Liesl Yearsley

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Liesl Yearsley,
CEO & Founder, Akin

I am CEO / founder of aKin – Generative AI with our own frontier model, in significant expansion. Previously founder/CEO of Cognea – an AI platform acquired by IBM. I took the company from startup to hyper-growth, acquisition and scale. I was founder/CEO of a search engine company using applied artificial intelligence for predictive search which went public. I grew the company from invention through hypergrowth, co-invented the technology, won large deals and millions of end-users, and grew it from nothing to public listing.


I build applied ethical AI systems. In other words, we don’t simply wave our hand around talking about ethical or aligned AI. We do it. We built it at scale, deploy to the field, measure results, and optimize for societal outcomes. We build a better planet with a model of responsible co-evolution

I am a technical founder with a number of patents in AI, and coded Cognea’s first bots myself.
The first company I founded was a multinational education franchise. We ran classes for thousands of families, and went online early. It grew well, and best of all did wonderful work. The company is still growing today.

I love my work, it is like living inside a science fiction novel. We dream the future in our minds, and watch it unfold in our hands.

I believe that unrelenting human expansion and self vs group orientation will have impact beyond what we can imagine, and needs to be mitigated by technologists who have a sense of purpose that goes beyond themselves.