Heroes of Deep Learning: Pieter Abbeel


“Make sure you try things yourself. So not just reading things or watching videos but try things out with frameworks like TensorFlow, Chainer, Theano, Pytorch, and so forth.”

Deep Reinforcement Learning is one of the hottest areas within the AI world right now. Pieter Abbeel was one of the first researchers to jumpstart deep reinforcement learning with his work on robot learning. Since completing his PhD at Stanford, Abbeel has co-founded Gradescope and Embodied Intelligence, worked at OpenAI, and joined Berkeley’s faculty in 2008.

Andrew chats with Abbeel about his thoughts on the future of reinforcement learning and his advice for aspiring AI researchers.

Here’s what you’ll learn in the interview:

  • 1:39: Why deep reinforcement learning is taking off and the main challenges ahead
  • 7:25: How Abbeel’s understanding of AI has changed
  • 9:10: Abbeel’s advice for breaking into AI
  • 10:58: Abbeel’s thoughts on joining a PhD program vs. a big company
  • 12:30: What Reinforcement Learning is already good at
  • 14:20: How Deep Reinforcement Learning will be deployed in robots in the near future


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