Artificial Intelligence – Meet the Leader

November 18, 2019 / Global

Uber is really one big Machine Learning problem – determining a route, how much to charge, how to pair riders in Pool – and AI Labs helps find solutions to all these problems and more across the many organizations at Uber. Did you know that the Uber AI group is made up of 5 different teams and 96 employees working on supporting Artificial Intelligence Research for Uber globally? Led by Chief Scientist Zoubin Ghahramani, Uber AI is doing exciting work in areas of research including Natural Language Processing, Bayesian Optimization, Neuroevolution, Reinforcement Learning, Deep Learning, and Computer Vision.

Sameera Poduri, Staff Technical Lead Manager for the Sensor Intelligence Team

Describe the team/org you support to someone outside of Uber?

“Uber’s technology operates in the physical world and the better we understand the context of a user experience, the better we can serve our users. For example, if we can detect a crash or an unexpected long stop on a trip, we can reach out with help. Similarly, if we can detect that a driver is unable to find the rider, a delivery person is trying to find parking, or a rider is looking for the bike they booked, we may be able to address the problem in real-time. The Sensing and Perception team’s goal is to combine data from sensors available in a typical mobile device (such as GPS, Accelerometer, Gyroscope) with other information such as map data using machine learning algorithms to paint a picture of what is happening in the real world to make Uber experience efficient.”

What attracted you to Uber

“Before joining Uber a year ago I headed data science at a healthcare transparency startup but I have always been interested in using sensors and AI (Artificial Intelligence) to build intelligent systems that perceive the world and help people be more safe, healthy and efficient. My Ph.D. research was on mobile robots and later in the industry, I designed AI algorithms for mobile devices and wearables. At this point in my career, I want to build products that have a meaningful impact, build them at scale, and also work at the cutting edge of AI. At Uber, I saw the opportunity to do all of this.”

What excites you about the organization you support?

“Uber AI (Artificial Intelligence) is one of the most talented groups of people I have worked with. We have world-class experts in AI, not only in deep learning but also in signal processing, computer vision, Natural Language Processing (NLP), conversational AI and Machine Learning (ML) infrastructure. Data and algorithms are at the heart of the problems that Uber is trying to solve. What I am most excited about is leveraging Uber AI’s deep technical expertise to create a meaningful impact for Uber’s users.”

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