Trends and Profiles

IBM engineer Rama Akkiraju featured on list of top 20+ leading women in AI research

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(You can read the full article on profiling 20+ women leaders in AI research.)

We’re proud and excited to see Rama Akkiraju, distinguished engineer and master inventor at IBM Watson featured on Forbes’ list of 20+ leading women in AI research.

As artificial intelligence and cognitive technologies continue to transform businesses and our world, this talented and diverse group of AI researchers and technologists are leading the charge and redefining what will be possible in our collective futures.

Forbes notes: “All of the women featured here overcame personal and professional challenges to achieve incredible impact and become leaders and role models for the industry.”

Rama Akkiraju currently leads the mission of people insights at IBM’s Watson division. Some of the technologies being researched include inferring people’s personalities, emotions, communication tones, attitudes, and intentions from social media data by employing psycho-linguistic, Machine Learning (ML) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) technologies.

Prior to this, Rama led the research, development, and delivery of innovative solutions at IBM Almaden Research in San Jose. This project resulted in multi-million dollar cost savings and productivity improvements for IBM.

Before that, Rama worked on agent-based decision support systems, electronic market places, business transformation analytics, business process integration technologies including semantic Web services at the IBM Watson Research Center in New York. She was one of the drivers of W3C standard on SA-WSDL (Semantic Annotations for Web Services Description Language) and was the editor of the SA-WSDL User guide.

Rama has co-authored 4 book chapters, and over 40 technical papers and has over a dozen issued patents (with 20+ patents still pending). She is the recipient of 3 best paper awards in the areas of AI and Operations.

We are proud to have women in STEM leaders at IBM that continue to work on breakthrough technologies and inspire future generations of women to follow in their footsteps.

The Forbes article highlights: “Very few earn the title of “Distinguished Engineer and Master Inventor” at IBM, but Rama Akkiraju’s contributions warrant the distinction…Akkiraju helmed the teams responsible for many of Watson cognitive services, including Tone Analyzer. To tackle this challenging space, Akkiraju’s teams leverage multiple disciplines including AI, psychology, sociology, decision theory and consumer behavior.

Rama’s quote from the article reflects why her work is so important to her: “Bots that really understand people can bridge the shortage of customer support agents, guidance counselors, and health coaches. These are all areas where our work can make a meaningful difference in people’s everyday lives.

Follow Rama Akkiraju on Twitter: @rama_akkiraju


(You can read the full article profiling 20+ women leaders in AI research.)


Senior Content Manager, IBM Watson

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