Professor Pieter Abbeel is the Director of the Berkeley Robot Learning Lab and Co-Director of the Berkeley Artificial Intelligence (BAIR) Lab. Abbeel’s research strives to build ever more intelligent systems. His lab pushes the frontiers of deep reinforcement learning, deep imitation learning, deep unsupervised learning, transfer learning, meta-learning and learning to learn and studies the influence of AI on society. His lab also investigates how AI can advance other science and engineering disciplines. Abbeel’s Intro to AI class has been taken by over 100,000 students through edX, and his deep reinforcement learning and deep unsupervised learning materials are standard references for AI researchers.
Abbeel has founded three companies: Gradescope (AI to help teachers with grading homework and exams), Covariant (AI for robotic automation of warehouses and factories) and Berkeley Open Arms (low-cost, highly capable 7-dof robot arms). He advises many AI and robotics start-ups and is a sought-after speaker worldwide for C-suite sessions on AI future and strategy.
Abbeel earned his M.S. in Electrical Engineering from KU Leuven, Belgium and his Ph.D. from Stanford, where his advisor was Andrew Ng. He has received numerous awards and honors, including the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the NSF Faculty Early Career Award, being named a Top 35 Innovator Under 35 by MIT Technology Review and awards for excellence in teaching and mentoring. His papers have earned Best Paper awards at the ICLR, ICRA, NIPS and ICML conferences. His work is frequently featured in the press, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, BBC, Rolling Stone, Wired and Tech Review.