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Fall 2023 GRASP SFI: Andy Zeng, Google DeepMind, “From words to actions”

October 4, 2023 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

This was a hybrid event with in-person attendance in Levine 307 and virtual attendance…


The rise of recent Foundation models (and applications e.g. ChatGPT) offer an exciting glimpse into the capabilities of large deep networks trained on Internet-scale data. They hint at a possible blueprint for building generalist robot brains that can do anything, anywhere, for anyone. Nevertheless, robot data is expensive – and until we can bring robots out into the world (already) doing useful things in unstructured places, it will be challenging to match the same amount of diverse data being used to train e.g. large language models today. In this talk, I will briefly discuss some of the lessons we’ve learned while scaling real robot data collection, how we’ve been thinking about Foundation models, and how we might bootstrap off of them (and modularity) to make our robots useful sooner.


Andy Zeng

Andy Zeng

Andy Zeng is a Senior Research Scientist at Google DeepMind working on machine learning and robotics. He received his Bachelors in Computer Science and Mathematics at UC Berkeley, and his PhD in Computer Science at Princeton. He is interested in building algorithms that enable machines to intelligently interact with the world and improve themselves over time. Andy received Outstanding Paper Awards from ICRA ’23, T-RO ’20, RSS’19, and has been finalist for paper awards at RSS ’23, CoRL ’20 – ’22, ICRA ’20, RSS ’19, IROS ’18. He led perception as part of Team MIT-Princeton in the Amazon Robotics Challenge ’16 and ’17. Andy is a recipient of the Princeton SEAS Award for Excellence, Japan Foundation Paper Award, NVIDIA Fellowship ’18, and Gordon Y.S. Wu Fellowship in Engineering and Wu Prize. His work has been featured in the press, including the New York Times, BBC, and Wired.


October 4, 2023
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Category:


Levine 307
3330 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19104 United States
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