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Kostas Hatalis
Class of 2012
Computer Science Engineering and Computer Science & Business
Received M.S. in Computer Science in 2013 & currently getting a PhD in Electrical Engineering
Hometown: Bethlehem, PA

What Baker programs were you involved in?

I was involved in the EUREKA! Ventures Competition in 2016 and I am

currently Baker’s Young Entrepreneur-in-Residence.


What project were/are you involved with?

I started working with the idea of artificial intelligence to be able to understand and generate marketing content for businesses.


What problem did your project address and what was the solution?

Through interviewing people at various companies, I discovered that for businesses of any size digital marketing is a very time-consuming and expensive process. It also requires a certain level of expertise and even then, it can be mostly guesswork. What keywords, emotional tone, or topics will do better with different audiences across different platforms? To solve this problem, I propose the use of advanced artificial intelligence (AI) to study huge volumes of publicly available marketing data to learn how to generate new content. With a proprietary blend of natural language processing algorithms, we would teach an AI to understand all the levels of a marketing message from the grammatical level to the semantic level so that it can learn to generate new messages itself tailored for specific businesses. I believe this can save companies a lot of time and money in their marketing efforts.

What was your “transformative moment” during this project?

There wasn’t a single transformative moment but occasionally during the project there would be “boost moments.” For instance, in the beginning there was doubt from many people if such a project would even be feasible. From the business side, would companies want such an AI and from the technical side, is such an AI even possible? But I kept moving forward, and boosts began to appear. I began talking to companies and they showed great enthusiasm in the idea. Eventually, I started getting components of the AI working. Then a big boost was the EUREKA! first place win in 2016, where I also started getting several Lehigh intern students involved.


What are you dreams for this project?

I’m hoping to reveal to the world the first proprietary AI that can generate high quality content to greatly assist businesses. From then on, the sky’s the limits.

What do you foresee as your next steps in life?

I’m passionate about disruptive technologies such as machine learning which is also why I’m doing PhD research in it. I believe technology can solve most of humanity’s problems. Therefore, in all my future endeavors I want to place myself at the forefront of such progress. Whether it’s forming tech startups or doing laboratory research I never want to stop learning and pushing myself.

What are your other passions (hobbies, heroes, sports, etc.)?

I’m an avid news reader, always trying to stay on top of current events from international financial news to the latest scientific publications. These are a great motivator for me to see how the world is doing. I’m also fascinated by the success of industry titans such as Elon Musk and Peter Theil, and researchers such as Andrew Ng and Steven Pinker.