What Could Former Sony CEO Jack Tretton Be Planning At Artificial Intelligence Startup Genotaur?

I'm gonna be honest - Jack Tretton was one of the main reasons Sony's PlayStation 4 keynote at the Electronic Entertainment Expo last year went over so well. The man's just got a natural sort of charisma about him; he knows exactly what needs to be said and done to work a crowd and get them stoked about...well, pretty much anything. Now, he's evidently turning that talent in a rather unexpected direction:

He's joined the advisory board for an artificial intelligence company.

Genotaur Inc. is a San Diego-based AI development firm, whose mission is to apply advanced evolutionary computation techniques, cognitive computing, and big data behavioral analysis techniques towards the creation of a new generation of interactive interfaces. Tretton will join Genotaur's Advisory board, where he'll use his experience in the development of consumer products to help the company expand.

This is a very exciting time for us at Genotaur as we develop new products and scale our business, focusing initially on implementation within the computer entrainment business. Jack's experience in every area of building and operating consumer products and interactive entertainment companies will help us grow our capabilities at Genotaur," said Genotaur CEO and President Tony Simpson in a prepared statement. "We are fortunate to have an executive of Jack's knowledge and experience base on our team."

In hindsight, I suppose it's not terribly surprising that Genotaur would want a man like Tretton backing them. He was more or less instrumental in the launch of virtually every PlayStation video game console to date, and has worked with consumer technology for several decades- since he began his tenure at Sony in 1995. Tretton, for his part, seems as excited about the partnership as Genotaur.

"Genotaur has an incredibly impressive array of resources and expertise that will greatly enhance the way consumers interact with technology. I look forward to sharing my passion for bringing interactive entertainment and cutting edge technology products to market with the team," said Tretton.

This position marks Tretton's first advisory role since his departure from Sony earlier this year. Prior to his position at Genotaur, he served on the advisory board of semiconductor manufacturer Portal Player.  He also worked with private wealth management financial services firm Forefront Capital.

I'll be interested to see what Tretton does with his position here - and even more interested in seeing how he helps Genotaur improve its product portfolio. Dare I hope that some of the products developed here might echo back into the games industry?