Vivienne Ming

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Vivienne Ming
Ming interviewed on SiliconAngle theCube in 2018
Evan Campbell Smith[1]

(1971-10-19) October 19, 1971 (age 52)
Alma materUniversity of California at San Diego (BS)
Carnegie Mellon University (MS, PhD)
Awards100 Women
Scientific career
FieldsArtificial intelligence
ThesisEfficient auditory coding (2006)

Vivienne L’Ecuyer Ming (born October 19, 1971)[1][2] is an American theoretical neuroscientist and artificial intelligence expert. She was named as one of the BBC 100 Women in 2017, and as one of the Financial Times' "LGBT leaders and allies today".

Education and early career[edit]

Ming has spoken extensively on her academic struggle early in life, which eventually led her to leave university. After struggling with depression, suicide, and homelessness,[3][4][5] she returned ten years later and received her Bachelor of Science degree with honors in cognitive neuroscience from the University of California at San Diego in 2000.[1][6] She returned in 2016 to deliver the convocation at her alma mater.[6] Ming earned her Master of Science degree in 2003 followed by a PhD in 2006[7] in Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University, in parallel with the computational neuroscience program at the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition.[8][9][10][2]

Career and research[edit]

After her PhD, Ming held a joint postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University and University of California, Berkeley, where she later[when?] joined as a research scientist and visiting scholar. Ming has been involved with various organisations that challenge poor education and health policy.[11] She co-founded the think tank Socos, which consults on artificial intelligence, neuroscience and education reform.[12][13] She demonstrated that the metrics used in hiring have little influence in workplace success.[12] She worked with Accenture on how they could train staff to be more creative.[12]

Ming has published research on Artificial intelligence (AI) in education[14] and created ”Muse”, a machine learning based tool for parents. It recommends research-based activities to support young people's creativity, motivation, and emotional intelligence.[15][16] She has led research showing that psychological constructs such as metacognition, socio-emotional competence, creativity, and curiosity significantly affect long-term life-outcomes such as health, productivity, education attainment, and life satisfaction.[17][18]

Awards and honors[edit]

In May 2017 Ming delivered a TEDx Talk about how to make a better person.[19] She has spoken about machine learning at Singularity University in Brazil.[20] She spoke about artificial intelligence and neural networks at the Royal Irish Academy and the Royal Society in 2018.[11][21] She has appeared on the PC Magazine podcast Fast Forward.[22] She has been featured on BBC Radio 4 and NPR.[23][24]

Ming was included in the BBC's "Top 100 Women 2017"[25] and the Financial Times's “The OUTstanding lists: LGBT leaders and allies today",[26] along with other awards and acknowledgments.[27][28][29]


  1. ^ a b c Arnold-Ratliff, Katie (2013). "How Evan Smith Became Vivienne Ming: An Incredible Story Of Self-Discovery". HuffPost.
  2. ^ a b Evan C Smith; Michael S Lewicki (1 February 2006). "Efficient auditory coding". Nature. 439 (7079): 978–982. doi:10.1038/NATURE04485. ISSN 1476-4687. PMID 16495999. Wikidata Q48639862.
  3. ^ Vara, Vauhini (May 8, 2017). "We Will Literally Predict Their Life Outcomes". Wired. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  4. ^ Costa, Dan (January 30, 2017). "Fast Forward: Scientist, AI Expert, Entrepreneur Vivienne Ming". PC Magazine. Archived from the original on April 1, 2019. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  5. ^ Jenny, Anderson (March 7, 2016). "A scientist calculated the cost of not being a straight man, and she wants a tax cut". Quartz.
  6. ^ a b University of California at San Diego Convocation speech (September 29, 2016). "Mistakes are Stepping Stones on Path to Greatness".
  7. ^ Smith, Evan Campbell (2006). Efficient auditory coding (PhD thesis). Carnegie Mellon University. ProQuest 305361230.
  8. ^ "Carnegie Mellon University Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition (CNBC)".
  9. ^ Vivienne L Ming; Lori L Holt (1 September 2009). "Efficient coding in human auditory perception". Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 126 (3): 1312–1320. doi:10.1121/1.3158939. ISSN 0001-4966. PMC 2809690. PMID 19739745. Wikidata Q29041955.
  10. ^ Locklin, Kristy (2021). "A Not-So-Mad Scientist".
  11. ^ a b Sample, Ian (2018-12-07). "Technologist Vivienne Ming: 'AI is a human right'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2018-12-11.
  12. ^ a b c Foroohar, Rana (2018-07-27). "Vivienne Ming: 'The professional class is about to be blindsided by AI'". London: Financial Times. Retrieved 2018-12-11.
  13. ^ "Socos Labs - Vivienne". Retrieved 2018-12-11.
  14. ^ Dr Vivienne Ming (January 1, 2012). "Modeling Student Conceptual Knowledge From Unstructured Data Using A Hierarchical Generative Model". University of Colorado.
  15. ^ Jenny Anderson (March 14, 2018). "Can an AI-powered bot help parents raise better humans?". Quartz.
  16. ^ Ming, Vivienne (June 22, 2016). "Secrets Of Successful Kids: Grit, Purpose, And Artificial Intelligence". Aspen Ideas.
  17. ^ Anya Kamenetz (June 8, 2016). "Apps That Aim To Give Parents 'Superpowers'". NPR ED.
  18. ^ "Using deep learning to forge a deeper relationship with your children". CBC Canada Radio. July 9, 2018.
  19. ^ TEDx Talks, Making a better person | Vivienne Ming | TEDxBerkeley, retrieved 2018-12-11
  20. ^ Singularity University, Vivienne Ming | Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence | SingularityU Brazil Summit, retrieved 2018-12-11
  21. ^ O’Connell, Claire (2017-07-03). "Dr Vivienne Ming: Mashing up tech for humans". Silicon Republic. Retrieved 2018-12-11.
  22. ^ "Fast Forward: Scientist, AI Expert, Entrepreneur Vivienne Ming". PC Magazine. 2017-01-30. Retrieved 2018-12-11.
  23. ^ "Apps That Aim To Give Parents 'Superpowers'". Retrieved 2018-12-11.
  24. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, You and AI". Retrieved 2018-12-11.
  25. ^ "BBC Top 100 Women 2017". May 10, 2017.
  26. ^ "The OUTstanding lists: LGBT leaders and allies today". Financial Times. October 25, 2017.
  27. ^ Dr. Vivienne Ming. "Influential Women 2016". San Francisco, Business Times.
  28. ^ "Top 100 Women BBC (11/5/17)". November 5, 2017.
  29. ^ Neubronner, Marion (February 16, 2018). "Women on Top in Tech – Dr. Vivienne Ming". Asian Entrepreneur.