We are on the quest for a true data-driven marketing leader

You don’t need me to tell you that AI is moving fast. We know that the research behind deep learning is developing faster than even experts can track. Here’s the problem…in this period of rapid innovation, how do we bring customers up to speed with the potential to benefit from all of these AI applications?

Answer: Marketing.

I see marketing as a vehicle to conduct experiments with the power to bridge the knowledge gap between a customer’s pain points and the possibilities from AI.

With that being said, marketing carries a huge responsibility. At Xnor, marketers provide the data that…


And why I am excited to bring AI into to devices with Xnor.ai

Last summer when I was in Greece, I set up our Nest Cam that we use as a baby monitor. Anyone with a toddler knows that feeling when your baby is down and you have the evening to yourself. So you can imagine how I felt when I discovered the internet was spotty and we could not establish a stable connection. Without Internet I could not receive real-time notifications and my baby cam was useless!

This was not the first time I had wished my smart devices…


A behind-the-scenes look at the technology that powers Neon Pro — an app that uses deep learning to select images that appeal to our emotions.

Figure 1 — A Neon-selected image from Julune — A June and July Adventure, shot entirely on a GoPro Hero 4 camera by Leah Dawson

This week, my company released an app we’ve been hard at work on for months. Since surfing has long been my favorite method of unwinding and recentering, I could not help but pick GoPro Awards-winning Julune — A June and July Adventure to illustrate the features of our new image selection app.

Where did we start?

Neon grew out of the science labs of Carnegie Mellon and Brown University where we discovered that valence, a perceptual property that captures…


Last month, Apple opened their new store in Union Square in San Francisco. You’ve probably seen tons of articles by now about the architectural feats undertaken by Foster + Partners — everything from 42' glass doors to floating stairs. I recently visited the store and was struck by how many of the architectural, experience, and design features in the store closely mirror the features I see in compelling images of all kinds.

Image credit: Nigel Young / Foster + Partners

When everyone zigs, Apple zags

With 69% of American adults shopping online each month, retail companies really need to reinvent a reason to get customers into a physical store. Apple has found that…


Image from Beyonce’s Formation Video & Lemonade, which highlights an interesting use of contrasting textures (fluffy fur, braids, metal bracelet)

Beyonce may have surprised us with the flash release of her “visual album,” Lemonade, which aired on HBO last month. However, what is not surprising is how Beyonce once again mastered the imagery that made up her 60 minute music album to build a compelling portrait of the history and culture of black women.

“Bey has always been about using striking visuals, clever lyrics and high-impact narratives to express her point of view” Jenna Wortham

I agree, Beyonce’s visuals are “striking,” and as a visual scientist at Neon I was keen to uncover what makes her music videos so compelling.


This week 120.8 million people tuned in for the Super Bowl making it the most watched show in US TV history. With roughly 40 NBC video cameras, some shooting in 4K at 120 frames a second, the game churned out a mind-blowing number of images. Not to mention the hundreds of photographers that were there shooting, on average, 2000 photos each during the game.

It’s not just the volume of images produced that’s extraordinary. A staggering number of these images are also consumed—purchased, clicked, tweeted, and shared. Super Bowl related hashtags were tweeted over 5 million times already this month…


And why I let Neon pick my pics

Despite warnings from the Onion’s Report: Average American Worker Replaced Within 10 Minutes Of Taking Vacation, I boldy decided to take a vacation in Greece this summer.

When I fell onto the airplane in New York after a jampacked week of customer meetings, on the back of a hectic few months of product releases, financings, onboarding new team members, and press announcements, I literally felt like I could not squeeze another tiny thought into my brain. And yet by magic, when I touched down in San Francisco a mere 2 weeks later I floated off the plane, light and airy.


I remember not long ago when I-Corps was simply a startup within the National Science Foundation (NSF) designed to help academic teams of scientists and engineers commercialize their research and become startups themselves.

In the space of three short years the I-Corps program has grown to help over 100 academic teams launch new companies.

Yesterday, some of the founders and leaders of the NSF I-Corps program gathered with Mexican officials to discuss how the I-Corps program could stimulate innovation and drive economic growth for Mexico. The room was tightly packed with leading academics and entrepreneurs from the Mexico-U.S. Entrepreneurship and…


Why Neon picked MDV to lead our recent investment

One afternoon in April, I was having a coffee with Bill Ericson, our General Partner from Mohr Davidow Ventures. As I updated him on the results from recent pilots, customers in our pipeline, and the stack of upcoming industry events where Neon was scheduled to present, he paused to ask a critical question. What would happen if all of these potential customers wanted to buy our product? How would we support them through sales and implementation, and ensure a high quality service? …

Sophie Lebrecht

Bringing AI to the edge with Xnor.ai. Co-founded @neonlab to help people discover the world through images www.sophielebrecht.com

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