Fei-Fei Li (born 1976), who publishes under the name Li Fei-Fei（李飞飞), is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University. She is the director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab (SAIL) and the Stanford Vision Lab. She works in the areas of computer vision and cognitive neuroscience.
She obtained her B.A. degree in physics from Princeton University in 1999 with High Honors. Her PhD degree is in electrical engineering from California Institute of Technology in 2005. Her graduate studies were supported by The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans. From 2005 to August 2009, she was an assistant professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Computer Science Department at Princeton University, respectively. She joined Stanford in 2009 as an assistant professor, and was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2012.
Fei-Fei works on computer vision, cognitive neuroscience and computational neuroscience, and Big Data analysis. She has authored more than 100 scientific articles. Her work appears in computer science and neuroscience journals including Nature, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Journal of Neuroscience , Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, International Conference on Computer Vision, Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, European Conference on Computer Vision, International Journal of Computer Vision, and IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence.
Among her best-known work is the ImageNet project, which has revolutionized the field of large-scale visual recognition.
Fei-Fei is the recipient of the 2014 IBM Faculty Fellow Award, the 2011 Alfred Sloan Faculty Award, the 2012 Yahoo Labs FREP Award, the 2009 NSF CAREER Award, and the 2006 Microsoft Research New Faculty Fellowship. She has been featured in media venues such as the New York Times and Science Magazine.
Prof. Fei-Fei Li’s husband is Prof. Silvio Savarese, who directs the Computational Vision and Geometry Lab at Stanford University. They have a son and a daughter.
Google Adds Artificial Intelligence Hotshots To Lead New Data Crunching Team
Google believes the key to growing its cloud computing business is artificial intelligence.
The search giant said Tuesday that it had hired two high-profile AI researchers to lead a new machine learning unit that’s part of its Google Cloud business. Machine learning is a subset of artificial intelligence that generally refers to training computers to recognize patterns amid tons of data. The two new hires are Fei-Fei Li, the director of Stanford University’s Artificial Intelligence Lab; and Jia Li, the head of research for Snap, the parent company of popular social messaging app Snapchat.
The two women are considered by analysts to be experts in the field of computer vision, a subset of artificial intelligence that involves teaching computers to recognize objects in images.
Speaking at a press event Tuesday in San Francisco, Google’s (GOOG, -0.39%) head of cloud Diane Greene explained that the new hires are part of Google’s effort to formalize an artificial intelligence group into its business. Instead of focusing on only AI research, the team would work on incorporating cutting-edge data crunching into various Google Cloud products like its software that businesses can use to predict sales.
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Greene said the new hires represent the “world’s leading research scientists, practitioners, and leaders” in the hot field of artificial intelligence. Companies like Google, Facebook (FB, +0.69%), and IBM (IBM, -0.57%) are investing millions of dollars in AI-related technologies like deep learning that have made it possible for computers to more quickly perform data-heavy tasks like translating text into multiple languages.
Greene said that “one of the most thrilling things” about the new hires is that both of them are women. The field of AI has been criticized for its lack of women in prominent research roles at universities as well as at major technology companies.
In a Bloomberg News article earlier this summer, Li commented on the dearth of women in AI, saying, “If you were a computer and read all the AI articles and extracted out the names that are quoted, I guarantee you that women rarely show up.”
Li helped create the popular ImageNet computer-vision contest, which helped spur AI researchers to use cutting-edge data crunching techniques like deep learning to identify objects in photographs.
Jia Li will start work at Google after the Thanksgiving holiday and Fei-Fei Li will start at the beginning of 2017, according to a Google spokesperson.
Rob Craft, the group product manager at Google cloud and its machine learning unit, said that the two new hires will help Google “bring machine learning to the rest of the product categories.” He explained that the new hires are part of Google’s efforts to more effectively bridge together its research unit and its core business.
But hiring the appropriate talent with expertise in machine learning and related tasks does not come cheap.
Craft said the competition for hiring A.I. experts is fierce and in many cases ends up resulting in companies like Google paying “NFL signing bonuses” for the talent. Google did not say how much it is paying the two new hires.
Part of the reason for the competition is that there are only so many A.I. workers available and that “the universities aren’t graduating PhD level” candidates as fast as Google would like, Craft said.