William Tunstall-Pedoe is a British entrepreneur focused AI and other deep technology. He is based in Cambridge, UK and London but also frequently in Toronto and both coasts of the US. His biggest recent achievement was founding the British company Evi (formerly True Knowledge) in 2005. After seven years running the business as a venture capital backed start-up, Amazon acquired it in 2012 and its AI technology, platform and team were used to create Alexa.
For more than three years he had a senior role in the team that defined, built and launched Amazon Alexa and the Amazon Echo product (the initial Alexa device). Evi is now a subsidiary of Amazon and a large development centre employing many hundreds of scientists and engineers. After a decade since founding the company and with everything he hoped to achieve delivered successfully, he made the difficult decision to leave Amazon in February 2016.
William now spends much of his time helping and investing in other AI startups. He has personally invested in more than 60 such businesses. He is a full member of Cambridge Angels and a fellow of the Creative Destruction Lab in Toronto. He is also thinking gently about what to do next – which will likely be founding another AI-based startup. Some of William’s previous unusual projects include being the only person to succeed in programming a computer to solve cryptic crossword clues.
He was also the developer of the Anagram Genius software which applies artificial intelligence techniques to the task of finding relevant, amusing anagrams of any subject. Dan Brown used it to create the anagrams that were integral to the plot of the Da Vinci Code book and movie. He also once got a lot of press for calculating that April 11th 1954 was the most boring day in history.
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