👋 Lili, Director of Play Artificial Intelligence #IWED2023

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Our Creative Play Lab is one of the most innovative parts of the business. As Director of Play AI, Lili Tao plays a central role in shaping its direction. She’s based in London.

“Play value is an essential ingredient in our products. It always has been. My team focuses on making the most of emerging AI technologies to keep our customers engaged. Curious minds are challenging to keep up with. But this makes our job all the more fun. Right now, we’re using things like machine learning (ML) and computer vision to explore new types of play to enhance the overall experience.


“My role leads on strategy across our product portfolio. I coach and foster Machine Learning Engineers to execute and exceed expectations. This means working closely with the business and functions to extract as much play value for AI and ML as possible. It’s about removing barriers to implementation as concepts move from idea through to launch.

“Our overriding objective is to create dynamic, interactive, and personalized play scenarios that captivate children's imagination. We want to encourage exploration and experimentation. We want to promote skill development. AI and ML allow us to evolve our products to fulfil all of these needs and build on the possibilities offered by the digital age.


“Tech leadership is still very male-dominated. That’s why International Women in Engineering Day is particularly significant to me. It’s a chance to share my own story and be a visible role model. But it goes wider than this. There are so many women engineers who make invaluable contributions to innovation. There is an incredibly rich picture to show girls and women. It should be an inspiration to them; whether it’s to pursue their passions in STEM or to step up and progress in their careers.

“Ultimately, it’s an important plank in building a more equitable and inclusive future for women in engineering and society as a whole. It’s part of enabling people to be their best selves. To achieve. This fits very well with our values and purpose as a brand.

“We’re on an exciting journey. AI is a key part of that and, as an engineer, you will be too. We’re at the cutting edge here. We combine limitless creativity with engineering excellence to make a lasting impact. A crucial one. We live in interesting and challenging times. Bringing your talent, developing your expertise and investing yourself here matters. Together, we’ll inspire and equip young minds to explore, to build and to problem-solve. This has never been more important.

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