Aerobotics announced that artificial intelligence expert and thought leader Stuart Reid has joined the company as their Head of Data Science to help drive and grow their capabilities. Stuart will be based in the Cape Town office where he will establish new processes and frameworks for rapidly-prototyping and scaling state of the art computer vision models for use within existing and upcoming Aerobotics products.
Stuart is joining Aerobotics from NMRQL Research, where he spent the last three and a half years developing sophisticated machine learning models for investing.
“I am excited to join Aerobotics and help them further their machine learning technology and bring more value and insights to their customers and agriculture partners around the world,” said Reid. “I believe we are establishing ourselves as experts in precision farming and machine learning and can go toe to toe with the biggest names in the world.”
Before NMRQL Research, Stuart worked at KPMG. Prior to which he graduated Cum Laude from the University of Pretoria where he was a member of the Computational Intelligence Research Group, which focuses on artificial swarm intelligence. He has established himself as an expert in the field through various achievements, including speaking at the Deep Learning Indaba in 2018, Africa’s largest artificial intelligence event. Such recent achievements are just the tail end of a lifelong list of accomplishments for Reid who was one of South Africa’s youngest fund managers at age 26 and South Africa’s youngest amateur radio ham at age 11.
Stuart will be working under Aerobotics Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer Benji Meltzer. Some of the challenges they plan to tackle include the incorporation of domain knowledge from agronomists into machine learning algorithms and the application of machine learning to the design and development of new machine learning models, which is a new technique known as AutoML.
“Bringing Stuart Reid on board is a massive step for the technical side of the business,” said Meltzer. ”Stuart has already made a name for himself in the machine learning world, and we are excited to work together in combining his knowledge and skills to help revolutionise the agriculture industry by creating novel products that add clear, actionable value to farmers.”
Stuart says Aerobotics’ customers love for the product and the challenge of developing new and improved computer vision algorithms for precision farming are the main motivators for him joining the team. Stuart also looks forward to being a part of the fast-paced growth Aerobotics has achieved during the last couple years.
“Aerobotics is the most exciting tech startup in South Africa today and is well positioned to become a leader in the startup space globally. Many people in the machine learning community are watching Aerobotics, and it is just a matter of time before the rest of the world recognises that this is a unicorn in the making,” said Reid.