Core team

Our team is a rare combination of the expertise in AI, NLP and emotion understanding.


Danica Damljanovic, PhD

CEO & Founder

Danica has over 13 years experience in AI and NLP, and over 5 years in entrepreneurship, and has worked with the SRI team that developed Siri, and in Recordsure analysing human-to-human conversations. As an internationally recognised scientist Danica has published more than 40 publications, and a book on text analytics, cited over 1200 times. She received her PhD in AI and NLP from the University of Sheffield.


Nenad Maljukan

Software Engineer

Senior Engineer with a track record of building scalable systems. Experienced and passionate about Machine Learning platforms. His first open source contribution was visualising Neural Network training process. What he enjoys most in his role is a unique opportunity to expand his knowledge in all possible directions from NLP algorithms to analytics, system support, and new feature development. Worked for big corporations such as Talpa, Volkswagen, and NTT Data.


Claire-Marie Hall

Chief Voice Analyst

With an attuned ear for emotion and sentiment, Claire has worked for over a decade as a professional actor. Having gained a degree from one of London's most established drama and vocal study institutions - Mountview Academy of Dramatic Arts, she has appeared in leading roles in various productions across London's West End and large scale national tours. Her latest project is based in verbatim theatre, an audio-documentary form of performance where she is able to connect her expertise in both acoustic emotional understanding and theatrical delivery.

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Gary Wood

Voice Analyst

Gary has a deep understanding of human emotion having worked as a Voice teacher to actors from both the UK and overseas, as well as being a professional actor himself for well over a decade. With a strong desire to delve deeper in to understanding more complex human emotions, Gary is actively studying for a diploma in Kinesics and looks forward to continuing his studies beyond this.


Eihab Mohamed

Commercial Engagement and Strategy

Eihab Mohamed brings commercial client engagement and strategy focus, in support of Sentient Machine’s growth plans. A senior professional in his field, he has worked with a diverse range of customer service & sales organisations, including those in the Financial Services, Media, Telecom, Hi-tech, Healthcare, Automotive sectors, and outsourced call centres.


Xingyi Song

Xingyi Song, PhD

Speech and NLP Scientist

Initially trained as a System Control Engineer Xingyi moved to AI/NLP soon after graduating. He completed his MSc and PhD studies at the NLP group, at the University of Sheffield, working on Machine Translation. After finalising his PhD, he worked as machine translation engineer and on the cutting edge research projects such as Kconnect, working on several medical domain NLP tasks, including sentiment analysis, name entity recognition, suicidal ideation detection, and Semantic indexing.


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Simon Shaw

Industry Adviser

Internationally experienced, strategic customer contact professional with a strong track record of leading customer experience and operational transformation initiatives across a range of industry sectors. Recent experience includes delivering a strategic Omni-channel technical and people driven solution across all customer touch points. Has worked for a range of organisations including; Expedia, Eurostar, Carnival Cruises, Gatwick & Stansted Airports, onefinestay, Guinness and BBC.

Vijayanta Gupta

Go-To-Market Adviser

A technology industry executive with deep experience in building great teams, and in delivering multi-million dollar revenue through emerging and established products. He brings over 20 years of global business-building experience with startups as well as enterprise tech companies across UK, Europe, US, and India. Vijayanta has held multiple leadership roles in Adobe, Accenture, Microsoft and Tata Consultancy Services. Vijayanta holds an MBA in Strategic Marketing, a Master's in Computer Applications and a Bachelors in Physics. He is based out of London and thoroughly enjoys the multi-cultural experience that the city provides.

Timo Mennle, PhD

Strategic Adviser

Timo is passionate about questions on the interface of business and IT. He contributes expertise on business value creation and electronic market design. As a management consultant with the Business Technology Office of McKinsey & Company, Timo advised clients on product strategies, IT strategies, and large transformation programs. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science in the field of Economics and Computation and a Master’s degree in Financial Mathematics.

Neil MacDonald

Sales and Scale-up Adviser

Neil has over 25-years experience in sales, marketing and business operations, specifically in the high-tech industries, and is now providing the benefits of that experience to highly disruptive, brilliant, leading-edge tech talent across Europe and North America. Having held senior positions with SwiftKey, HP and Nuance, he has the breadth of experience to help companies move from small-scale start-up, through their growth stage, to ultimately deliver long-term sustainable business. He has achieved 6 successful exits, worth over $1/2 billion in the past 8 years and has established himself as a start-up to scale-up expert particularly in the Artificial Intelligence and Human-Computer-Interface disciplines.