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Top 13 generative AI influencers to follow

Navigating the rapidly evolving generative AI field can be challenging. These generative AI influencers provide insights to help others learn about generative AI's potential.

Although artificial intelligence has been around for several years, recently developed generative AI tools and opportunities have reinvigorated the market and attracted attention.

Generative AI (GenAI) is a specific machine learning (ML) algorithm that creates new content and media from specific AI data models. It's used to produce, or generate, various content formats -- text, images, video, audio and music -- and can convert one type into another, such as text input generating an image.

While the general public has fun with tools such as ChatGPT, businesses apply generative AI to provide their creative teams with fast, intuitive production power that fuels new and interesting ideas. GenAI's versatility can automate parts of the customer service experience or model different scenarios to inform management decisions.

The challenge is knowing where to start and what to prioritize. That's why informed voices are so valuable.

With updates and unexpected developments occurring daily in this evolving industry, successful companies meld proactive and pragmatic strategies to outpace today's competition and ensure their own long-term significance. Meeting both goals is challenging in such a rapidly changing environment, so it's critical to listen to those in the know. This doesn't require hiring special AI consultants; it can simply mean finding the public conversations already taking place.

Just as there are prominent influencers in travel, fashion and home markets, influencers shape the tech world too. Some actively develop AI technology and want to share their hands-on experience, while others are keen industry observers and insightful analysts. What each influencer listed has in common is a desire to empower their followers with information, so they can make better use of generative AI.

1. Fei-Fei Li

A professor in the computer science department at Stanford University, as well as co-director for the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI (HAI), Fei-Fei Li is particularly known for her contributions to ImageNet, the visual database used to train countless ML algorithms.

Li founded the nonprofit organization AI4ALL in 2017 and remains the board's chairperson. She also published a memoir in 2023, The Worlds I See, detailing her career at the forefront of modern AI. Her vast experience in the field underpins her influence, and she shares important developments and discoveries on her social media accounts, including her own work at Stanford HAI and news from her industry peers.

X, formerly known as Twitter:

2. Ian Goodfellow

As a research scientist at DeepMind, Google's AI research laboratory, Ian Goodfellow is at the forefront of new developments in AI. In 2014, he invented generative adversarial networks, which introduced a new approach to GenAI that improved the quality of AI-generated images. Goodfellow also worked at OpenAI and Apple, absorbing firsthand experience in AI projects from the world's top technology companies.

Alongside his work at DeepMind, Goodfellow contributes to various AI academic resources and posts regularly on his social media channels, drawing attention to useful generative AI explainers and technology announcements. He also amplifies the voices of many important but unheralded figures in the field.


3. Nathan Lands

Unlike some influencers on this list, Nathan Lands is not a scientist working on AI models. He is a highly regarded journalist and observer of the AI landscape, runs the techno-optimist newsletter and produces The Next Wave, a podcast and YouTube channel with co-host Matt Wolfe.

Lands uses his media presence to share his insights on the future of AI and educate his audience on both understanding and leveraging AI more effectively. As a commentator, he focuses on analyzing and elevating the industry work of AI creators and leaders. Therefore, Lands' social media channels offer a great cross-section of perspectives, developments and ideas. His background as a tech startup founder and CEO positions him to understand the early stage innovation process, which he communicates to followers.


4. Yann LeCun

Yann LeCun's work has earned him a Turing Award, so this man knows generative AI. Recognized for developing convolutional neural networks, LeCun is now a chief AI scientist at Meta and a professor at New York University, where he founded the university's Center for Data Science in 2012. His specialties include ML, mobile robotics, computational neuroscience and computer vision.

With more than 700,000 followers on X, LeCun often uses his accounts to discuss both complex technological details and the larger implications of AI technology in modern society. Not only does he post his own insights and opinions, but he also regularly shares the ideas of colleagues and thought leaders in AI. French speakers appreciate that LeCun engages in social media AI conversations in his native language too, although most of his posts are in English.


5. Demis Hassabis

Before Google acquired DeepMind, it was the brainchild of CEO and co-founder Demis Hassabis. Since 2010, Hassabis has led DeepMind through its incredible contributions to the study of AI, including the notable AlphaGo and AlphaFold programs. He remains committed to advancements in AI and uses his social media presence to communicate DeepMind's work, as well as the developments of peers in the field.

His tech-focused content attracts fellow software engineers and AI scientists who want to delve deeper into technical specifics. Hassabis is also working on how to use AI to revolutionize the drug discovery process. In 2024, Hassabis was knighted by the British Royal Family for his services to AI and its advancement.


6. Allie K. Miller

With 1.4 million followers on LinkedIn, Allie K. Miller is one of the most influential voices in the AI business realm. Her career highlights are impressive:

  • Youngest woman to build an AI product at IBM.
  • Global head of Machine Learning Business Development for Startups and Venture Capital at Amazon Web Services.
  • Winner of several industry accolades, including Alconic's 2019 AI Innovator of the Year.

