Keynote speakers

Drew Bagnell | Associate Professor, Carnegie Mellon University
J. A. (Drew) Bagnell is an associate professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute and Machine Learning Department. His interests in artificial intelligence range from algorithmic and basic theoretical development to delivering fielded learning-based systems. Bagnell directs the Learning, AI, and Robotics Laboratory (LAIRLab) within the Robotics Institute. In the past two years, Dr. Bagnell has been on sabbatical to lead efforts on perception and autonomy software efforts for self-driving vehicles.

Bagnell and his group have received over a dozen "best paper" research awards in both the robotics and machine learning communities including at the International Conference on Machine Learning, Robotics Science and Systems, and International Conference on Robotics and Automation. Bagnell received the 2016 Ryan Award, Carnegie Mellon’s award for meritorious teaching, and has served as the founding director of the Robotics Institute Summer Scholars program, a summer research experience that has enabled hundreds of undergraduates throughout the world to leap into robotics research.

His robotics focus includes machine learning for dexterous manipulation, decision making under uncertainty, agile ground and aerial vehicle control, robot perception and computer vision.

Rodney Brooks | Professor Emeritus, MIT
A mathematics undergraduate in his native Australia, Rodney received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford in 1981. From 1984 to 2010, he was on the MIT faculty, and completed his service as a Professor of Robotics. He was also the founding Director of the Institute’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and served in that role until 2007. In 1990, he co-founded iRobot (NASDAQ: IRBT), where he served variously as CTO, Chairman and board member until 2011. Rodney has been honored by election to the National Academy of Engineering, and has been elected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Association of Computing Machinery, the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Rodney is also an accomplished presenter, and speaks regularly to promote the value of robotics and artificial intelligence in venues throughout the world.

Anca Dragan | Assistant Professor, UC Berkeley
Autonomy that interacts - that collaborates and coexists with humans - is becoming more and more functional, making its way out of research labs and into industry. Anca's goal is to weave interaction into the very fabric of this autonomy. She envisions riding in a self-driving car as it is effectively coordinating with other drivers on the road and with pedestrians. She envisions people with disabilities seamlessly operating assistive devices to thrive independently. And she envisions collaborative robots in the home or in the factory helping us with our tasks and even gently guiding us to better ways of achieving them.

Anca completed her Ph.D. at Carnegie Mellon in the Robotics Institute. She runs the InterACT Lab, serves on the steering committee for the Berkeley AI Research (BAIR) Lab, and is a co-PI of the Center for Human-Compatible AI.

Yann LeCun | Director of AI Research, Facebook and Silver Professor, NYU
Yann LeCun is Director of AI Research at Facebook and Silver Professor at New York University, affiliated with the Courant Institute, the Center for Neural Science and the Center for Data Science, for which he served as founding director until 2014. He received an EE Diploma from ESIEE (Paris) in 1983, a PhD in Computer Science from Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris) in 1987. After a postdoc at the University of Toronto, he joined AT&T Bell Laboratories. He became head of the Image Processing Research Department at AT&T Labs-Research in 1996, and joined NYU in 2003 after a short tenure at the NEC Research Institute. In late 2013, LeCun became Director of AI Research at Facebook, while remaining on the NYU Faculty part-time. He was visiting professor at Collège de France in 2016. His research interests include machine learning and artificial intelligence, with applications to computer vision, natural language understanding, robotics, and computational neuroscience. He is best known for his work in deep learning and the invention of the convolutional network method which is widely used for image, video and speech recognition. He is a member of the US National Academy of Engineering, the recipient of the 2014 IEEE Neural Network Pioneer Award, the 2015 IEEE Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence Distinguished Researcher Award, the 2016 Lovie Award for Lifetime Achievement, and a honorary doctorate from IPN, Mexico.

Stefanie Tellex | Assistant Professor, Brown University
Stefanie Tellex is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Assistant Professor of Engineering at Brown University. Her group, the Humans To Robots Lab, creates robots that seamlessly collaborate with people to meet their needs using language, gesture, and probabilistic inference, aiming to empower every person with a collaborative robot. She completed her Ph.D. at the MIT Media Lab in 2010, where she developed models for the meanings of spatial prepositions and motion verbs. Her postdoctoral work at MIT CSAIL focused on creating robots that understand natural language. She has published at SIGIR, HRI, RSS, AAAI, IROS, ICAPs and ICMI, winning Best Student Paper at SIGIR and ICMI, Best Paper at RSS, and an award from the CCC Blue Sky Ideas Initiative. Her awards include being named one of IEEE Spectrum's AI's 10 to Watch in 2013, the Richard B. Salomon Faculty Research Award at Brown University, a DARPA Young Faculty Award in 2015, a NASA Early Career Award in 2016, a 2016 Sloan Research Fellowship, and an NSF Career Award in 2017. Her work has been featured in the press on National Public Radio, BBC, MIT Technology Review, Wired and Wired UK, as well as the Smithsonian. She was named one of Wired UK's Women Who Changed Science In 2015 and listed as one of MIT Technology Review's Ten Breakthrough Technologies in 2016.