Bio

Currently, I am pursuing a Ph.D. supervised by Dr. Graham Taylor, at the Vector Institute and UoG.  I collaborate with RLAI lab at the University of Alberta  and have the privilege to work with  Professor Rich Sutton

I've founded two startups: UDIO AgTech, and Cultura.  The companies graduated from Creative Destruction Lab, Next Founders, and NextAI.

At 22 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 Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (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). 

Research Interests

I am interested in deep learning, NLP, dialogue, reinforcement learning, human-computer interaction,  communication, and AI ethics.

Latest: Together with Cam Linke and Martha & Adam White we organized a Curiosity for Decision-Making workshop at RLDM 2019. The speakers included Andy Barto, Rich Sutton, Satinder Singh, Pierre-Yves Oudeyer & others! Sing up on the website to receive the workshop materials.

AI & Society

I am interested in how we will build a new society together with AI and how we will treat AI agents as they develop sentience and sapience.

Recent Talks

Media Coverage

Food and Agriculture

I am one of the first 5 scholars of Arrell Food Institute. My other work extends to the 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.

The startup UDIO AgTech was another attempt to integrate 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.

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