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From Intern to AI Trailblazer at Palo Alto Networks

Brody Kutt 2 650X440

From intern to now senior principal machine learning engineer, in seven years, Brody Kutt has excelled and advanced in his career at Palo Alto Networks in one of the fastest-growing technologies in our society today: artificial intelligence.

His journey began before finishing his studies in computer science and mathematics at Rochester, and by fate, his manager today was the very person who agreed to be a part of his thesis committee. To this day, Billy remains an influential mentor to him, right at the heart of our headquarters in Santa Clara.

The Start of Brody's AI Journey

For Brody, he tells us, “The reason I get out of bed every morning is for research and discovery. I live to practice science and discover new things. My forte has always been artificial intelligence. From computational mathematics, computer science, cognitive science, psychology and statistics, it’s a perfect mixture of all the things I love, and AI is like a marriage between all of them.”

At first, Brody was apprehensive about entering the working industry, as his passion for AI runs deep. However, it has become clear that it was the right decision. He says, “I’m here and still going because leadership has been flexible in supporting different kinds of strengths. From publishing papers to drafting patents, I was able to pursue new projects, and that’s important. There’s mutual trust for that to happen, where I could explore my intellectual freedom.”

Through the combination of empathetic and supportive leadership, Brody honed his expertise in deep learning in artificial intelligence. He built “The very first deep learning model Palo Alto Networks ever deployed in production.” He continues, “My success came from a position where I could foster my creativity, and Palo Alto Networks allowed me to grow and define my role.”

Daily Responsibilities of an AI Engineer

When Brody was asked about his day-to-day responsibilities, he emphasized that there's never a dull day at Palo Alto Networks as things move fast. Brody says, “My job responsibility is to assist other teams in building AI solutions for their problems. We collaborate; they typically come to us with difficult, moonshot-type problems. Then we’re involved from ideation, building, testing, and implementation, alongside deployment and maintenance.”

Advice for AI Engineers

Mentorship is significant here, and there is ample opportunity to grow. Brody emphasizes, “It all comes down to good mentorship. I know a dozen people off the bat who would be absolutely thrilled to teach, guide and enable talent to grow. Python is incredibly important. Brushing up on your calculus and optimization is also very important.”

AI Implementation and the Future of Cybersecurity

When looking into the company's culture, Brody reveals, “While AI is exciting; it can be malicious. We need to be optimistic and focus on how AI is stopping threats in real time that humans can miss. At Palo Alto Networks, it’s very important we are building on the principles of our values. We are securing our digital future with integrity and continue to be the North Star of managing AI’s future.”

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