Ex-Uber AI Chief Scientist Zoubin Ghahramani Joins Google Brain Leadership Team

In 2014, Ghahramani co-founded machine learning startup Geometric Intelligence with Gary Marcus, Douglas Bemis, and Kenneth Stanley. After Uber …

Former Uber Chief Scientist and VP for AI Zoubin Ghahramani has joined Google Research as part of the Google Brain team leadership. “In addition to my ongoing academic position, I’m really excited to now be part of GoogleAI and its machine learning community,” he tweeted.

Ghahramani announced his departure from Uber on On September 1, tweeting, “Stay tuned for my next steps.” Those steps have now landed the respected 50-year-old British-Iranian researcher at Google AI.

Google AI Lead Jeff Dean retweeted Ghahramani’s post and welcomed his new colleague.

I’m very excited to welcome @ZoubinGhahrama1 to @GoogleAI! https://t.co/Dq0zNe86bR

— Jeff Dean (@🏡) (@JeffDean) September 12, 2020

Ghahramani is an information engineering professor at the University of Cambridge as well as a Turing Fellow of the Alan Turing Institute in London. He holds a double major degree in cognitive science and computer science from the University of Pennsylvania as well as a PhD from the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Following his PhD, Ghahramani moved to the University of Toronto as a postdoctoral fellow in the Artificial Intelligence Lab, where he worked with Geoffrey Hinton.

In 2014, Ghahramani co-founded machine learning startup Geometric Intelligence with Gary Marcus, Douglas Bemis, and Kenneth Stanley. After Uber acquired Geometric Intelligence in 2016, Ghahramani became Uber AI Labs’ co-director and then chief scientist.

Uber is bleeding talent as business suffers amid the coronavirus pandemic. The company announced some 6,700 job cuts in May, with CEO Dara Khosrowshahi delivering a blow to its considerable AI research programs: “Given the necessary cost cuts and the increased focus on core, we have decided to wind down the Incubator and AI Labs and pursue strategic alternatives for Uber Works.”

Geometric Intelligence Co-founder Kenneth Stanley, who also served as a senior research manager at Uber, left the ridesharing giant for San Francisco research institute OpenAI in June. He is now leading the OpenAI Open-Endedness team, which aims to achieve “the vision of continual unbounded innovation, discovery, invention, and increasing complexity within a single run of an open-ended algorithm.” Another member of the Uber AI Labs founding team, Jeff Clune, also left the company for OpenAI earlier this year.


Reporter: Yuan Yuan | Editor: Michael Sarazen


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