Kira Radinsky is an Israeli computer scientist who works on technology innovations that can change the way the world approaches and solves humanitarian problems.
Born in Ukraine in the late 1980s, Radinsky immigrated to Israel as a preschooler with her family. She graduated from the Technion’s especially gifted student program, having started studying at the renowned Haifa institution of higher learning at age 15; she went on to earn her PhD at 26.
During the 11 cumulative years she spent working on her advanced degree, Radinsky served in the Israel Defense Forces as an active developer for Firefox, where she developed translators and semantic recommendation systems for the army. She also founded Promisit, a service that provides content management.
After her IDF service, Radinsky spent three years doing research for Microsoft Research Israel in Herzliya. At Microsoft, Radinsky and Microsoft Research’s head Eric Horvitz built data-mining software configured to predict disasters ranging from disease and epidemic outbreaks, violence, and natural catastrophes.
The promising software has had a 70-90 percent accuracy rate of successfully predicting disasters, based on simulations involving historical phenomena, and data such as newspaper clippings and other online articles and information. MIT’s Technology Review called the predictions made by this new software “as accurate as those made by humans.”
In addition to her academic credentials and research background, Radinsky founded and runs a start-up business called SalesPredict, which uses similar software concepts but distinct algorithms to predict sales. The idea is to help corporations increase revenue by building “a cloud-based application that delivers targeted business-to-business sales intelligence to let sales pros focus on closing deals,” Radinsky said.
In August 2013, MIT listed Radinsky in its thirteenth annual MIT Technology Review list of innovators under age 35, under the inventor category. “My true passion,” Radinsky told MIT, “is arming humanity with scientific capabilities to automatically anticipate, and ultimately affect, future outcomes based on lessons from the past.”
Brian Blum, “The Israeli who can predict the future,” ISRAEL21C (March 18, 2013).
Kira Radinsky, “Kira Radinsky, Ph.D.,” Technion, 2010.
Matthew Kalman, “Innovators Under 35: Kira Radinsky, 27, Inventor,” MIT Technology Review (August 2013).