Cognitive Journey: Business Application of AI by Sanjay Chopra of Cognistx

Time :

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

7:00 PM


Chatham University, Mellon Board Room

1 Woodland Road, Pittsburgh, PA

This talk discusses how to efficiently combine, customize, and apply AI building blocks such as Deep Question-Answering (Deep QA), speech and image recognition and natural language processing (NLP) to real world problems.


  • 7:00pm: Food & Refreshments
  • 7:15pm: Announcements
  • 7:25pm – Tech Talk
  • 8:10pm – Q&A
  • 8:25pm – Conversations
  • 8:55pm – Departure


Sanjay Chopra is the Co-Founder and CEO of Cognistx An Applied AI Company. The Cognistx team builds adaptive multi-strategy Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems that help organizations simplify, humanize and monetize their data. Sanjay is also the Co-Founder & CEO of Intellions, a pricing software company. He has over twenty-two years of expertise in e-commerce strategy, business development and technology and in 2000 he was awarded the E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year. Sanjay actively participates in promoting entrepreneurship in Pittsburgh and was the Founding Chair of Pittsburgh Social Venture Partners as well as a founding charter member of the TiE Pittsburgh. Mr. Chopra is an Adjunct Professor of e-Commerce at Carnegie Mellon University and holds an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University (GSIA – Tepper Business School), a Master of Science degree in Computer Science from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) and Bachelors in Computer Science from Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology (MANIT -REC), Bhopal, India.

Remember: All attendees can enter a drawing to win a free ACM Membership! Simply sign in when you arrive and at the end of the event we will draw one lucky winner who will receive a free ACM Membership!

Here are directions to the Mellon Board Room (MBR) in Mellon Center:

Come into the campus via Fifth Avenue. (GPS Coordinate: 5918 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15232.)

Turn onto Murray Hill Avenue. (If you are coming from Oakland, turn right off Fifth Avenue onto Murray Hill Avenue.) After following Murray Hill Ave about a half mile, turn left into the Chatham University Jennie King-Mellon Library parking lot. Turn to your left in the parking lot along the back of the library. Just past a large blue dumpster on your right is the Parking Attendant’s hut. If the lot is full, the attendant may need to valet park your car. Parking is unrestricted after 4:30 PM.

From the library lot, go up some steps to get to campus. Facing the Quad Lawn, with the library behind you, Mellon Center will be to your right, down the path. Following the downward sloping path, the Mellon Board Room will be on your left. MBR is a one-storey, brick structure with a balcony on top. You will see the Tudor-style mansion just beyond it. Enter MBR through wooden double doors from the outside.

This is what the MBR looks like from outside:

MBR outside

You can find the Library, the Library Lot, and Mellon Center on the campus map:

Food Sponsor:


Read the full article here

Open Advancement of Question Answering: Beyond the Jeopardy! Challenge

LTI Colloquium Presentation

Eric Nyberg, Professor, Language Technologies Institute

WhenFriday September 22, 02:30 PM to 03:50 PM
Whereaker Porter Hall – PH 100 (Map: )


The development of IBM Watson and its success in the 2011 Jeopardy! Challenge led to a renewed emphasis on QA research and development, across a broad range of application domains and data sets. This talk presents an overview of the Open Advancement of Question Answering (OAQA) consortium and its recent contributions to QA research, including the development of QA for Bioinformatics (BioQA, QUADS, BioASQ), real-time QA for web users (LiveQA), and language technology for AI and Law (LUIMA). The presentation will also explore the rise of AI agents (Watson, Siri, Cortana, Alexa), their impact on public perceptions of AI, and implications for current and future research.

Speaker Bio:

Noted for his contributions to the fields of automatic text translation, information retrieval, and automatic question answering, Nyberg received his Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University (1992), and his B.A. from Boston University (1983). In 2012, Nyberg received the Allen Newell Award for Research Excellence for his scientific contributions to the field of question answering and his work as an original developer on the Watson project. He received the BU Computer Science Distinguished Alumna/Alumnus Award on September 27, 2013. Nyberg currently serves as Director of the Master of Computational Data Science (MCDS) degree program, and is co-Founder and Chief Data Scientist at Cognistx.

