Published on Jul 09, 2024

Hilary Mason - Data, AI, and Creativity

Step-by-Step Guide:

Step-by-Step Tutorial: Exploring the Interplay of Data, AI, and Creativity


  1. Hilary Mason, a speaker in the video, discusses the interplay between data, AI, and creativity in the context of building products centered around entertainment.
  2. She shares insights on her experience working in the field of data science and machine learning, highlighting the importance of human creativity alongside technological advancements.

Building Products Focused on Creativity:

  1. Hilary introduces her company, Hidden Door, which collaborates with authors and film studios to create immersive experiences for fans using AI technology.
  2. The company enables fans to engage in role-playing experiences in fictional worlds with the assistance of AI narrators and facilitators, similar to playing games like Dungeons and Dragons but in a more accessible format.
  3. The team at Hidden Door comprises both data experts and professionals from various creative fields like game design, film, and visual arts, emphasizing the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration in creating engaging experiences.

Evolution of Data Science and Machine Learning:

  1. Hilary reflects on the evolution of data science since 2014, highlighting the progression from working with big data to developing predictive models and machine learning systems.
  2. She discusses the shift towards AI and the emergence of generative AI technologies like natural language generation, causal inference, and probabilistic programming.
  3. The focus on research and prototype development in her company involved exploring new technologies and methodologies to enhance product offerings.

Challenges and Innovations in AI:

  1. Hilary shares experiences from her time at bitly, where she encountered AI applications like a virtual boyfriend app that utilized natural language generation based on Tumblr interactions.
  2. She discusses the challenges faced in image recognition projects and the transition to using deep learning for image classification.
  3. The deployment of AI technologies in real-world applications, such as customer service, marked a significant milestone in leveraging AI for practical purposes.

Embracing Creativity and Collaboration:

  1. Hilary emphasizes the importance of human creativity in conjunction with AI technologies, highlighting the role of AI as a tool for inspiration rather than a replacement for human creativity.
  2. She stresses the responsibility of tech professionals to design products that prioritize user experience and ethical considerations, urging collaboration across disciplines to create innovative solutions.
  3. The video concludes with a call to action for the data community to embrace creativity, channel hype into productive directions, and foster an inclusive and collaborative environment for future innovations.


  1. Hilary expresses gratitude for the opportunity to share her insights and encourages the audience to contribute to shaping the future of the data community through creativity, collaboration, and responsible innovation.

By following these steps and insights shared by Hilary Mason, you can gain a deeper understanding of the dynamic relationship between data, AI, and creativity in modern technology and product development.