscape of Musical AI

While musical AI has only recently begun to enter industry, AI-based systems have been creating music for over 70 years. This talk will showcase and discuss some of the most exciting musical AI systems from industry and academia, spanning composition and improvisation. We will also address exciting opportunities and what the future holds in this emerging field.

Commercializing Creative AI: Opportunities & Challenges

Recent years have seen rising interest in creative AI systems - machines that make art, music, and poetry. What are the commercial possibilities with this exciting new technology? What are the benefits and challenges of commercializing creative AI systems? In this talk, Dr. Ackerman will share her experience commercializing her Computational Creativity research, resulting in the songwriting product LyricStudio, which is revolutionizing the creative process for professional and aspiring artists. Opportunities and challenges for commercialization of computational creativity research will be discussed.