Artificial intelligence startup Hypergiant announced Thursday it named C.K. Sample III as chief technology officer of the Hypergiant Space Age Solutions division.
In the role, Sample will be responsible for engineering leadership.
Hypergiant has three offices across Texas in Dallas, Houston, and Austin with CEO Ben Lamm headquartered in Dallas. Sample will be based in Dallas as well.
“Machine intelligence is an inevitable area of growth with multiple applications across all industries, and we’re only beginning to scratch the surface.”
Sample’s background includes product development and engineering management, most recently serving as chief product officer and acting CTO at YouEarnedIt.com. While there, he led a redesign of the company’s platform and a strategic partnership with Vista Equity. Sample also oversaw an exit with Accenture while previously serving as executive vice president of technology and development at Lamm-founded Chaotic Moon Studios.
“I’ve been interested in machine learning and AI for years, and it’s becoming clearer every day that the demand for a translator for the Fortune 500 is real. Machine intelligence is an inevitable area of growth with multiple applications across all industries, and we’re only beginning to scratch the surface,” said Sample in a statement.
Hypergiant officially launched out of stealth mode in late February with three strategic divisions — Hypergiant Space Age Solutions, Hypergiant Applied Sciences, and Hypergiant Ventures. Space Age Solutions, where Sample will serve at CTO, addresses the enterprise marketplace while Applied Sciences addresses the scientific sector and Venture the AI startup space.
The AI firm’s Space Age Solutions division has more than 20 Fortune 500 customers including TGI Friday’s, Bosch, Schlumberger, and Wingstop. At the time of Hypergiant’s launch it had already created an AI-driven bartender for TGI Friday’s, one of the Space Age Solutions division’s first customers. The AI bartender was named “Flanagan” after the Tom Cruise character in 1988’s “Cocktail,” and used AI technology to create personalized drinks based on customer’ moods and flavor profiles.
“He is uniquely talented at building emerging technology teams that match customer needs …”
“Customers get personalized, tailored drinks and TGI Fridays gets to learn more about what their customers want and celebrate their bar-centric history,” Lamm told Dallas Innovates at the time.
About the CTO announcement, Lamm described Sample as an “innovative force to lead engineering.”
“He is uniquely talented at building emerging technology teams that match customer needs, taking into account their brand, team, current IT systems, and business goals,” Lamm said. “It’s not an easy task to fit all of those pieces together, but C.K. has proven time and time again that it’s not only possible, but absolutely necessary.”
Since its launch, Hypergiant continues to grow according to Lamm, telling Dallas Innovates Sample is among 18 people added to the team. It expects to announce the official launch of its Dallas office along with its Applied Sciences division in the coming months.
The startup is working with the University of Texas at Dallas on emerging tech, AI, and distributed ledger initiatives. Recently, it also partnered with Station Houston to create an AI-Fellow Program sponsored and trained by Hypergiant as a step toward its goal of making Texas the Center for Excellence in AI, Lamm said.
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