Over the past twenty years, Steve Ardire has advised over fifty startups in AI and machine learning. He regularly gives interviews and speaks at conferences about the business cases for AI and the ways AI will change the companies that use it. Ardire’s thought leadership and advising helps AI startups to differentiate their products, gain funding, and engage partners.

Who Is Steve Ardire?

Ardire is currently a strategic advisor to seven artificial intelligence startups, with more to come in the near future. He’s convinced that the economic, social, and technological conditions are ripe for AI to break out in the coming years. As computing costs have declined and consumers have begun to demand smarter apps, machine intelligence is poised for enormous growth in the near future.

Steve Ardire’s main job is guiding AI startups through this growth phase and into profitability. He’s focused on illuminating the most important next steps and issues that matter for AI startups, including close funding, business strategy, partnerships, customer engagement, and go-to-market tactics.

Background and Connections

Ardire’s background is in geology, and he earned his B.S. in Geology from Franklin & Marshall College. He later went on to attend the University of Connecticut where he received his M.B.A. In the past two decades, Ardire has become an expert in the business side of artificial intelligence, working with over fifty startups.

Ardire spends a lot of time speaking at conferences, both for industry experts and non-technical audiences. He also gives frequent interviews on AI and machine intelligence and its role in business today and in the coming years. Other professionals and startup founders recognize Ardire as an industry expert, praising his business insights, big picture thinking, and cutting-edge knowledge of the industry.

Ardire currently lives in Seattle and advises several startups on the west coast and in New York.

Advisor to Startups in Artificial Intelligence

Steve Ardire currently advises Kimera Systems, Humans for AI, Cognitive World, Cognitive Finance Group, Meelo Logic, Intraspexion, exClone, and Emoshape. He specializes in early-stage advising, helping startups with competitor analysis, differentiation from the market, and big picture strategy.

Ardire is known for his ability to map out the competitor landscape and plot the best route to market for a new idea. He’s also on the leading edge of technology, and he sheds light into new business opportunities based on current trends in the research and development of AI.

Startups have used Ardire’s expertise to get to market quicker and capture greater market attention upon arrival. As huge status quo players, like Google and Facebook, continue to dominate the market with development, computing power, and a wealth of user information, Ardire helps startups choose specific questions to answer with their AI products.

The AI startup world is only getting more competitive, with a surge in venture capital deals to AI startups in 2016.

The “Merchant of Light”

It’s common to see Steve Ardire’s name followed by his work description: “the merchant of light.” He views his job as investigation and illumination of the most important parts of an AI startup’s life. For the startups he advises, Ardire helps clarify, focus, and prioritize the things that matter most. In his own words, he “illuminates and connects the dots” for startups.

In Ardire’s recent post on Re-Work, he argues AI startups can absolutely compete with the goliath companies – if they have a solution that shows a clear benefit today and can quickly get significant customer traction and revenue. His “merchant of light” title applies to seeing the hurdles in the way of traction and revenue and plotting a course around them.

Thought Leadership on Machine Intelligence

In a recent Huffington Post interview, Ardire opined, “There is a lot of opportunity for small and medium businesses who use AI to catch up to big ones.” However, he doesn’t see all companies becoming AI companies. Instead, he argues that companies will use AI to leverage their workers’ capabilities, making business more efficient and effective.

Citing a Gartner report, Ardire claims that the effects of machine intelligence on business could be enormous. By 2020, 85% of customer interactions will take place without a human involved. However, executives and Ardire believe that AI will increase human performance and create more jobs than it destroys.

How to Learn More

Ardire is very active on Twitter and LinkedIn, posting regular updates to his community of thousands of followers. You can also find some of his complete presentations via LinkedIn Slideshare.

He has completed a number of interviews, available on YouTube with a quick search. One of his most recent interviews was on IBM Fast Track. Ardire regularly posts recent interviews on his social media accounts, and you can find out about opportunities to hear Ardire speak via social media as well.

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