Top 10 People in Artificial Intelligence

Sandeep Kumar
7 min readJul 19, 2021


Artificial intelligence (AI) is playing an important role in every aspect of human life today. It is basically the intelligence demonstrated by the machines with the help of various algorithms. Today, we are using AI in almost every field such as medical diagnosis, natural language processing, gaming, finance, data security, social media, and the automotive industry. This wide range of AI is creating questions like AI will eventually replace humans from all industries.

AI is fundamentally transforming human life through various technologies but it will not replace humans. In fact, it will be complementing and boosting human talents rather than replacing them. There is a lot of research going on in the field of AI, and at the same time, tech entrepreneurs are implementing innovative AI technologies. Here, we will list the top 10 people in artificial intelligence and their contribution in this field.

  1. Elon Musk
top 10 people in artificial intelligence elon musk
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Elon Musk is undoubtedly one of the most famous personalities in the field of AI. He founded OpenAI in 2015, along with other co-founders with the vision of developing friendly AI that should benefit the entire humanity. OpenAI is conducting groundbreaking research in AI and developing open-source tools such as OpenAI Universe.

Reinforcement learning is another main focus area of OpenAI, in which they are developing many products such as Gym that aims to provide a general-intelligence benchmark with a wide variety different environments, RoboSumo which is a humanoid metalearning robot, Debate Game which teaches machines to debate toy problems in front of a human judge, and generative models like GPT, GPT-2, and GPT-3.

2. Jurgen Schmidhuber

top 10 people in ai gurgen schmidhuber
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Popularly known as the “Father of Self-Aware Robots”, Jurgen Schmidhuber is a German computer scientist. His primary research areas are artificial intelligence, deep learning, and artificial neural networks. Apart from Nnaisense, he is a co-director of the Dalle Molle Institute for Artificial Intelligence in Switzerland.

Jurgen Schmidhuber worked on highly complex recurrent neural networks which are called long short-term memory, and published a highly cited paper. Currently, he is developing the kind of artificial neural networks that are equivalent to the human brain, and eventually surpassed them.

3. Andrew Ng

top 10 people in ai andrew ng
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Andrew Ng is undoubtedly one of the most influential personalities in the field of AI. He is an AI researcher, instructor, and Adjunct Professor at Stanford University. He was one of the co-founder of Google Brain, a deep learning AI research team of Google which is dedicated to research in AI, machine learning, information systems, and large-scale computing.

Before that, he was the chief scientist at Baidu and built the AI research team for the company. Ng is also a pioneer in online AI education, and co-founded Coursera and DeepLearning.AI. These online platforms democratize AI education, and teach over 2.5 million students across the world.

4. Anita Schjoll Brede

Anita Schjoll Brede top 10 people in ai
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Anita Scholl Brede is a Norwegian entrepreneur. She co-founded to speed up research in AI. At, they have developed a world-leading AI engine for scientific text understanding to find relevant articles using sophisticated AI algorithms.’s algorithms work on literature reviews, data extraction, post-market surveillance, etc. to extract best possible data and resources. This AI engine searches over 60 million papers, and gives you the most relevant results.

5. Cassie Kozyrkov

Cassie Kozyrkov top 10 people in ai
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Cassie Kozyrkov is the Head of Decision Intelligence at Google. Her aim is to democratize decision intelligence and build a safe, reliable AI for everyone. She also has a blog, podcast, and newsletter named Decision Intelligence which talks about data-driven decision making. Cassie also has some very popular courses such as a complete minicourse on statistics, a minicourse on analytics, and making friends with machine learning.

Cassie has supervised more than 100 projects, designed Google’s analytics program throughout her career. She has also personally trained more than 20,000 people on machine learning, decision-making, and statistics.

6. Demis Hassabis

top 10 people in ai Demis Hassabis
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Demis Hassabis is another famous personality in AI, and the founder and CEO of DeepMind. DeepMind is an AI research firm which mostly focuses on deep learning, AI robotics, neuroscience, unsupervised learning and generative models, and reinforcement learning. The company is known for developing the first AI system to defeat a professional human Go player — AlphaGo.

DeepMind is also known for developing the famous AlphaFold model for the long-standing “protein folding problem”. By figuring out its potential, Google acquired it in 2014.

7. Fei-Fei Li

top 10 people in ai fie-fie li
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Fei-Fei Li is an AI researcher and professor at Stanford University. She is a co-director of the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence, and also a co-director of the Stanford Vision and Learning Lab. Also, she was the director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (SAIL) between 2013 to 2018.

Apart from the Stanford professorship, Li also served as Vice President at Google and served as Chief Scientist of AI/ML from January 2017 to September 2018. Her focused areas of research are computer vision, machine learning, AI in healthcare, and cognitive neuroscience. In 2020, she was elected to the National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Medicine. This year, she was elected to the American Academy of Art and Science.

8. Geoffrey Hinton

Geoffrey Hinton top 10 people in ai
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Geoffrey Hinton is Canada based cognitive psychologist and computer scientist. He is best known for his work on artificial neural networks. He has been working simultaneously for Google Brain and University of Toronto in between 2013 to 2017. He then co-founded the Vector Institute and became the Chief Scientific Advisor in 2017.

In 1986, Geoffrey Hinton along with David Rumelhart and Ronald J. Williams, published a highly cited paper that popularized the backpropagation algorithm for training multi-layer neural networks. He received the prestigious Turing Award in 2018 along with Yann LeCun and Yoshua Bengio. These three computer scientists are often considered as the “Godfathers of AI” due to their breakthrough contribution to the field.

9. Ian Goodfellow

Ian Goodfellow top 10 people in ai
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Ian Goodfellow is currently the director of a special ML group at Apple Inc. Born in 1985, he has also worked in Google Brain as a research scientist and made several contributions to the field of deep learning. He has also contributed to a book called Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach, which is used in more than 1,500 universities across 135 countries.

Ian Goodfellow is widely known for GANs (Generative Adversarial Networks) which has wide-ranging applications in art, fashion, science, and in deep fakes. Yann LeCun was so impressed by GANs that he described them “the most interesting idea in the last 10 years in ML”. He has also contributed to Google Maps.

10. Yann LeCun

Yann LeCun top 10 people in ai
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Yann LeCun is a French computer scientist and Vice President, Chief AI Scientist at Facebook. He is also serving as a Professor of the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University. His primary research areas are machine learning, computer vision, mobile robotics, and computational neuroscience.

Yann LeCun is the founding father of convolution nets, and contributed to optical character recognition, and computer vision using convolution neural networks (CNN). Along with Leon Bottou and Patrick Haffner, LeCun also created DjVu image compression technology, and co-developed the Lush programming language with Leon Bottou. He received the Turing Award in 2018 along with Jeoffrey Hinton and Joshua Bengio.

Final Thoughts

This is my list of top ten people in artificial intelligence. Although there are many other great people who are contributing in this field, it is not possible to include all of them in this article. Artificial intelligence is the hot cake for today’s researchers, and many of them are performing breakthrough research on different areas of AI.