September Chapter Meeting

When:Thursday, September 21, 2017 – 7:30am
Where:Omni William Penn Hotel
Time:7:30 a.m. Registration & Breakfast, 8:00 a.m. Program
NAIOP Members – Complimentary
Non-Members – $40.00
Topic:Cybersecurity & Artificial Intelligence
The Impact on Commercial Real Estate
Speaker: Sanjay Chopra
Co-Founder and CEO, Cognistx
Call 412.928.8303

RSVP REQUIRED – NO SHOWS WILL BE CHARGED Cancelations 48 hours prior Invoice will be sent for online payment or make check payable to and mail to NAIOP Pittsburgh Chapter Rosslyn Commons 333 Baldwin Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15205

Read the full article here

AI startup moving to downtown Pittsburgh

Reported by Patty Tascarella, Senior Reporter, Pittsburgh Business Times

Ai Startup moving to downtown Pittsburg

Young company with close ties to CMU counts PPG, Monro Muffler and Pittsburgh Steelers among its customers.

An artificial intelligence startup whose clients include PPG, Monro Muffler Brake Inc. and the Pittsburgh Steelers is moving its headquarters from Gibsonia to downtown Pittsburgh on Monday.

Cognistx is setting up shop at 606 Liberty Ave., said CEO Sanjay Chopra. The office is focused on data science and product management, and the two-year-old company builds adaptive, multistrategy AI systems for clients in widespread industries. Cognistx employs seven locally and expects to add at least two posts in the next few months.”Downtown happens to be the one central location for everyone,” Chopra said. “The space is such that we can grow into it easily, and we’re in the same building as Kroll, a client of six months.”

Cognistx also added an office in Winston-Salem, N.C.’s Innovation Quarter last year, where its user interface and user experience operations are based. It expects to employ 25 there by next April.

The company’s technical leadership team is in Pittsburgh. That includes Chopra, Eric Nyberg and Florian Metze. Chopra is a repeat entrepreneur, adjunct professor at Carnegie Mellon University and a former director of digital commerce at Giant Eagle Inc.Nyberg, a CMU computer science professor, had consulted with IBM on the Watson project, the supercomputer that won on “Jeopardy!” five years ago. Metze serves on the research faculty at CMU’s Language Technologies Institute in automatic speech recognition, multimedia processing, semantic computing, and user interfaces. Cognistx’s first product, an app enabling Monro to make extremely customized offers to clients, launched in May 2016.

Read the full article here

Carnegie Mellon Launches Artificial Intelligence Initiative

PITTSBURGH | June 27, 2017 — Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science (SCS) has launched a new initiative, CMU AI, that marshals the school’s work in artificial intelligence (AI) across departments and disciplines, creating one of the largest and most experienced AI research groups in the world.

“For AI to reach greater levels of sophistication, experts in each aspect of AI, such as how computers understand the way people talk or how computers can learn and improve with experience, will increasingly need to work in close collaboration,” said SCS Dean Andrew Moore. “CMU AI provides a framework for our ongoing AI research and education.”

From self-driving cars to smart homes, AI is poised to change the way people live, work and learn, Moore said.

“AI is no longer something that a lone genius invents in the garage,” Moore added. “It requires a team of people, each of whom brings a special expertise or perspective. CMU researchers have always excelled at collaboration across disciplines, and CMU AI will enable all of us to work together in unprecedented ways.”

Read the full article here

Cognistx CEO Sanjay Chopra at TEDxYouth@Shadyside

Pittsburgh PA | June 6 – Video of Cognistx CEO Sanjay Chopra’s recent TED talk at TEDxYouth@Shadyside ‘A Cognitive Journey: Application of AI to Business Problems’

Cognistx at CRMC 6/8/17

Chicago, IL | May 30 — Catch Cognistx at CRMC with Monro Muffler Brake and RedPoint Global Thursday, June 8 at 11:10am, at the Hilton Chicago Grand Ballroom – 2nd Floor. Our very own Dr. Eric Nyberg, Chief Data Scientist and Professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science, will be co-presenting at this exciting event. He’ll discuss Next Generation Customer Engagement through Artificial Intelligence and New Advancements in Retail Marketing Technology.

