Professor Jürgen Schmidhuber appointed as the Director of the KAUST Artificial Intelligence Initiative

Professor Jürgen Schmidhuber to join KAUST as the Director of the KAUST Artificial Intelligence Initiative.

CEMSE Division is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Jürgen Schmidhuber as the Director of the KAUST Artificial Intelligence Initiative, who will join KAUST on October 1, 2021. 

Professor Schmidhuber is a renowned computer scientist most regarded for his pioneering work in artificial intelligence, deep learning, and artificial neural networks. 

Professor Schmidhuber earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Technical University of Munich (TUM). He is the Co-Founder & Chief Scientist of the company NNAISENSE. He was most recently Director at the Swiss AI Lab, IDSIA, and Professor of AI at the University of Lugano. He is also the recipient of numerous awards, author of over 350 peer-reviewed papers, frequent keynote speakers, and adviser to various governments on AI strategies.

His lab's Deep Learning Neural Networks have revolutionized machine learning and AI. By the mid-2010s, they were on 3 billion devices, and used billions of times per day by customers of the world's most valuable public companies' products, e.g., for greatly improved (CTC-LSTM-based) speech recognition on all Android phones, greatly improved machine translation through Google Translate and Facebook (over 4 billion LSTM-based translations per day), Apple's Siri and Quicktype on all iPhones, the answers of Amazon's Alexa, and numerous other applications.

In 2011, his team was the first to win official computer vision contests through deep neural nets with superhuman performance. In 2012, they had the first deep Neural Network to win a medical imaging contest (on cancer detection), attracting enormous interest from the industry. His research group also established mathematically rigorous universal AI and recursive self-improvement in meta-learning machines that learn to learn. 

Professor Schmidhuber will lead and work with a number of current faculty members with research interests in AI and will plan the research focus of the AI Initiative, recruit new faculty members, develop educational programs and entrepreneurial activities, as well as engage with key public and private sector organizations both within KSA and globally.