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Ayaka Shinozaki, Techspert backend engineer, wins AI Professional of the Year award

Ayaka Shinozaki, a backend engineer at Techspert – the AI technology innovator specializing in connecting businesses directly to experts for industry insight, has been named AI Professional of the Year for the Computing AI & Machine Learning Awards 2020.

Ayaka Shinozaki

Ayaka Shinozaki, an engineer at Techspert and winner of Computing’s AI Professional of the Year award.


Techspert is elated to announce that Ayaka Shinozaki, a backend engineer, has been awarded AI Professional of the Year for the Computing AI & Machine Learning Awards 2020. The awards recognize the best companies, individuals, and projects in the AI space today. They cover every corner of the industry: security, ethics, data analysis, innovation, and more, as well as showcasing the movers and shakers: the technology heroes and projects that deserve industry-wide praise.

As one of five finalists, Ayaka had to demonstrate the most impressive performance across the last 12 months due to a specific project or collection of projects, a product or several products, or some other form of AI-related professional activity.

The judges described Ayaka as a hard-working and innovative individual with a bright future in the AI space. They added, “Ayaka is using AI to improve lives across many sectors. She demonstrated a wide variety of skills using many different techniques and we especially applaud her contributions to the healthcare sector.”

Ayaka was up against some stiff competition from Francesco Corea, Research Lead at Balderton, Chris Knoblauch, Head of Data Science at mnAI, and QuantumBlack’s Ben Horsburgh, a Principal Machine Learning Engineer, and Paul Beaumont, a Principal (Jr.) Data Scientist.

“I’m honored to have won this award and to be recognized for the projects I’ve delivered at Techspert and my contributions to the AI community,” commented Ayaka.

“My mission is to help shape the future of our society by using computer science to benefit the biomedical space while serving as an example of leadership as a minority female technologist. This award has given me even more momentum to achieve this life goal,” she added.

Of the five finalists, Ayaka was the only woman – a glaring reminder of the gender imbalance in the UK’s tech industry. According to the WISE (Women into Science and Engineering) campaign, the percentage of tech professionals who are women has remained stagnant at 16% from 2009 to 2019.

“We’re incredibly proud of Ayaka’s achievements. It’s encouraging to see her get recognition for the incredible work she’s done at Techspert and in the Cambridge AI community,” said Martin Wilks, Techspert Chief Technical Officer.

“There’s no denying that more work needs to be done to bridge the gender gap in tech. It’s up to all of us, people in business, industry, and education to increase the representation of women in our field. Our company has initiatives in place to make a difference but overcoming gender imbalance in tech requires collective action,” he concluded.

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