29 minutes | May 3, 2022

The Collaboration Muscle: LinkedIn’s Ya Xu

Over the course of her nine-year tenure at LinkedIn, Ya Xu has held technology roles with increasing responsibility. Today, she heads the data function for the online professional networking platform.

Ya joins hosts Sam and Shervin in this episode to discuss AI’s essential role in helping LinkedIn create the best “matches” — content creators with content consumers, job seekers with employers, and buyers with sellers — within its three key marketplaces. Ya also describes how the company has fostered a data-first culture from the top down, and how its vast amount of economic activity data is helping governments and policy makers worldwide. Read the episode transcript here.

Me, Myself, and AI is a collaborative podcast from MIT Sloan Management Review and Boston Consulting Group and is hosted by Sam Ransbotham and Shervin Khodabandeh. Our engineer is David Lishansky, and the coordinating producers are Allison Ryder and Sophie Rüdinger.

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Guest bio:

Ya Xu has been a driving force in transforming LinkedIn into a data-first company since she first joined the organization in 2013. As head of data, she leads a global team of about 1,000 data scientists and AI engineers whose work is at the core of delivering economic opportunities to LinkedIn’s members and customers. Xu’s emphasis on responsible AI and data science ensures that LinkedIn’s AI systems put people first and enables the company to empower its members, better serve its customers, and benefit society.

In addition to her work at LinkedIn, Xu has coauthored the book Trustworthy Online Controlled Experiments (Cambridge University Press, 2020), has been named to Fortune’s 40 under 40 in tech, and was nominated for VentureBeat’s Women in AI Awards. She has delivered countless speeches, including a commencement speech to Stanford’s class of 2019 in mathematics, statistics, and mathematical and computational science. Previously, Xu worked at Microsoft and earned a Ph.D. in statistics from Stanford University

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