Research Scientist, DeepMind, London

Shakir is a research scientist at DeepMind in London. Having been with DeepMind for over 5 years, he has been part of its growth from a small startup to the world’s leading centre for AI and its applications. Shakir’s research explores the intersection of probabilistic reasoning, deep learning and reinforcement learning, especially in the areas of generative models, variational inference and unsupervised learning. Shakir hold’s a PhD in statistical machine learning from the University of Cambridge, that was followed by a Junior Research Fellowship from the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) at the University of British Columbia. Shakir is proudly South African and is from Johannesburg, and where he completed his masters and undergraduate degrees in engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

As part of the Deep Learning Indaba, Shakir helps drive it’s mission of Strengthening African Machine Learning and artificial intelligence, through its programmes related to community-building, leadership, recognition and policy. The 2018 Indaba in South Africa will be the world’s largest event focussed on teaching, debate and mentorship at that state of the art in artificial intelligence.