Oluseyi Akinnaso
Employee Spotlight

Oluseyi Akinnaso: Bringing Heart to AI

As Director of Product Management, TPX, Oluseyi Akinnaso uses his passion for AI to lead development in Comcast’s sports entertainment technology. Inspired by his upbringing and relationship with his father, he is committed to fostering a sense of community and a responsibility for giving back. Learn more about Oluseyi in the interview below.

Can you tell us a little bit about your role as a Director of Product Management at Comcast?

My current role is the most exciting product manager role that I’ve had because I get to leverage AI for entertainment experiences like Sports Highlights – which detects major plays in a game and enables fans to catch highlights they’ve missed, Smart Resume, and other features of Xfinity's X1 Platform. Every day is different, from managing stakeholders to delivering presentations to conducting sales. Then there are times when I’m doing more product management – conducting research, making sure the team is meeting organization goals, and figuring out how to create all-new experiences.

As part of leading VideoAI product management, my responsibilities also extend beyond sports and entertainment. I get to work on the commercialization of our technologies externally through Comcast Technology Solutions and collaborate closely with Sky and NBCUniversal on AI-powered interactive and advertising opportunities.

You were recently featured in Comcast’s “Designed with Love” campaign. How did that opportunity come about?

When we were rolling out Sports Highlights for the Men’s World Cup, my dad was visiting from Nigeria. He doesn’t truly know what I do, but AI is a big enough buzzword to excite him in general – and he loves soccer. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to show my dad some of the amazing technology at Comcast and to give him a sneak peek into something we’re rolling out for the World Cup.

Seeing his face light up over my work is part of the reason I do it. It’s really cool to be able to engage the people you love with your work, especially when it’s something that they love too.

Watch Oluseyi’s story in Comcast’s “Designed with Love” campaign.

What does “Designed with Love” mean to you?

It means bringing my personal experiences to work and having a responsibility not only to myself, but to the customers and the teams that I work with.

It also means deeply caring about the products we deliver, almost as if it is our baby, in a sense. We pour our hearts into a product, and we want it to succeed.

When it doesn’t do as well as intended, we make improvements for it to do better. At the end of the day, I can’t wait to get up in the morning and talk about it.

How has AI influenced your journey and work?

When I applied for a job at Comcast, I had no idea it was with AI – it was just a luck of the draw. When I was hired, I was stoked to be able to work in this space, and from there on, it became a passion of mine. Every year something new comes out, and that’s exciting to me.

As we look to productize AI as an organization, we know that there needs to be more representation from the folks that build the technology for it to be a product that all our customers can use. With that in mind, it takes on a mission. Every day, I have the privilege of collaborating with some of the most brilliant and innovative technologists in AI to create experiences that delight millions of customers. Our work is fun and there’s also a lot of intentionality behind it.

How would you describe Comcast’s commitment to DE&I? And why is that important to you?

Comcast is intentional about DE&I. People can show up as their authentic selves and bring their perspectives into the conversations that we have. I find that to be a breath of fresh air. I can share my own experiences knowing that it affects how we build our products.

Are there other experiences in your life that have shaped who you are as a technologist and as a leader today?

My faith shaped a lot about what it means to be a leader. I value other folks first, which I think can be disarming to those who are on my team, but it also helps to build trust.

I also take pride in my upbringing. My parents were strict growing up, but I now look back and appreciate the discipline they instilled in me. It has helped shape my ability to focus, to never give up, and to always want to learn. It is my dedication to learning that has helped me become a better technologist.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Be patient. Take your time – the right opportunity will come your way. When I was younger, I liked to draw and write, but I also felt pressure from my Nigerian parents to find a career that promised financial stability.

When I graduated college, I wanted to become an advertising copywriter. But as time went on, I got into graphic design and then learned how to code websites. That’s where I started the journey into technology and discovered product management as a career path. My understanding of code and my creative mind were brought together in this role. I never dreamed I could take my creativity and apply it to something other than art or writing.

What do you enjoy most about working at Comcast?

One of the biggest reasons I love working at Comcast is because it’s based in Philly. My family moved to the area from Nigeria in 1992, and it has been my home ever since.

Comcast makes an intentional effort to serve its local community, and I love that. When I look at what I can do for my adopted city and how I can help other folks, I look to Comcast. There are always opportunities to give back to the community and to speak to other people like me and to let them know that there is a space for them here.