Coffee Sessions #44

Autonomy vs. Alignment: Scaling AI Teams to Deliver Value

Setting AI teams up for success can be difficult, especially when you’re trying to balance the need to provide teams with autonomy to innovate and solve interesting problems while ensuring they are aligned to the organizations' strategy. Operating models, rituals and processes can really help to set teams up for success; but, there is no right answer, and as you scale and priorities change your approach needs to change too. Grant shares some of his learnings in establishing a cross-functional team of data scientists, engineers, analysts, product managers, and otologists to solve employment information problems at SEEK, and how the team has evolved as they’ve scaled from a team of 30 in Melbourne Australia to over 100 team members across 5 countries in the past three years.

In this episode

Grant Wright

Grant Wright

Director - AI Platform Services & Product Analytics, SEEK Ltd.

Grant heads the Artificial Intelligence & Product Analytics teams at SEEK, where he leads a global team of over 120 Data Scientists, Software Engineers, Ontologists, and AI Product Managers who deliver AI Services to online employment and education platforms across the Asia Pacific and the Americas. Grant has held various strategy and product and tech leadership roles over the past 15 years, with experience in scaling, AI teams to deliver outcomes across multiple geographies. Grant holds a Bachelor of Computer and Information Science (Software Development) and a Bachelor of Business (Economics) from the Auckland University of Technology.

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Demetrios Brinkmann

Demetrios Brinkmann

Host

Demetrios is one of the main organizers of the MLOps community and currently resides in a small town outside Frankfurt, Germany. He is an avid traveller who taught English as a second language to see the world and learn about new cultures. Demetrios fell into the Machine Learning Operations world, and since, has interviewed the leading names around MLOps, Data Science, and ML. Since diving into the nitty-gritty of Machine Learning Operations he felt a strong calling to explore the ethical issues surrounding ML. When he is not conducting interviews you can find him making stone stacking with his daughter in the woods or playing the ukulele by the campfire.

Vishnu Rachakonda

Vishnu Rachakonda

Host

Vishnu Rachakonda is the operations lead for the MLOps Community and co-hosts the MLOps Coffee Sessions podcast. He is a machine learning engineer at Tesseract Health, a 4Catalyzer company focused on retinal imaging. In this role, he builds machine learning models for clinical workflow augmentation and diagnostics in on-device and cloud use cases. Since studying bioengineering at Penn, Vishnu has been actively working in the fields of computational biomedicine and MLOps. In his spare time, Vishnu enjoys suspending all logic to watch Indian action movies, playing chess, and writing.