Artificial Intelligence (AI) is quickly becoming an integral part of many organizations. When analyzing sales data, exploring market trends, designing schedules, or optimizing customer interactions computational algorithms have come to a point where they outperform humans. AI has changed the world as we know it – sparking change across all industries. While AI solves many problems – it also creates new ones. Concerns with AI are arising around fairness, privacy, bias-detection, transparency, accountability, and explainability. Entrepreneurs, executives, and technical leaders who rely on AI to make critical decisions and accelerate operations need to ask themselves if they understand what AI is doing if it is making accurate, bias-aware decisions if it is respecting everyone’s privacy, and more.

The program will be moderated by Heike Schirmer, Product Manager for Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa.


WILLIAM WANG, Director, UCSB Natural Language Processing Group & Center for Responsible Machine Learning

William Wang is the Director of UC Santa Barbara’s Natural Language Processing Group and Center for Responsible Machine Learning. He has broad interests in Artificial Intelligence, including statistical relational learning, information extraction, computational social science, dialog & generation, and vision. He has published more than 100 papers at leading NLP/AI/ML conferences and journals and received several best paper awards. In addition to research, William enjoys writing scientific articles that impact the broader online community. His work and opinions appear at major tech media outlets such as Wired, VICE, Scientific American, Fortune, Fast Company, NASDAQ, The Next Web,, and Mental Floss.


ANDREAS FORSLAND, Founder & CEO, Cognixion

Andreas is the Founder & CEO of Cognixion, a digital health startup based in Santa Barbara, California, and Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Cognixion builds accessible and affordable neuroprosthetic software and wearables that use biometric sensors and ML in new ways to help people with complex disabilities use their face, eyes, and brain as a direct control interface for mobile and AR accessibility.

Cognixion is recognized as a top 21 neurotech startup to watch, and is focused on scaling up the transformation of over 100 million lives and translating universal design approaches for everyone by focusing on the most challenging human interaction needs.



Jill Feldman, President of Strategic Development Associates

Heike is a Product Manager for Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa where she is focusing on international expansion. She came to Amazon via the acquisition of Graphiq, a Santa Barbara based start-up, where Heike was Director of Product focusing on new products and new markets. Before Graphiq, Heike was a management consultant at McKinsey & Company in Los Angeles, Berlin, and Munich. She consulted tech and public sector clients on organizational and strategic topics.

Heike obtained a PhD from the Free University Berlin, Germany, in the area of Social Entrepreneurship focusing on cross-sector partnerships. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Physics from the Technical University in Munich, Germany.


Event Registration:

When:  Wednesday, January 19, 2022, 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Where: Cabrillo Pavilion, 1118 E. Cabrillo Blvd., Santa Barbara, CA 93103


  • Student $15.00
  • Regular (Online pre-registration only) $30.00
    Sign up now & save $10 off the general walk-in rate. Online offer ends Monday, January 17 at 8 p.m.
  • At the Door $40.00
  • Parking (available at venue; fee not included in ticket)


  • 5:00 – 6:00 Networking Hour, Check-in & Registration for Walk-ins
  • 6:00 – 7:30 Presentation/Discussion
  • 7:30 – 8:00 Q&A

Registration includes appetizers and refreshments.

If you miss the early-bird online registration, we welcome guests on the day of the event at the walk-in rate. (Online rate not applicable.) 

Online event registration An Evening with Yardi powered by Eventbrite
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