Pickard received his Ph.D. in management of information systems at the University of Arizona and both his MBA and B.S. in computer engineering at Brigham Young University. He teaches data and analytics. His primary research interest is artificial intelligence applications to solve business problems. He is currently working to grow a cross-disciplinary artificial intelligence lab at NIU. He also explores ways to use computer technology to increase both the amount and quality of information disclosed in accounting-related interviews such as audits and fraud investigations. Pickard is currently expanding upon an automated interviewing system that leverages avatars (virtual humans) as interviewers. His research examines how automated, virtual interviewers compare to human interviews for conducting audit interviews with three experiments.