I am a scientist and engineer in the fields of statistical machine learning and artificial intelligence. I am most interested in research that combines multiple disciplines and views of machine learning and its applications. I shape my efforts around three conceptual pillars: Probabilistic Foundations of Learning and Intelligence, Addressing Global Challenges, and Transformation. I work towards developing methods focussed on probabilistic reasoning that lead to systems for agent-based decision-making. I work towards the application of machine learning to global challenges in healthcare and environment, and towards social Transformation that supports greater diversity, responsibility, and freedom. I love exploring and writing about the connections between different computational, epistemological, and social paradigms and maintain a blog at blog.shakirm.com.
I am a senior staff research scientist at DeepMind, London, having joined in 2013, where we work towards the goal of developing intelligent and general-purpose learning systems. I also lead a non-profit organisation called the Deep Learning Indaba, whose mission is to Strengthen African Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.
I was a programme chair for DALI2019, a programme co-chair for ICLR2019, and then Senior Programme Chair for ICLR2020. I am a member of the Royal Society’s Diversity Committee (2020-2023), and was elected to the Board of Directors of ICML in 2019.
Before moving to London, I held a Junior Research Fellowship from the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) as part of the programme on Neural Computation and Adaptive Perception. I was based in Vancouver at the University of British Columbia in the Laboratory for Computational Intelligence (LCI) with Nando de Freitas. I completed my PhD with Zoubin Ghahramani at the University of Cambridge, where I was a Commonwealth Scholar to the United Kingdom and a member of St John’s College. I am from South Africa, and completed my previous degrees in Electrical and Information Engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.