Roundtable: Accelerating Innovation

Bill Dally, Nvidia, Naveen Rao, Intel, and Will Knight, MIT Technology Review

MIT Technology Review's Will Knight hosts Bill Dally and Naveen Rao in a discussion exploring the new wave of innovation in AI that will stem from specialized AI chips being built today.

Bill Dally, Chief Scientist and Senior Vice President of Research, Nvidia

Bill Dally is an award-winning computer scientist who works with leading scientists and researchers around the globe to develop new and innovative computing architectures. He joined Nvidia in 2009 after spending 12 years at Stanford University, where he was chairman of the computer science department and the Willard R. and Inez Kerr Bell Professor of Engineering. Dally and his Stanford team developed the system and network architecture found in most large parallel computers today. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and a fellow of the IEEE and the ACM. He received the 2010 Eckert-Mauchly Award, considered the highest prize in computer architecture, as well as the 2004 IEEE Computer Society Seymour Cray Computer Engineering Award and the 2000 ACM Maurice Wilkes Award. Dally has published more than 200 papers, holds more than 100 patents, and is the author of three textbooks: Digital Systems Engineering, Principles and Practices of Interconnection Networks, and Digital Design: A Systems Approach. He received a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from Virginia Tech, a master of science degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University, and a PhD in computer science from the California Institute of Technology.

Naveen Rao, Corporate Vice President and General Manager, Artificial Intelligence Products Group, Intel

Naveen G. Rao’s team at Intel focuses on deep learning, a subset of machine learning and artificial intelligence, and works to develop the hardware and software ingredients needed to enable its scalable deployment. Trained as both a computer architect and a neuroscientist, Rao joined Intel in 2016 with the acquisition of Nervana Systems, a recognized leader in deep learning, where he was chief executive officer. Before cofounding Nervana in 2014, Rao was a neuromorphic machines researcher at Qualcomm, where he focused on neural computation and learning in artificial systems. Rao’s earlier career included engineering roles at Kealia, CALY Networks, and Sun Microsystems. He earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science from Duke University and spent a decade as a computer architect before going on to earn a PhD in computational neuroscience from Brown University. He has published multiple papers in the area of neural computation in biological systems. Rao has also been granted patents in video compression techniques, with additional patents pending in deep-learning hardware and low-precision techniques and in neuromorphic computation.

Will Knight, Senior Editor for AI, MIT Technology Review

Will Knight is a senior editor at MIT Technology Review, covering artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, self-driving cars, and human-machine collaboration. Will grew up in London, and was previously an editor at New Scientist magazine in the UK.


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