Tech entrepreneur, M.B.A., Ph.D. Candidate in AI.
11+ years of business & advanced analytics experience.
Development & delivery of AI-powered solutions to achieve business objectives.
Deep expertise in AI, with the knowledge of expected future trends, challenges of real-world applications, and the business value of AI. An intuitive leader in identifying opportunities for building AI-based solutions to deliver on business and financial goals. Excellent at analyzing the potential of AI-powered improvements and assessing expected return on investment. Expert at identifying risks associated with technology developments, and the metrics necessary for success. Versatile background includes engaging and leading teams, developing lasting relationships with clients, delivering AI-based solutions, raising capital & negotiating.
Currently, I am pursuing my Ph.D. in AI (focused on reinforcement learning) at the Vector Institute and UoG and have the privilege to work with Dr. Jakob Foerster and Professor Rich Sutton. I am also a Visiting Scholar at the RLAI lab at the University of Alberta.
At 22 years old I moved to Canada, started from scratch, received B.Sc. with honors, Computer Science from Ryerson University, and an M.B.A. from University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management. I've been working all the way through all my degrees, starting as RA/TA at the university, then at IBM (2009). The last five years of my corporate life I spent at CPP Investments (2010-2015).
Before all of that... I grew up in the middle of Siberia, Russia, in a tiny village, which I left at 16 to pursue an Engineering degree in Saint-Petersburg at ITMO University (completed 4yrs out of required 5.5). While working on my degree I was running a crepe restaurant in Saint-Petersburg (60 seats).
Model-based reinforcement learning, machine learning, reinforcement learning, reproducibility in AI research, research methods, psychology, human-computer interaction, intelligent assistants.
Invited Talks & Workshops
- Invited Speaker, TorontoMachine Learning Series Micro-Summit, July, 2019, Topic: Model-basedReinforcement Learning
- Co-organized Curiosity for DecisionMaking Workshop at the Multi-disciplinary Conference on ReinforcementLearning and Decision Making, 2019
- Invited Speaker, NeurIPS, 2018, Topic: From Lab to Startup -How to Commercialize your AI Research
- Co-organized Data Management Practices Workshop, University of Guelph, 2018
- Invited lecture at CIFAR, AIFuture Policy Lab, 2018, Topic: Foundations of AI
- Guest lecture at the University of Guelph, Fall, 2018, Topic: Modeling Complex Systems
- Invited Speaker, Rotman School of Management, Spring, 2018, Topic: Introduction to AI, a lecture for 300 students
- Invited Speaker, MachineLearning and Market for Intelligence Conference, 2016
Selected Research Talks
- Conference Talk, Modular Length Control for Sentence Generation. The 28th European Symposium on Artificial Neural Networks, Computational Intelligence and Machine Learning
- Tea-Time Talk, Planning with Expectation Models for Control, RLAI Lab, University of Alberta
- Research Talk, NeurIPS recap, MLRG, University of Guelph
- Tea-TimeTalk, Model-based ReinforcementLearning for an interactive Dialogue Task, RLAI Lab, University of Alberta
- Research Talk at the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence, 2018, Topic: Advances in automatic document summarization
- Interview with Anthony Lacavera, Globalive Media, 2018
- AMII School’s in for summer: Students talk Deep Learning & Reinforcement Learning Summer School 2018
- “Among CDL’s ‘graduating’ companies, which best personifies your vision?” Interview with Ajay Agrawal, Commentwise, 2018
- Axios article, featuring Elissa Strome, Executive Director of the Pan-Canadian AI Strategy, Yoshua Bengio, and Katya Kudashkina, DLRL summer school attendee, 2018
- NextAI’s first cohort shows how far Canada’s AI scene has come in past 12 months, IT World Canada, 2017
- Interview for Rotman Morning MBA Student Profile, 2014
- Interview with The Globe and Mail, 2014
Honours and Awards
- 2020. Tim Price Alumni Community Award. The award reflects my commitment to NEXT's alumni community and the mission to create a more prosperous Canada.
- 2020. CIFAR Collaborative Research Catalyst Grant
- 2017. Arrell Scholarship
- 2015. Gordon Cressy Student Leadership Award, University of Toronto. The award recognizes outstanding extra- curricular contributions.
- 2015. Top 6 in 2015 Hult Prize Challenge. Out of 59 competing international teams for innovative ideas to build a sustainable early childhood education start-up enterprise
- 2014. Dean’s Honour List, University of Toronto
- 2008, 2009, 2010. Dean’s Honour List, Ryerson University
- 2001. Silver Medal. Russia. Students who received 4 out of 5 in only one subject and the highest grade (5 out of 5) in every other subject receive a Silver Medal .
Food and Agriculture
I am one of the first 5 scholars of Arrell Food Institute. My work extends to the AI & Food Safety Culture research, which is a collaborative project between Arrell Food Institute and my startup, Cultura.
Our prior work includes the the report on Ag Research Data Governance Principles.
Currently I am leading the LINK Project: An interdisciplinary program that seeks to apply machine learning techniques to research in agriculture and food.
My first startup UDIO AgTech integrated my world of technology with my roots (I grew up on a farm): we built an app and a web platform that first, predicted the yields for selected fields, and then optimized the use of large industrial pumps that supply water into these fields. We focused on tree crops such as almonds, walnuts, pistachios, and operated in California for 2.5 years. Our customers turned into our investors - that's how much they loved the product.
Publications and Pre-Prints
K. Kudashkina, P. M. Pilarski, and Richard S. Sutton: Document-editing Assistants and Model-based Reinforcement Learning as a Path to Conversational AI. Under Review. ArXiv: 2008.12095.
K. Kudashkina, P. Wittek, J. Kiros, and G. W. Taylor. Modular Length Control for Sentence Generation. In Proceedings of the 28th European Symposium on Artificial Neural Networks, Computational Intelligence and Machine Learning. 2020.
K. Kudashkina, V. Chockalingam, G. W. Taylor, and M. Bowling: Sample-Efficient Model-based Actor-Critic for an Interactive Dialogue Task. Under Review. ArXiv: 2004.13657.
K. Kudashkina, P. Thirunathan, E. Fraser, and R. Yada: AI and Food Safety. Under Review. 2020
E. Duncan*, K. Kudashkina*, A. Nixon*: Agricultural Research Data Governance: Principles and Pathways, Presented as a poster at the Arrell Food Summit and as oral at The 8th International Conference on Sustainability and Responsibility, 2018 (*) Equal contribution.
S. Ilie, E. Kudashkina: A model reduction technique for stochastic biochemical kinetics, Proc. of The International Conference on Bioinformatics & Computational Biology, Vol. II, CSREA Press, Las Vegas, 2010, pp. 448-453.