Rama Akkiraju is an IBM Fellow, IBM Master Inventor and IBM Academy Member. Presently, Rama is the CTO of AI Operations, which aims to optimize the IT Operations management processes with AI-infusion. Prior to this role, Rama led the AI mission of enabling natural, personalized and compassionate conversations between computers and humans both as the director of research and development in IBM's Watson division and as the Chief Architect. She and her team developed and delivered several user-modeling centric AI Services such as Personality Insights, Tone Analyzer, Emotion Analysis, and Sentiment Analysis services to the IBM Watson platform. Before this, Rama led various projects and Research teams at IBM Watson Research Center and IBM Almaden Research Center in the areas of AI, analytics, business process optimization and delivered award-winning and innovative analytical assets to IBM’s Global Business Services (GBS), and Global Technology Services (GTS) organizations saving millions of dollars in costs. Rama has been named by Forbes magazine as one of the ‘Top 20 Women in AI Research’ in May 2017, has been featured in ‘A-Team in AI’ by Fortune magazine in July 2018, In addition, Rama has been named ‘Top 10 pioneering women in AI and Machine Learning’ by Enterprise Management 360 in April 2019. Rama is also the recipient of the University of California, Berkeley’s Athena award for Technical and Executive Leadership for 2020.
Rama has expertise in agent-based decision support systems, business process management, electronic market places, and semantic Web services, for which she led a World-Wide-Web (W3C) standard. Rama has co-authored 6 book chapters and over 100 technical papers. Rama has 45+ issued patents and 25+ pending. She is the recipient of 4 best paper awards in AI and Operations Research areas. Rama has received three IBM Corporate Technical Awards, the highest technical awards given to individuals each year at IBM for their innovative technical contributions that led to significant business impact. Rama also received multiple Outstanding Technical Achievement Awards both while at IBM Research and at IBM Watson divisions in her career. Rama holds a Master's degree in Computer Science and an MBA from New York University's Stern School of Business, where she graduated at the top of the class with the highest academic excellence for which she received a gold medal. Rama served as the President for ISSIP, a Service Science professional society for 2018 and continues to actively drive AI projects through this professional society.