Most Active Speaker

Liji Thomas

Liji Thomas

Manager (Data +AI), Valorem Reply

Kansas City, Missouri, United States


Liji Thomas is an accomplished technologist and leader with over 15 years of experience in building cutting-edge digital experiences. She is a Microsoft MVP in AI, which is a testament to her expertise and contributions to the community in the field of artificial intelligence.

As Manager (Data + AI) at Valorem Reply, Liji Thomas oversees the development of cutting-edge solutions that leverage data and artificial intelligence to drive business value. Her role involves managing a team of talented consultants and collaborating with clients to identify opportunities for leveraging data and AI to improve business processes, increase efficiency, and enhance customer experiences. Her expertise spans a wide range of technologies, including AI, machine learning, natural language processing, and conversational AI.

Liji is passionate about the potential of data and AI to transform businesses and create new opportunities for growth and innovation. She is dedicated to staying at the forefront of the latest developments in the field and is constantly exploring new approaches and technologies to drive business value. She believes that AI can transform how we interact with technology and each other, and she is dedicated to driving innovation and pushing the boundaries of what is possible with AI.

In addition to her work at Valorem Reply, Liji is an active participant in the broader data and AI community. She is a frequent speaker at industry events and conferences and is passionate about sharing her knowledge and insights with others in the field. She frequently shares her insights and expertise through speaking engagements, publications, and community involvement. She is committed to empowering the next generation of technologists and leaders and is an advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the tech industry. She is also involved in mentoring and coaching programs, where she shares her expertise and helps to develop the next generation of data and AI leaders.


  • Most Active Speaker 2023
  • Most Active Speaker 2022

Area of Expertise

  • Information & Communications Technology
  • Business & Management


  • Azure
  • Azure AI
  • Bot Framework
  • Azure Bot Services
  • Cognitive services
  • .NET
  • App Development

Building Emotionally Intelligent Apps using Azure AI

A wealth of unstructured opinion data exists online today.
Every day, millions of consumers express their views and opinions regarding products and services. These opinions are subjective information that represents the user’s sentiments, feelings, or appraisal related to the same. Though volunteered, it contains the raw, unsolicited views and opinions about a brand, individual, or event. Using this information product reviews, social media posts, and discussion forums, businesses can identify trends in customer sentiment, find what drives customer satisfaction, and react to negative feedback. The challenge is of analyzing and making sense of this data at scale. Natural Language Processing (NLP), and specifically Sentiment Analysis, provides an automated way to categorize this feedback into positive, neutral, and negative categories. Opinion Mining can add greater depth to the understanding of customer sentiment and provide a more granular view of the data in the voice of the customer. Join me as we discuss the science of using text analysis to understand the drivers of public sentiment, using the latest innovations from Azure AI.

Let's Chat-Bots using Azure AI

The advancement in Conversational AI has revolutionized human interactions, with massive implications across industries. Join Liji as she shares her experiences from building real-world conversational experiences using Azure AI tools. The session will help you understand the capabilities of Microsoft Bot Framework Composer and how an interactive bot is structured.

Learn how to create a Virtual Assistant using Azure Bot Service from scratch and within minutes! Give a human side to your bot using Azure Cognitive Services. Add AI capabilities for Natural Language Understanding (NLU) and answering user queries. Finally. connect your virtual assistant to multiple platforms including Amazon Alexa.

Build apps that understand your users using Azure AI

Azure Cognitive Services brings AI within reach of every developer—without requiring data science expertise. Using simple API calls, developers can now embed the ability to see, hear, speak, search, understand, and accelerate decision-making into your apps. It enables developers of all skill levels to easily infuse AI capabilities into their apps.

In this session, we will learn of the possibilities of Azure Cognitive Services for Language and how developers can get started with these APIs on the easiest route to build Intelligent Applications. The goal is to understand the capabilities of this comprehensive family of AI services to help you build apps that can understand your users. You will go away with the confidence to build apps using the first AI services to have achieved human parity in language.

Designing meaningful Human-AI Interactions

As we’re still in the early days of leveraging AI technologies to augment human capabilities, the opportunities are huge but so are the challenges.AI systems can demonstrate unpredictable behaviors that can be disruptive, confusing, offensive, even harmful. Hence, AI systems can violate traditional human-computer interaction design principles. Discussing actionable guidelines on how best to infuse AI capabilities and build intuitive human-computer interaction experiences is the need of the hour.
Based on the synthesis of over two decades of thinking and research about how to make AI user-friendly, Microsoft has provided the best practices for human-AI interaction that will create meaningful AI-infused experiences that leave users feeling in control and that respect their values, goals, and attention.
The webinar discusses actions that machine learning practitioners and software engineers can take today to enable effective human-AI interaction as described by the guidelines. The goal of the webinar is to learn and use these Guidelines for Human-AI Interaction throughout your design process as you evaluate existing ideas, brainstorm new ones, and collaborate with the multiple disciplines involved in creating AI.

