Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen hired Oren Etzioni, one of the University of Washington’s most prominent computer science professors, to head a new Seattle-based institute researching artificial intelligence.
Allen has funded research into artificial intelligence for more than a decade and recently decided to create the institute, modeled on the Allen Institute for Brain Science that he started in 2003.
“Oren is exceptionally talented, and he shares my vision and enthusiasm for the exciting possibilities in the field of AI, including opportunities to help computers acquire knowledge and reason,” Allen said in a release announcing the hiring.
Etzioni joined the UW in 1991 after studying at Carnegie Mellon University and Harvard. He’s the founder and director of the UW’s Turing Center and the Washington Research Foundation Entrepreneurship Professor.
Etzioni has been involved with numerous tech companies in the region since he arrived in Seattle. He founded Farecast, an airfare prediction startup acquired by Microsoft in 2008, and co-founded electronics shopping site Decide.com.