Today, Miller is a speaker, advisor, investor and consultant, and she uses her various social media channels to champion the AI industry. Across LinkedIn, YouTube, X, Instagram and TikTok, Miller consistently shares the latest AI news and developments and her take on them, as well as important job listings and career advice. Her range of content and accessible language draw a diverse tech industry audience.


7. Andrej Karpathy

Andrej Karpathy's impactful career began at Google DeepMind before he became a founding member of OpenAI in 2016. He then led Tesla's computer vision team in its Autopilot program as senior director of AI for five years. More recently, he returned to OpenAI to help build a model for ChatGPT and is now working on a secret project he said he'll announce later this year.

With his extensive background in high-profile AI roles, Karpathy has built a loyal audience in the technology realm and counts more than 450,000 subscribers to his eponymous YouTube channel. His content includes a mix of talks suitable for general audiences and in-depth scientific deep dives for fellow industry professionals. On X, he discusses AI programming and the latest GenAI developments in great detail. There's something for everyone -- novice or expert -- on Karpathy's social channels.


8. Andrew Ng

The founder of DeepLearning.AI, Andrew Ng is one of the biggest names in AI right now. Alongside his role there, he currently works as founder and CEO of LandingAI, co-founder and chairman of Coursera, managing general partner of the AI Fund and as an adjunct professor of computer science at Stanford University. Previous career highlights include his role as founder and lead of Google Brain, as well as chief scientist and vice president of Baidu's AI group.

It's no surprise that Ng, a greatly respected figure in the AI community, counts 1.6 million followers on LinkedIn and 1 million followers on X. He uses his social media presence to share major developments in the field, while also making AI more accessible to a broader audience. Ng regularly speaks to the general public through courses and public talks, including his most recent course, "Generative AI for Everyone," and works in AI education and training.


9. Greg Brockman

As president, chairman and co-founder of OpenAI, Greg Brockman worked with several of the people on this list. Although his own social media channels are sparse, Brockman regularly uses X to communicate new developments, job opportunities and company updates at OpenAI. More importantly, he is a valuable voice on the speaker circuit; many of his talks have racked up thousands of views on YouTube, with his TED talk on the potential of ChatGPT reaching an audience of 1.7 million.

Brockman's commitment to democratizing access to AI makes him an interesting person to follow. His content solely focuses on sharing new opportunities that are accessible and actionable, which explains his nearly 700,000 followers on X.


10. Sarah Guo

One of the less established AI influencers on this list, Sarah Guo brings a different perspective thanks to her position as a startup investor and builder. Guo is the founder of Conviction, an early stage venture capitalist firm that focuses on software 3.0 projects. She also runs a podcast with Elad Gil, No Priors, which discusses the AI revolution.

Guo's efforts to accelerate AI adoption and support newcomers direct her followers to the most relevant and exciting AI developments. She speaks with and elevates the voices of emerging AI founders and scientists, giving followers direct insight into the new generation of AI innovators and the most promising new companies.


11. Ben Parr

Few AI leaders have been a journalist and an industry founder, but Ben Parr can claim both titles. Parr was the co-editor and editor-at-large for Mashable, covering technology, media and startups in more than 2,400 articles. Since then, he founded a popular newsletter, The Social Analyst, and is now co-founder and president of Octane AI, a generative AI and zero-party data platform for e-commerce brands.

Combining a journalist's insight with a founder's firsthand experience, Parr's perspective is a strong source for new ideas and industry updates conveyed in a clear, concise style. He further contributes thoughtful takes on the industry and its role in society today and going forward. He is also one of the few influencers on this list active on Instagram, although his main social channel is X.


12. Claire Silver

Anyone interested in the visual creations of generative AI should follow Claire Silver. The AI artist has been working in this medium since 2018 and is founder of the nonprofit Accelerate Art, which is dedicated to lifting up emerging artists in cryptocurrency and Web3 spaces. Silver is not just a talented artist whose work showcases the potential of generative AI for truly creative pursuits, but she is actively engaged in educating the public on how GenAI works.

The debate continues about the fair use of AI for creative projects, and Silver is a valuable, insightful voice on how to use technology ethically and with respect for other creators' work. Her social media channels provide a singular perspective on the art world and GenAI's effect on its evolving landscape.


13. Lex Fridman

Lex Fridman is a research scientist at MIT, but he is better known for hosting his Lex Fridman Podcast. While his professional research focuses on human-centered AI, such as autonomous cars, he describes his podcast as looking more broadly at the nature of intelligence, consciousness, love and power.

Fridman has produced more than 430 podcast episodes and attracted an audience of 4 million subscribers on YouTube, while his general social media channels count up to 1 million followers on Instagram and 1.5 million followers on LinkedIn. On X, Fridman broadcasts to 3.5 million followers and typically discusses his podcast, his personal experiences with different AI tools and the intersection of technology and society. By sharing clips of his conversations with experts from various industries, Fridman communicates on a range of topics in a digestible, accessible format.


Madeleine Streets is a senior content manager for Custom Content at TechTarget. She has also been published in 'TIME,' 'WWD,' 'Self' and 'Observer.'

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