John is currently Program Director, Virtual Agents at IBM and an Honorary Professor at University of Technology Sydney. He is a highly creative Greek-Australian computer scientist with an entrepreneurial drive. His career contributions range from research through to strategic business development, leading the commercialization of emerging technologies in Asia-Pacific, Europe and North America.
He created his first artificial intelligence chat robot when he was only 14 years old as a student in his Year 9 computer studies assignment whilst at Trinity. Since then he went on to establish a fresh vision for interactive, humanized computing that resulted in world-leading innovation. He co-founded AI company Cognea in 2005 and it went on to became recognised as a world leader in delivering virtual human solutions, before being acquired by IBM in 2014. Holding a PhD in Artificial Intelligence, he has published his work internationally including holding multiple patents. Having worked in Tokyo and New York at IBM Research labs, Professor Zakos now continues to work on leading cognitive computing projects from back home in Australia.