Artificial Intelligence Guru Gill Pratt, of Toyota Research Institute, to Speak at GPU Technology Conference

by Danny Shapiro

Robots. Supercomputers. Cars. They’re all coming together. And that’s why Gill Pratt, one of the world’s leading figures in artificial intelligence and CEO of the Toyota Research Institute, will deliver a keynote at our GPU Technology Conference in Silicon Valley on April 7.

Pratt joined Toyota last year from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency — the emerging technology arm of the U.S. Defense Department. In January,  the world’s largest automaker announced it would invest $1 billion into artificial intelligence over the next five years.

Turning Cars Into Robots

Pratt is a legendary figure in the robotics community. Most recently, he led the DARPA Robotics Challenge, an effort that wowed the world last year when three semi-autonomous robots shut down a mock nuclear reactor in Pomona, Calif.

His widely covered move to Toyota is a recent example of the key role deep learning — which has sparked a renaissance in artificial intelligence — will play in the future of the worldwide automotive industry. And GPUs, which are key to training a new generation of machines with superhuman capabilities, are at the center of this story (see “Accelerating AI with GPUs: A New Computing Model).

Before joining DARPA, Pratt served as associate dean of faculty affairs and research at the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering. Founded in 1997, Olin has quickly become one of the world’s most prestigious engineering schools. Pratt also has an entrepreneurial streak. He’s founded three startups.

Pratt will be drawing on all these experiences to meet his next challenge.

At Toyota, he has said he wants to bring new technologies to vehicles that will improve safety, make driving accessible to more people and bring Toyota’s technology indoors, where it can serve an aging global population.

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