More Information:

Good Stuff from Sanjay v2.0

Good Stuff from Sanjay v2.0 — I’m Sanjay Chopra, Co-Founder and CEO of Cognistx. Welcome to Cognistx’s second installment of Good Stuff from Sanjay, series, where we dive into a topic each month that’s top-of-mind for me (and our company). Hopefully, this will become a resource for you as well, as you look to AI (with Cognistx as your go-to AI partner) to solve for your company’s specific business problems.

For this month’s Good Stuff series, I wanted to discuss some thoughts on how AI can be a great solution for businesses within the manufacturing industry, as well as share a few updates regarding a project we’re working on with PPG:

First up, a few ways AI can use data to help solve for common hurdles within manufacturing:

Knowledge Retention: Employees with decades of valuable experience are retiring from the workforce, and their critical knowledge has not been saved or codified. AI tools can be used to codify that expert knowledge and distribute it across sites so it can be leveraged company-wide.

  • Simulations: capture expertise and use it to train new skills
  • Testing: virtually test workers in safe environments and with less time and offer remote training

Production Decision Making: Manufactured items are more complex than ever, and they require hundreds of people, dozens of supplies, thousands of pieces, and countless decisions. Consumer demand and competition means just-in-time manufacturing, faster design improvements, and global sourcing. That’s where AI can swoop in to save the day, offering:

  • Intelligent Information Retrieval: reduce information overload by finding relevant information addressing the current need of the individual
  • Automated Data Collection: diminish the effort in collecting information such as pricing, availability, standards, and timing, so decision-making can happen quickly and with confidence
  • Scheduling and Coordination: coordinate multiple suppliers to reduce delays, inventory, reduce costs
  • Automated, Real-time Projections: make manufacturing and logistics more efficient than ever by allowing proactive risk management

Design Research: Creating new products is an expensive process, and one that often results in them falling flat. With thousands of specifications, regulations, and customer insights to navigate, information can be hard to quantify and share company-wide. Let AI help with this tricky process by introducing:

  • Customer Insight: mine product tests and specifications to provide insight from previous design research
  • Regulation Changes: traverse regulations and identify areas that need to be edited to address updates
  • Simulations/Prototyping: simulate scenarios and use cases to gather feedback efficiently

Product Support: Manufacturing and just-in-time delivery means people can customize their products, which is great for the end user but often causes headaches on the manufacturing side. Bring AI into the mix to provide:

  • Configuration Support: identify how a product would need to be altered to meet the customer’s order, knowing that computers will achieve this more efficiently than humans
  • Efficient Warehousing: use vision and indoor positions to aid robots in warehouses

We’ve loved getting to partner with PPG to optimize a portion of their manufacturing process as they work to save money and time in their paint production. For them, any marginal improvement in the paint formulation or adjustments process means thousands of dollars in savings.

Interested in learning more about how we can help you meet your manufacturing business goals? Get in touch with us today by contacting Jill Zoria, our SVP of Enterprise Development. Or request a consultation and one of our team members will reach out to you.

– Sanjay

Why Progressive Businesses In Any Industry Should Be Turning To Cognitive Computing

Why Progressive Businesses In Any Industry Should Be Turning To Cognitive Computing

Winston-Salem, NC | March 6 — That’s right, we at Cognistx firmly believe that cognitive computing should be on the radar of any forward-looking business (and that’s not just because we happen to build artificial intelligence technology!). It’s because we’ve seen the value of this technology up close – and we don’t want you to miss out on its game-changing potential.

Let’s start by breaking down cognitive computing a bit, though. After all, you’ve probably heard the terms “cognitive computing,” “machine learning,” “big data,” and “artificial intelligence,” or “AI,” thrown around a lot by now, but if you’re a business professional you might be looking to better understand how the technology that powers IBM’s Watson or Amazon’s Alexa can help you from a business standpoint.

