HIA is founded with the mission to empower businesses to converse with their customers and employees intelligently, efficiently, and at lowest cost.
Using our tools, businesses will be able to verbally and visually conduct complex conversations online via a realistic and intelligent virtual human agent that can ask and answer questions, and extract actionable data.
HIA's product offering leverages intellectual property and a decade's worth of research and development from the University of Southern California's Institute of Creative Technologies.
Stay tuned in the coming months for more detailed information about the company and product. In the meantime, please feel free to contact us using the form below.
Chief Executive Officer
Vacit is known for pioneering leading-edge technologies in fields ranging from semiconductors and software to medical and defense. His extensive experience includes leadership roles in engineering, operations and business management, including international experience with Japanese, European, Chinese, Korean and Israeli corporations.
He led five startups as CEO, three of which as a co-founder. His tenure includes Samsung Semiconductor, LSI Logic, Honeywell, Silicon Value (Silicon Design Systems), Microfabrica, Crosspoint, On-Chip Systems, Vantage Surgical and IBM Microelectronics. Vacit holds a BSEE from the University of Birmingham, U.K., and a MSEE from the University of Houston, TX. He has 13 issued patents; and over 25 pending applications.
Chief Technology Officer
Arno joined HIA from the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT) where he led virtual human research and development over the last 10 years as the Director of Research.
He is responsible for much of the technology, art, and processes related to virtual humans and related systems, in particular at the interchange between research and industry capabilities; he had a leading role on a wide variety of research prototypes and applications, ranging from medical education to military training and treatment. Before ICT, he worked at several IT companies, from large multi-nationals to early start-ups. Arno holds Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Computer Science from the University of Twente in the Netherlands.
Chief Business Development Officer
Rick is a technology entrepreneur that has led strategic initiatives across four acquisitions and two IPOs in markets ranging from digital media, software and cleantech to enterprise data networking and telecommunications infrastructure. Most recently he co-founded and scaled Greentech Media and GTM Research before selling the company to Verisk Analytics.
Prior to GTM, Rick held various marketing and business development management roles at Sycamore Networks, Packet Engines, Fore Systems and PanGo Networks, during the formative years of the Internet’s growth. He holds a BS, Industrial Engineering degree from the University of Pittsburgh.
Steve is a renowned entrepreneur and a professor with deep expertise in a broad set of technologies, including VR, robotics, computer vision, filtering, sensor fusion, AI, control systems, and perceptual psychology. Until recently, he was the Chief Scientist of VR/AR/MR at Huawei, and prior that the Chief Scientist at Oculus VR until its $2 billion Facebook acquisition in 2014.
Since 2001, he has been a professor of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign while also teaching courses at Stanford and Iowa State. He has three books published on VR and robotics, and over 150 scientific articles. Steve holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois.
Kathy is a transformational people and operations leader with extensive background in human resources, marketing and business development. She has more than 20 years experience as a trusted advisor to companies including Snap, Inc. where she most recently served as its VP Human Resources. She has expertise in building operational excellence and strong cultures and has helped scale and transform many companies through roles including EVP of HR at NBCUniversal, Sr, VP of HR at Comcast Entertainment, and Head of HR at DreamWorks Animation, and VP New Business Development & Communications at BBDO.
Skip Rizzo, Ph.D
Albert “Skip” Rizzo is a clinical psychologist and Director of Medical Virtual Reality at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies. Over the last 20 years, Skip has conducted research on the design, development and evaluation of Virtual Reality systems targeting the areas of clinical assessment, treatment and rehabilitation across the domains of psychological, cognitive and motor functioning in both healthy and clinical populations.
This work has focused on PTSD, TBI, Autism, ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and other clinical conditions. Most relevant to the Health IT topic, his recent work has involved in the creation of artificially intelligent virtual human (VH) patients that novice clinicians can use to practice skills required for challenging diagnostic interviews and for creating online virtual human healthcare guides and clinical interviewers with automated sensing of facial, gestural, and vocal behaviors useful for inferring the state of the user interacting with these virtual human entities.
In spite of the diversity of these clinical R&D areas, the common thread that drives all of his work with digital technologies involves the study of how interactive and immersive simulations can be usefully applied to address human healthcare needs beyond what is possible with traditional 20th Century tools and methods.
Danny Lange, Ph.D
Danny is currently the VP of AI and Machine Learning at Unity Technologies. He joined Unity from Uber, where he was the head of machine learning, leading the efforts to build the world’s most versatile Machine Learning platform to support Uber’s hyper growth. Previously, he was the General Manager of Amazon Machine Learning -- an AWS product that offers Machine Learning as a Cloud Service.
Before Amazon, he was Principal Development Manager at Microsoft where he led a product team focused on large-scale Machine Learning for Big Data. He also spent 8 years on Speech Recognition Systems, first as CTO of General Magic, Inc., then through his work on General Motor’s OnStar Virtual Advisor, one of the largest deployments of an intelligent personal assistant until Siri. Danny started his career as a Computer Scientist at IBM Research. He holds MS and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from the Technical University of Denmark. He is a member of ACM and IEEE Computer Society and has several patents to his credit.
Ted Schilowitz Ted is currently the Futurist in Residence at Paramount Pictures, working with technology teams at both Viacom and Paramount. Prior to that, he was the Futurist at 20th Century Fox where he worked on the evolving art and science of advanced motion picture creation. Ted was founding member, first employee, and integral part of the product development team at RED Digital Cinema, which has made a significant impact on the Motion Picture Industry, with many of the world's biggest movies now being shot with these ultra-high resolution digital movie cameras.
He is also one of the founders and creators of the G-Tech product line of advanced hard drive storage products that are implemented worldwide for professional Television and Multimedia content creation. He has been featured in Wired, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, NBC, Studio Daily, Videography, Film and Video, DV magazine, TV Technology, HD Video Pro Magazine, Digital Television Magazine, Engadget, Gizmodo, Millimeter, American Cinematographer, MacWorld, Post magazine, Popular Science, LA Times and countless other trade publications and mainstream press, discussing technology and product advancements in his areas of expertise.
Todd Carlisle, Ph.D
Todd Carlisle is currently the VP of People at Ipsy, an online beauty subscription and media company. Prior to that, as the VP of HR at Twitter, he led the global teams of HR Business Partners, People Analytics, HR Systems, and Recruiting.
Before Twitter, Todd spent 11 years at Google where he founded the People Analytics team, was a Director of Recruiting whose teams hired 5000 people, and acted as a Director of HR for the Trust & Safety team. His work at on topics such as scientific hiring, the wisdom of crowds, and performance management has been covered by the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, National Public Radio, and the Harvard Business Review. Todd has a Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Texas A&M University.