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About Amir

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Amir Husain, recognized as Austin’s Top Technology Entrepreneur of the Year and Onalytica’s Top 100 global Artificial Intelligence influencers, is a serial entrepreneur and inventor based in Austin, Texas. He is the Founder & CEO of SparkCognition, Inc. an award-winning Machine Learning/AI driven Cognitive Analytics Company, a Member of the Board of Advisors for IBM Watson, a member of the Forbes Technology Council and a Member of the Board of Advisors for The University of Texas at Austin, Dept. of Computer Science.

In March, 2016, Amir was named by the Under40 organization to Austin’s 40 under 40, and secured the award for the Technology & Sciences category. In September, 2016, he was listed by the Austin Business Journal on their Best CEOs of 2016 list.

Amir launched SparkCognition in April, 2014 with support from Michael Dell’s MSD Capital, L.P., TEF CA, Verizon Ventures, Chicago Mercantile Exchange Ventures and Alameda Ventures. In June, 2014, SparkCognition won the global InnovateApp 2014 competition for the most innovative application of 2014. Additionally, SparkCognition was the only US company to receive the Nokia Open Innovation Challenge 2015 (NOIC) award from hundreds of international innovators.

While in Graduate School, in 1998, at the University of Texas at Austin, Amir developed the ideas that led to his first venture-funded startup, Kurion. After Kurion was acquired by iSyndicate, Amir started a systems management company that merged with PC Blade manufacturer ClearCube Technology. Amir was appointed ClearCube’s Chief Technology Officer and later to the Board of Directors of ClearCube’s holding company. In 2009, Amir became CEO of VDIworks, a Cloud Computing and Virtualization software vendor and grew the company successfully till his departure in early 2013.

Amir is a prolific inventor with 22 awarded and over 40 pending US patent applications to his credit. In 2013, a low cost computing platform Amir invented was inducted into the collection of the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, the world’s largest such institution. His work has also been published in IEEE conferences and in leading tech journals including Network World, Computer World and others. His companies have won numerous awards such as the 2015 Austin Chamber of Commerce A-List, the InnovateApp 2014 competition, the VMWORLD Gold award, Network World’s Hottest Products, CRN’s Innovation award and PC World’s best product award. Amir also serves as advisor and board member to Makerarm, uStudio, ClearCube Technology, S&BMK Foundation, Alif Laila Children’s Educational Society, and others.

Amir Husain

The Life of an A.I. Pioneer

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Amir Husain

Amir Husain, recognized as Austin’s Top Technology Entrepreneur of the Year and Onalytica’s Top 100 global Artificial Intelligence influencers, is a serial entrepreneur and inventor based in Austin, Texas. He is the Founder & CEO of SparkCognition, Inc. an award-winning Machine Learning/AI driven Cognitive Analytics Company, a Member of the Board of Advisors for IBM Watson, a member of the Forbes Technology Council and a Member of the Board of Advisors for The University of Texas at Austin, Dept. of Computer Science.

1977

Amir grew up with his siblings Tasneem Zehra Husain, Mahe Zehra Husain and Ali Husain in Lahore, Pakistan. Interestingly, Lahore is the birthplace of Astrolabes, ancient computing devices used for navigation. More than four hundred years ago, Lahore hosted the world’s most prolific factory for the production of these computers.

In 1982, when Amir was four years old, he acquired an appreciation for computers from the Commodore 64. Amir shares that this technology was mind-blowing for him because he saw a device one could interact with and have the ability to build their own worlds.

1996

As a young boy, Amir's fascination for computers led him to taking apart toys and small motors and piecing them together to what he thought at the time was a computer. This passion for computers was evident to his mother that this was the beginning of something greater.

During his childhood and teenage years, Amir created his own BASIC applications and built his own BBS.

In 1996, Amir and his family moved to Austin, Texas, where he would attended the Master's Program at University of Texas at Austin.

2009

While in Graduate School, in 1998, Amir developed the ideas that led to his first venture-funded startup, Kurion. After Kurion was acquired by iSyndicate, Amir started a systems management company that merged with PC Blade manufacturer ClearCube Technology. Amir was appointed ClearCube’s Chief Technology Officer and later to the Board of Directors of ClearCube’s holding company. In 2009, Amir became CEO of VDIworks, a Cloud Computing and Virtualization software vendor and grew the company successfully till his departure in early 2013.

2014

Amir launched SparkCognition in April, 2014 with support from Michael Dell’s MSD Capital, L.P., TEF CA, Verizon Ventures, Chicago Mercantile Exchange Ventures and Alameda Ventures. In June, 2014, SparkCognition won the global InnovateApp 2014 competition for the most innovative application of 2014. Additionally, SparkCognition was the only US company to receive the Nokia Open Innovation Challenge 2015 (NOIC) award from hundreds of international innovators.

2016

In March, 2016, Amir was named by the Under40 organization to Austin’s 40 under 40, and secured the award for the Technology & Sciences category. In September, 2016, he was listed by the Austin Business Journal on their Best CEOs of 2016 list.

2017

In the tradition of Michio Kaku's The Future of the Mind, acclaimed technologist and inventor Amir Husain published his first book—The Sentient Machine: The Coming Age of Artificial Intelligence. In this book, Amir answers the universal question of how we can live amid the coming age of sentient machines and artificial intelligence—and not only survive but thrive.

The Sentient Machine is available for purchase on Amazon as well as in spoken audio format on Audible.

2018

In 2018, Amir joins leading DC think tank, CNAS’ AI Task Force where he will collaborate with former DepSecDef Bob Work, CMU CS Dean Andrew Moore and other leading experts.

The CNAS Task Force on Artificial Intelligence and National Security brings together national security leaders and AI experts to tackle the challenges posed by the AI revolution. Composed of former senior government officials, private industry leaders, and academic experts, the Task Force examines how the United States should respond to the national security challenges posed by artificial intelligence.

Learn more about CNAS’ AI Task Force

Today

Today, Amir is renowned as a prolific inventor with 22 awarded and over 40 pending US patent applications to his credit. In 2013, a low cost computing platform Amir invented was inducted into the collection of the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, the world’s largest such institution.

His work has also been published in IEEE conferences and in leading tech journals including Network World, Computer World and others. His companies have won numerous awards such as the 2015 Austin Chamber of Commerce A-List, the InnovateApp 2014 competition, the VMWORLD Gold award, Network World’s Hottest Products, CRN’s Innovation award and PC World’s best product award. Amir also serves as advisor and board member to Makerarm, uStudio, ClearCube Technology, S&BMK Foundation, Alif Laila Children’s Educational Society, and others.