In reality, the answer is: AI can help you solve for just about any business problem as long as there is the right kind of data to learn from.

You see, AI feeds off of big data and your category knowledge, and uses that information to help you gain efficiencies, understand consumer behavior, individualize retail offers, increase the value of your database, and so much more. You should be asking, “Which of my business problems can be solved with AI?” (And we’d love to help you answer that question!)

Cognistx wants to be sure businesses understand AI so they can stay ahead – and we’re here to help you jump into the cognitive computing game with complete confidence. To help with that process, we’ve reduced cognitive computing to a set of best practices, and have set ourselves up to help you solve real-world business problems regardless of the industry you’re in.

In the healthcare business? AI can help you track effectiveness of care with more reliability, helping reduce your re-admission numbers.

Are you a supplier? AI is great at helping you divert resources when inventory needs change at the last minute.

Is retail your game? Cognitive computing can individualize offers for customers and learn their specific behaviors, getting them to a conversion quickly based on their habits.

Whatever your industry, AI is relevant. It’s time to pay attention to those buzzwords floating around out there – and to realize it’s about far more than just technology. It’s about relationships with consumers. It’s about peace of mind for business leaders. It’s about staying ahead of the curve among your competitive set.

We’d love to set up time to talk to you about how your company can partner with Cognistx to help solve your most perplexing business problems. Get in touch with us today by contacting Jill Zoria, our SVP of Enterprise Development. Or request a consultation and one of our team members will get in touch!

The Democratization Of A.I.

Winston-Salem, NC | February 23 — Not too long ago, the concept of Artificial Intelligence existed only in Sci-Fi books and movies. Then, all of a sudden, it seemed, this once fictional technology became a reality.

But still, it felt distant. AI was high-profile, expensive tech, relegated to mammoth industry leaders like IBM.

Cognistx is out to change that model. Our mission? Democratizing AI.

We want to make this technology available to the masses — because it’s RELEVANT to the masses. It’s industry agnostic and able to be applied in countless forms depending on what questions you’re trying to answer or which issues you’re trying to solve. This isn’t just technology for technology’s sake.

At Cognistx, we’re different because we’re fast, efficient, and have crafted flexible pricing models to allow us to work with companies of virtually any size or budget level. We do great work with a stellar team, and we’re able to scale things up or down depending on how much money and time your company has to allocate to this form of technology. We are obsessed with AI and want to share its magic with as many company partners as we can.

AI (also known as “cognitive computing”) is a good fit for any company that collects data. Got data? Let’s talk.

“By providing fast, effective ways to develop intelligent analytics from customer data, Cognistx makes it possible for small to mid-sized companies to leverage big data,” said Eric Nyberg, Co-Founder and Chief Data Scientist at Cognistx. (Fun fact: Eric was the lead academic researcher behind IBM’s Watson)

Cognitive computing helps take your data to the next level, and it automatically gets smarter the more it’s used and the more feedback it receives from humans.

For example, if you’re a retail company sending out offers to consumers, AI can help you start to hone your approach for each individual shopper. Consumer A might continually decline a $10 discount but regularly accept a $15 one. What would happen if we instead offered that person a $12 discount and they began to bite at that level? (You just saved yourself $3, retailer.) That’s the beauty of AI — it gathers and learns this information and can start to customize offers to bring in the best results for your bottom line.

For non-retailers, cognitive computing can complement the work humans are currently doing to help increase your company’s efficiencies, reach, and reliability. For example, AI is ideal for warehouse optimization, and can be put in place to create customized pulling/order processing plans printed daily for each employee. These plans would take into account employees’ individual speeds and other factors to make things move more smoothly and allow employees to have a daily customized game plan that works well with their approach. You wouldn’t just gain efficiency at the front end, either, as you’d be able to continuously gather data on ongoing performance, speed, etc.

We’re thrilled AI technology has reached a point that it can be a viable option for any business across several industries, and Cognistx is dead set on making sure as many companies as possible not only know about AI but know how it can work for them. Welcome to the cognitive era!