Sergey Levine, Pieter Abbeel, and Chelsea Finn partner with NVAIL to take deep learning to the next level

Assistant Prof. Sergey Levine, Prof. Pieter Abbeel, and graduate student Chelsea Finn are featured in a CSO article highlighting research they presented at the International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML).  The research was done in partnership with the NVIDIA AI Labs (NVAIL) programme.  Levine’s team wants to help intelligent agents learn faster and require less training by teaching deep neural networks to learn more like humans.  “Look at how people do it,” said Levine. “We never learn things entirely from scratch. We draw on our past experience to help us learn new skills quickly. So we’re trying to get our learning algorithms to do the same.”  Levine and his team have been using an NVIDIA DGX-1 system to train their algorithms how to coordinate movement and visual perception.

NVAIL helps keep AI pioneers ahead of the curve with support for students, assistance from researchers and engineers, and gives them access to the industry’s most advanced GPU computing power.

Ken Goldberg joins ROBO Global Board

CS Prof. Ken Goldberg has joined the Strategic Advisory Board of ROBO Global, creator of the first benchmark index to track the global robotics, automation and artificial intelligence market.  Goldberg leads research in geometric algorithms and machine learning for robotics and in applications from surgery to manufacturing.  “Ken is truly one of the brightest minds in robotics and automation,” said Travis Briggs, CEO of ROBO Global. “His insight and expertise is sought after all over the world. We’re honored to have him on our team helping ROBO bring innovative solutions to investors in the US, Europe and Asia. ”

Yannis Ioannidis and the Greek spin-off that will become the voice of Samsung

CS alumnus Yannis Ioannidis (Ph.D. '86) is featured in an article about Samsung's purchase of Greek text-to-speech company Innoetics for close to 50 million euros.  Ioannidis is president of the ATHENA Research & Innovation Center, which nurtured the startup and provided critical support during its evolution and the development of its technology. Innoetics' text-to-speech software learns languages by listening to native speakers, whose voices it can then mimic with great accuracy.  It is currently fluent in 19 languages. Samsung plans to use the technology across a wide range of its product ecosystem.  Ioannidis says that, as a result of the purchase, “any voice emanating from a Samsung device in the years to come will be ‘Greek,’ the product of Greek technology.”  Ioannidis is currently a professor of Informatics and Telecommunications at the University of Athens.

Stuart Russell is featured speaker at IP EXPO Europe

CS Prof. Stuart Russell will be speaking on the use of AI, its long-term future and its relation to humanity, at the 2017 IP EXPO Europe showcase.  IP EXPO Europe is an information technology trade show held annually in England which "brings together some of the biggest names, in their respective fields, to tackle the technological issues facing organisations right now."  Other speakers include Brad Anderson of Microsoft and chess champion Garry Kasparov.

Lauren Barghout Joins Last Studio Standing as Chief Vision Scientist

Laura Barghout, a visiting scholar at the Berkeley Initiative for Soft Computing (BISC), has been hired as Chief Vision Scientist of Last Studio Standing, the largest hand-drawn animation studio in the Western Hemisphere.  Barghout invented a Gestalt-based fuzzy inference system and labeling technique that is used commercially in image/video background removal, object recognition and image labeling systems. Her research has contributed to the understanding of context-dependent spatial vision, spatial masking, theoretical and computational psychophysics, and the application of fuzzy set theory to human and machine vision.  "Most animation relies solely on a direction and what's being created," she said . "This invention allows for a softer, more human-like understanding. It captures the flavor and nuance of a subject naturally -- and, again, it's softer. As such, it requires less manual clean up."

Vern Paxson's cybersecurity startup Corelight raises $9.2M in Series A funding

Corelight, a cybersecurity startup co-founded by CS Prof. Vern Paxson, has raised $9.2 million in Series A funding from Accel Partners, with participation from Osage University Partners and Riverbed Technology Co-founder (and former Berkeley CS professor) Dr. Steve McCanne.  Corelight provides powerful network visibility solutions for cybersecurity built on a widely-used open source framework called Bro, which was developed by Paxson while working at LBNL in 1995.   The Corelight Sensor, which enables wide-ranging real-time understanding of network traffic, is already being used by many of the world’s most capable security operations including Amazon and five other Fortune 100 companies.

Soumitra Dutta named Chairman of AACSB International Board of Directors

Alumnus Soumitra Dutta (CS M.S. '87/Business M.S. '89/CS Ph.D. '90), who is currently founding Dean of the Cornell College of Business, has been chosen Chairman of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International board of directors.  Dutta previously founded the eLab at the Institut Européen d'Administration des Affaires (INSEAD--the European Institute of Business Administration) and subsequently served as dean of the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University.  He is a noted authority on the impact of new technology on the business world.

The tale of Lester Mackey's pursuit of the Netflix Prize

In October 2006, Netflix announced "The Netflix Prize," a $1M competition where teams of programmers raced to make the Netflix recommendation engine 10% more accurate.  The nail-biting competition is profiled in an article for Thrilllist which prominently features participant and CS alumnus Lester Mackey (Ph.D. '12), then an undergraduate at Princeton.   "It was so much fun," he said. "The contest was structured so well. We had to learn so much to be competitive and I met so many people along the way."  The winners beat the second place team by only 20 minutes.   Mackey is now a researcher at Microsoft Research New England and an adjunct professor of Statistics at Stanford University.

Paul Jacobs is UC Berkeley's 2017 Alumnus of the Year

EECS alumnus Paul E. Jacobs (B.S. '84/M.S. '86/Ph.D. '89) has been named U.C. Berkeley's 2017 Alumnus of the Year.  After graduating from Berkeley, Paul rose up the ranks at Qualcomm, which had been co-founded by his father, and is currently serving as Executive Chairman.  He won the IEEE Weber Managerial Leadershiip Award in 2014 and the Distinguished Industry Leader Award in 2015.  Paul has donated millions of dollars to the College of Engineering and CITRIS, endowed an engineering professorship, served on a number of important University boards, and funded the creation of the eponymous Jacob's Hall.

UC Berkeley alumni are 2017's most wanted tech employees

According to an analysis by online recruiting company HiringSolved, UC Berkeley has the most undergraduate and graduate alumni hired by the 25 biggest Silicon Valley employers in 2017.  Using data from more than 10,000 public profiles for tech workers hired or promoted into new positions in 2016 and the first two months of 2017, the company determined that Berkeley alumni were hired more frequently than any other, followed by Stanford, CMU, and USC.  A Quartz Media article attributes some of that success to the close relationships our faculty and administrators have with Bay Area tech firms.  HiringSolved also determined which skills were the best indicators for getting entry-level jobs and the most likely job titles for new graduate applicants.