Yoshua Bengio is a grand master of modern artificial intelligence.
Alongside Geoff Hinton and Yan LeCun, Bengio is famous for championing a technique known as deep learning that in recent years has gone from an academic curiosity to one of the most powerful technologies on the planet.
Deep learning involves feeding data to large neural networks that crudely simulate the human brain, and it has proved incredibly powerful and effective for all sorts of practical tasks, from voice recognition and image classification to controlling self-driving cars and automating business decisions.
Bengio has resisted the lure of any big tech company. While Hinton and LeCun joined Google and Facebook, respectively, he remains a full-time professor at the University of Montreal. (He did, however, cofound Element AI in 2016, and it has built a very successful business helping big companies explore the commercial applications of AI research.)
Bengio met with MIT Technology Review’s senior editor for AI, Will Knight, at an MIT event recently.