Julia Irvine 30 May 2017 04:27pm

Another Silicon Valley coup for EY

One of the world’s leading experts on machine learning and artificial intelligence has joined EY’s global innovation team as global innovation artificial intelligence leader

Nigel Duffy, who is an entrepreneur, author, patent holder and scientist, will leverage the application of AI throughout EY’s global network and will also build on EY’s relationships with start-ups and academic and business communities around the world.

EY’s global chief innovation officer Jeff Wong, who almost two years ago was also lured to EY from Silicon Valley where he was senior director at eBay’s business incubation group, described Duffy as “one of the world’s foremost thought leaders in AI”.

“With Nigel joining the EY global innovation team, we look forward to working together to turn ideas leveraging AI into realities that help EY and our clients innovate.”

Duffy was headhunted from Sentient Technologies where he headed up the design, development and commercialisation of very large scale statistical machine learning and AI technologies.

Before Sentient, he co-founded Numerate and led its technology development. While he was there, he invented the company’s core technologies which helped to design novel drug candidates for diseases such as cancer, hepatitis C, HIV and heart disease. He is the author of 11 granted or pending patents.

Commenting on his new role at EY, he said, “It’s one thing to create a technology but it’s another thing to transform the way a business operates.

“This exciting opportunity at EY comes as a time when artificial intelligence is bursting from the laboratory and beginning to have a major impact. The start-up, business and academic communities are aligning more closely to drive this innovation ad transformational change around the globe.

“This next phase of my career is about taking machine learning’s potential and applying it across all industries.”

Duffy has an MA in mathematics from University College Dublin and a PhD in computer science from the University of California at Santa Cruz.

He will work out of Palo Alto, California.