Knowledge Mining with Azure Cognitive Search

Let's discuss the Azure Cognitive Search capabilities, and how you can dig gold from previously untapped data across heterogeneous sources. Learn how to search, discover and visualize relationships across your data. Quickly index unstructured data in any format to and make previously idle data fully searchable. Enrich Bring more meaningful results through the intelligent capabilities of Semantic search.

AI-fy your app with Zero ML expertise

AI is real. Is mainstream. Is accessible.

Long gone is the age of gatekeeping in AI. From professional developers who build intelligent apps using APIs and SDKs to citizen developers who consume prebuilt models in low-code/ no-code tools- Any dev can now do AI. #DemocratizedAI

Azure AI Services empower developers at any skill level to take advantage of breakthrough AI research and infuse intelligence into their own applications.

Join the session to learn how you can build intelligent and responsible apps using your existing skills (simple API calls and zero machine learning experience) and on your own terms (in the programming language of your choice and deploy in the cloud or on the edge.)

Learn how to build AI apps using Prebuilt AI services that are easier to develop and faster to deploy.

Ask not what AI can do for you tomorrow.
Ask what you can do with AI today.

The brains and the brawn behind an Intelligent Virtual Assistant

Virtual Assistants use artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and access to knowledge databases and other information to detect nuances in a user’s questions and responses, then give relevant answers the way a human would. They are contextually aware and use natural language understanding, natural language processing, and machine learning to become progressively smarter.

Today, you can BYOB (Build Your Own Bot) using a portfolio of artificial intelligence (AI) services designed for developers and data scientists.

In this session, we will discuss how you can access high-quality vision, speech, language, and decision-making models from Azure AI to build an intelligent assistant with brains and brawn.

Learn how to take advantage of the decades of breakthrough research, responsible AI practices, and flexibility that Azure AI offers to build and deploy your own Intelligent Assistant.

Azure Speech AI: Give your users and app a Voice

Azure AI Speech offers industry-leading speech capabilities such as speech-to-text, text-to-speech, speech translation, and speaker recognition.

Learn how to build voice-enabled apps confidently and quickly, transcribe speech to text with high accuracy, produce natural-sounding text-to-speech voices, translate spoken audio, and use speaker recognition during conversations.

In this session, we will explore the capabilities, try out demos, and view sample code for some of common use cases using Azure Speech Services in the new no-code environment, Speech Studio.

Building Safe digital experiences with Azure AI Content Safety

In the AI era, ensuring content safety has become a paramount concern. Embracing robust tools like Azure AI Content Safety is crucial for maintaining secure and trustworthy AI-driven environments.

This session delves into the capabilities of Azure AI Content Safety, a comprehensive solution for detecting harmful user-generated and AI-generated content across various applications and services. Aimed at empowering developers and teams in diverse industries, this tool uses advanced machine learning models for content moderation, ensuring digital environments are safe and compliant.
Key Takeaways:
• Comprehensive understanding of how Azure AI Content Safety works and its applications.
• Insight into the versatile use cases across various industries.
• Knowledge of advanced features for text and image analysis and new tools for content safety.
• Practical skills in using Azure AI Content Safety Studio for customized content moderation.
• Ability to implement effective content moderation strategies using AI-driven tools.

Decoding AI's Language: The Art and Science of Prompt Engineering

In an era where "English is the hottest new programming language," the ability to effectively communicate with AI through natural language prompts has become invaluable. This session delves into the art and science of prompt engineering, equipping participants with the skills to navigate the complexities of AI interactions seamlessly. From mastering the basics to exploring advanced techniques, attendees will learn how to craft prompts that unlock AI's full potential, ensuring their applications are both innovative and ethically responsible.

Key Takeaways:

Foundational Insights: Understand the critical role of English in programming AI, establishing a solid base for effective communication.
Advanced Strategies: Dive into sophisticated prompt engineering techniques that enhance AI's response accuracy and creativity.
Practical Application: Learn to apply prompt engineering skills in real-world scenarios, driving innovation and solving complex problems.

Participants will emerge with a robust skill set, ready to harness the power of AI through the nuanced art of prompt engineering, bridging the gap between human language and machine understanding.

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November 2020

Liji Thomas

Manager (Data +AI), Valorem Reply

Kansas City, Missouri, United States


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