Dr. Vishal Sikka Biography
Dr. Vishal Sikka is the Founder and CEO of Vianai Systems, a Human-Centered AI platform and products company launched in 2019 to address the unfulfilled promise of enterprise AI. Based in Palo Alto, California, the company is backed by many of the most influential investors in the industry, has a rapidly growing customer base and includes a leadership team with unmatched expertise in building breakthrough products and delivering customer success.
Dr. Sikka serves on Oracle’s Board of Directors, the Supervisory Board of the BMW Group, the GlaxoSmithKline Board of Directors, and the Advisory Council for Stanford University’s Institute for Human-centered AI (HAI). Dr. Sikka is widely considered one of the world’s leading experts in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, and frequently advises C-suites of the largest and most respected companies in the world on AI strategies to transform their businesses.
From 2014 to 2017, Dr. Sikka was the CEO and Managing Director of Infosys, a $10B+ revenue global technology services company. As the first non-founder CEO of Infosys, he led the company through a generational shift in a time of significant changes in the services industry, changes brought on by cost pressures and the rapid advancements in technology. He implemented a “Renew + New” strategy that helped clients renew their existing IT landscapes to drive down costs using automation, while simultaneously bringing breakthrough innovation using design thinking and next-generation technologies like artificial intelligence to transform their customer experiences.
Prior to Infosys, Dr. Sikka served as a member of the Executive Board of SAP SE, leading all products and technologies, including driving all product development and innovation globally. During his 12 years at SAP, he was instrumental in bringing a culture of innovation and intellectual renewal across the entire company. Dr. Sikka is credited with articulating the principles of “Timeless Software,” and creating SAP’s breakthrough in-memory data platform SAP HANA, the fastest growing product in SAP’s history. With the support of SAP’s founder/Chairman Dr. Hasso Plattner, Dr. Sikka also led the once in a generation transformation of SAP’s entire product portfolio and its development processes.
Dr. Sikka has a distinguished background in the field of Artificial Intelligence. His Ph.D. was in AI from Stanford University. Prof. John McCarthy, known as the father of AI, was the head of his qualifying committee. Dr. Sikka’s thesis on integrating “specialist” AI techniques into general purpose reasoning, addressed a foundational problem in AI that is still a weakness of AI techniques. In addition to his Ph.D. from Stanford, he has an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Queensland in Australia. He is an adjunct professor of Computer Science at East China Normal University, Shanghai, the largest teaching university in China, and an adjunct professor of Computer Science at Stanford. Dr. Sikka has also served as the co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s council on AI.
Dr. Sikka is a champion of technology as an amplifier of human potential and his passion for applying software in purposeful ways to address some of the biggest global challenges. He, along with his wife Vandana Sikka, sponsor and support various initiatives to promote access to computer science learning and education for women, minorities and other under-represented communities. In his spare time, Dr. Sikka likes to read, write, cook and also surf along the pacific ocean’s shores in California and Hawaii.
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