Speaker Bio

Tonya Custis


Tonya Custis is a Research Director at Thomson Reuters where she leads a team of Research Scientists performing applied research in Artificial Intelligence technologies. Tonya’s diverse academic background—a Ph.D. & M.A. in Linguistics, an M.S. in Computer Science, and a B.A. in Music—has shaped her research interests, which primarily include information retrieval, natural language processing, and machine learning.

She is currently leading projects that explore Question Answering and Natural Language Understanding in the Legal domain. Previously, as a Senior Principal Data Scientist for Honeywell,Tonya developed machine-learned predictive models to improve voice-controlled and other IoT and aerospace products. Her work as a Senior Machine Learning Scientist for eBay focused on search results ranking, query parsing, inventory prediction, and product classification. As a Senior Research Scientist at Thomson Reuters from 2004-2011, Tonya worked on many NLP and machine learning projects, including Concept Search and non-English stemming & decompounding in 8 languages. From 2007-2016, while not working, she played competitive roller derby.

Session description
The practical side of AI. Where/when is AI applicable? What and who do you need to make AI work for you? Encompasses possibility vs limitation, what AI can and can’t do, where AI is heading, lessons learned, and more. This session features both the enterprise view (TR) and the startup view (Blue J Legal).

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