Bob Gerard was sitting in an office room, having just watched a public service announcement while wearing a sensor that Dr. Paul Zak had wrapped around his arm.

"When it was done," said Gerard, who had been introduced to Zak by a mutual friend who thought Zak could help Gerard improve his internal training sessions at Accenture, a professional services firm, "Paul showed me the graph that the sensor had generated, and he replayed the video. As it was replaying, he was telling me exactly what I was feeling as he was reading it off the chart. My first thought was: I need this."

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Here are the latest headlines regarding how the novel coronavirus is impacting the Los Angeles startup and tech communities. Sign up for our newsletter and follow dot.LA on Twitter for the latest updates.


  • USC, UCLA business school students jointly create a 3-D printed mask in Hack for Hope
  • Analyst predicts M&A shakeup as Hollywood grapples with COVID-19 fallout
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Having watched his reputation flourish upon a foundation of self-spun fabrications, then crumble into a heap of infamy that led him to change his name, Yves Bergquist knows a thing or two about stories.

As detailed in a November 2019 story in The Hollywood Reporter, Bergquist, who leads artificial intelligence (AI) projects at USC's Entertainment Technology Center (ETC), was formerly a national security analyst and ABC News consultant named Alexis Debat. Once his lies were exposed, he left Washington D.C. in 2007, shrouded in shame.

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