Past speaking engagemens
Pieter Abbeel is Professor and Director of the Robot Learning Lab at UC Berkeley, Co-Director of the Berkeley AI Research (BAIR) Lab, Co-Founder of Covariant [2017- ], Co-Founder of Gradescope [2014-2018, acquired by Turnitin], Advisor/Investor to many AI/Robotics start-ups, Founding Investment Partner at AIX Ventures, Host of The Robot Brains Podcast.
Abbeel’s lab at Berkeley is one of the world-leading labs for machine learning and robotics. His group has made major pioneering contributions in Deep Reinforcement Learning, in Deep Unsupervised Learning, in Generative AI, in Meta-Learning, and in Robotics, with over 300 publications at the top machine learning and robotics venues, and over 100,000 citations.
His courses on Artificial Intelligence, Advanced Robotics, and Deep Unsupervised Learning are some of the standard references for the field. Abbeel is an active entrepreneur. He was one of the first hires at OpenAI (founded by Elon Musk), and he has founded two companies: Gradescope and Covariant. Gradescope provides instructors with AI that can significantly speed up grading of homework, projects, exams, and is used at over 1,000 universities. Covariant builds AI for the next generation of robotic automation, enabling robots to see, react, learn (rather than executing preprogrammed motions as robots do in car factories).
Abbeel is also an active start-up investor and advisor. Abbeel is founding partner at AIX Ventures, a Venture Capital firm focused on AI start-ups. Abbeel’s investments include Perplexity, Cohere, Weights and Biases, Wayve, Graphcore.
Abbeel not only educates through his teaching at Berkeley. He also hosts The Robot Brains podcast, which explores what AI and Robotics can do today and where they are headed, through conversations with the world's leading AI and Robotics pioneers. Abbeel has won numerous awards, including best paper awards at ICML, ICLR, NeurIPS and ICRA, early career awards from NSF, Darpa, ONR, AFOSR, Sloan, TR35, IEEE, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), and the ACM Prize in Computing. His work is frequently featured in the popular press, including New York Times, BBC, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal, Wired, Forbes, Tech Review, NPR.