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Hernán Benítez

Machine Learning Engineer

Hernán loves running, whether it be a Python script or a marathon. The veteran machine learning engineer and Fulbright scholar likes to get the feel of new cities by dashing around their streets, and has crossed the finish lines of marathons from Austin to Paris. “It’s a kind of meditation for me,” he says. “After running, I find that I have a very different perspective and that problems are no longer so difficult to solve.”

Most of Hernán’s career has been devoted to researching and teaching others about AI. Most recently as a full professor at Colombia’s Pontificia Universidad Javeriana Cali where he focused on digital image processing, digital signal processing, and machine learning. In his 15 years there, Hernán has led a Microsoft-funded project using AI to monitor biodiversity in the Amazon, spearheaded other ventures backed by the Colombian Ministry of Science, Technology & Innovation, published more than 50 peer-reviewed articles, and trained dozens of undergraduate and graduate students.

“I am very excited to apply all the knowledge, skills and abilities that I have acquired during my time in academia to solve real world problems.”

“Developing machine learning-based solutions for these types of problems is a very interesting technical challenge, and at the same time has great potential to provide business value to clients and users,” he continues. 

Hernán also has first-hand experience providing that kind of business value. He is the co-founder and former CEO of DeepVision, a data analytics company that leverages computer vision and natural language processing for a variety of sectors including industrial automation and retail applications. 

As a mentor, he aims to apply everything he has learned to help founders develop proofs of concept for both their core technologies and potential business models. “AI is a tool that has great potential to make changes in our daily lives, and already has made changes all around us that are so important, even though we don’t notice them,” he says. “The contributions that can be made to the world in general, in education, health, or finance—that is what brought me to this field.”

Hernán holds a PhD in electrical engineering from Universidad del Valle and a bachelor’s in electrical engineering from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana Cali. 

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