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Meet David "Gonzo" González, advisor to the Data Collaboration Alliance

Gonzo is an Executive and Data Science professional with well over a decade of experience putting AI and ML into production in mission-critical systems. He co-founded Zeff.ai, acquired in 2020 by Boston-based DataRobot, where he now works on product-led growth. He led Zeff.ai as CEO and pioneered transactionally authored training and inference on multi-modal datasets. Gonzo is the primary author of The AI Manifesto for Applied Artificial Intelligence Development and has multiple ML patents. In his free time, he enjoys playing outdoors in the wilds of his adoptive home of Utah with his wife and five children.

Tell us about yourself


I live in Utah with my wife and five children. I've been here for 20 years - it's a beautiful place to live. Chose to live here after grad school and enjoy a variety of different things that they have to offer here in Utah.


I recently, about four and a half years ago, started a company called Zeff and we focused on doing automated, deep learning. That company was acquired in February of last year in 2020 and now I'm working with DataRobot the acquirer to make life simpler for those who use AI on a daily basis.


What's your relationship with data?


As a Data Scientist historically, and as I say sometimes a Data Scientists functionally now, I have sought to make the most use of any data that I've will ever get my hands on to improve the performance of the models that I've built in an effort to improve business systems.


I took a "take no thought for tomorrow" approach to data privacy early on in my career because frankly it was counter to my objectives as my career has progressed and now we're kind of in my 15th year as a professional, I am increasingly concerned that the public does not understand the degree to which data can impact their lives, the data that they proffer freely and without thought.


I like to attach myself and advocate any efforts that will allow the public to better understand what their data does and how it impacts their lives and what they can do to control that data.


Why the Data Collaboration Alliance?


My interest in the Data Collaboration Alliance stems from a now multi-decade interest in controlling data. Initially, that interest was sparked by the ideas of a data locker that showed up in the early 2000's and that kind of fell out of favor mostly because I think there were a lot of technical and logistical problems with that idea.


The Data Collaboration Alliance is taking a much more holistic approach to this problem, looking at how to educate and inform and how to prosecute a system whereby one could actually have control over their data, and I find that tantalizing.


The opportunity to work with a group that is focused on these efforts is something that is well-aligned with my career and professional objectives.


Final thoughts?


So a shout out to the Data Science community and the Business Analyst community. I would love for you to check out what we're doing at the Data Collaboration Alliance, see how we can benefit what you're working on and inform the things that you're thinking about.

The Data Collaboration Alliance is a nonprofit working to advance data ownership through pilot projects in sustainability, healthcare, education, and social inclusion. We also offer free training in the Data Collaboration methodology. Check out The Data Drop podcast on our website or wherever you listen to your favorite shows.

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The Data Collaboration Alliance is a nonprofit that is dedicated to a future where data is fully-controlled by its rightful owners and a more inclusive generation of technologists are empowered to build data-centric solutions without the friction of complex data integration.

 

We’re advancing this goal by coordinating free software for pilot projects, contributing to new standards, and offering free training in data literacy and the Data Collaboration methodology. 

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