The Global Startup Ecosystem: Automating Understanding with John Bohannon

9 Jul 2021

John Bohannon, Director of Science at Primer AI, discusses his time as the “Indiana Jones of Journalism” and explains how he helps build machines to read and write – automating intelligent understanding of large datasets.

Hosted by Jeff Kavanaugh, VP and Head of the Infosys Knowledge Institute.

“I brought my skills to bear from science journalism. I put myself in the customer's shoes, and I had a wonderful team to work with to try and create new algorithms to process text in order to help people find the information they need.”

“There is this expression that software is eating the world. Well, machine learning is eating software.”

- John Bohannon

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Show Notes

  • 00:21

    Jeff introduces John

  • 00:29

    How did you go from getting a Ph.D. in molecular biology from Oxford to becoming an investigative data journalist embedded with NATO in Afghanistan?

  • 02:56

    What do you do at Primer?

  • 04:48

    What's your thought process behind focusing on machine learning, natural language processing, et cetera?

  • 08:09

    John compares machine model learning to the black box concept.

  • 11:08

    What's the difference about solving problems at [a global] scale, versus something that's a little smaller, almost at a toy level?

  • 14:42

    What are some of the other kinds of challenges that you're looking to solve at Primer that you see now and you see around the corner?

  • 15:38

    Looking at the corporate world today, are there any specific challenges that you think should be solved, and maybe that's around the corner, beyond the tools that you have today, that maybe businesses in general should be solving, or you're excited about helping them solve, maybe in the next year or two?



About John Bohannon

John Bohannon

Director of Science

John leads applied research at Primer. He worked for a decade as an award-winning investigative data journalist based in Europe and embedded with NATO forces in Afghanistan. He has a PhD in molecular biology from Oxford University.

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