Portrait of Yoshua Bengio

Yoshua Bengio

Core Academic Member
Canada CIFAR AI Chair
Full Professor, Université de Montréal, Department of Computer Science and Operations Research Department
Scientific Director, Leadership Team
Observer, Board of Directors, Mila

Biography

*For media requests, please write to medias@mila.quebec.

For more information please contact Julie Mongeau, executive assistant at julie.mongeau@mila.quebec.

Yoshua Bengio is recognized worldwide as a leading expert in AI. He is most known for his pioneering work in deep learning, which earned him the 2018 A.M. Turing Award, “the Nobel Prize of computing,” with Geoffrey Hinton and Yann LeCun.

Bengio is a full professor at Université de Montréal, and the founder and scientific director of Mila – Quebec Artificial Intelligence Institute. He is also a senior fellow at CIFAR and co-directs its Learning in Machines & Brains program, serves as scientific director of IVADO, and holds a Canada CIFAR AI Chair.

In 2019, Bengio was awarded the prestigious Killam Prize and in 2022, he was the most cited computer scientist in the world by h-index. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of London, Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Knight of the Legion of Honor of France and Officer of the Order of Canada. In 2023, he was appointed to the UN’s Scientific Advisory Board for Independent Advice on Breakthroughs in Science and Technology.

Concerned about the social impact of AI, Bengio helped draft the Montréal Declaration for the Responsible Development of Artificial Intelligence and continues to raise awareness about the importance of mitigating the potentially catastrophic risks associated with future AI systems.

Current Students

Research Intern - Université de Montréal
PhD - Université de Montréal
Research Intern - Université du Québec à Rimouski
Professional Master's - Université de Montréal
Independent visiting researcher
Co-supervisor :
Independent visiting researcher - UQAR
PhD - Université de Montréal
Independent visiting researcher - MIT
PhD - Université de Montréal
Postdoctorate - Université de Montréal
Co-supervisor :
Professional Master's - Université de Montréal
Professional Master's - Université de Montréal
Collaborating Alumni - Université de Montréal
Collaborating researcher - Université Paris-Saclay
Principal supervisor :
PhD - Université de Montréal
PhD - Massachusetts Institute of Technology
PhD - Université de Montréal
PhD - Université de Montréal
Professional Master's - Université de Montréal
Professional Master's - Université de Montréal
Professional Master's - Université de Montréal
Collaborating researcher
Postdoctorate - Université de Montréal
Co-supervisor :
Independent visiting researcher - Technical University Munich (TUM)
PhD - Université de Montréal
Research Intern - Université de Montréal
Master's Research - Université de Montréal
Co-supervisor :
Research Intern - Université de Montréal
Collaborating researcher - Université de Montréal
PhD - Université de Montréal
Postdoctorate - Université de Montréal
PhD - Université de Montréal
Collaborating Alumni
Research Intern - Université de Montréal
Professional Master's - Université de Montréal
PhD - Université de Montréal
Principal supervisor :
Research Intern - McGill University
Research Intern - Imperial College London
PhD - Université de Montréal
Research Intern - Université de Montréal
Collaborating Alumni - Université de Montréal
DESS - Université de Montréal
PhD - Université de Montréal
Co-supervisor :
Postdoctorate - Université de Montréal
Collaborating researcher - Université de Montréal
PhD - Université de Montréal
Principal supervisor :
PhD - Université de Montréal
Principal supervisor :
Professional Master's - Université de Montréal
Independent visiting researcher - Université de Montréal
Independent visiting researcher - Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST)
Collaborating researcher - Ying Wu Coll of Computing
Professional Master's - Université de Montréal
Undergraduate - Université de Montréal
PhD - Max-Planck-Institute for Intelligent Systems
Professional Master's - Université de Montréal
Independent visiting researcher - Université de Montréal
Independent visiting researcher - Université de Montréal
PhD - Université de Montréal
Principal supervisor :
Collaborating researcher
Principal supervisor :
Postdoctorate - Université de Montréal
Master's Research - Université de Montréal
Research Intern - Université de Montréal
Master's Research - Université de Montréal
Professional Master's - Université de Montréal
Independent visiting researcher - Technical University of Munich
PhD - École Polytechnique Montréal Fédérale de Lausanne
PhD - Université de Montréal
Co-supervisor :
Collaborating researcher
Principal supervisor :
Postdoctorate - Université de Montréal
Collaborating researcher - Valence
Principal supervisor :
Postdoctorate - Université de Montréal
Co-supervisor :
Collaborating researcher - RWTH Aachen University (Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen)
Principal supervisor :
PhD - Université de Montréal
Professional Master's - Université de Montréal
Collaborating Alumni - Université de Montréal
Research Intern - Université de Montréal
PhD - Université de Montréal
Principal supervisor :
PhD - Université de Montréal
Principal supervisor :
PhD - McGill University
Principal supervisor :
PhD - McGill University
Principal supervisor :

Publications

AI and Catastrophic Risk
Tree Cross Attention
Leo Feng
Frederick Tung
Hossein Hajimirsadeghi
Mohamed Osama Ahmed
RECOVER identifies synergistic drug combinations in vitro through sequential model optimization
Paul Bertin
Jarrid Rector-Brooks
Deepak Sharma
Thomas Gaudelet
Andrew Anighoro
Torsten Gross
Francisco Martínez-Peña
Eileen L. Tang
M.S. Suraj
Cristian Regep
Jeremy B.R. Hayter
Maksym Korablyov
Nicholas Valiante
Almer van der Sloot
Mike Tyers
Charles E.S. Roberts
Michael M. Bronstein
Luke L. Lairson
Jake P. Taylor-King
GEO-Bench: Toward Foundation Models for Earth Monitoring
Alexandre Lacoste
Nils Lehmann
Pau Rodriguez
Evan David Sherwin
Hannah Kerner
Björn Lütjens
Jeremy Andrew Irvin
David Dao
Hamed Alemohammad
Mehmet Gunturkun
Gabriel Huang
David Vazquez
Dava Newman
Stefano Ermon
Xiao Xiang Zhu
Recent progress in self-supervision has shown that pre-training large neural networks on vast amounts of unsupervised data can lead to subst… (see more)antial increases in generalization to downstream tasks. Such models, recently coined foundation models, have been transformational to the field of natural language processing. Variants have also been proposed for image data, but their applicability to remote sensing tasks is limited. To stimulate the development of foundation models for Earth monitoring, we propose a benchmark comprised of six classification and six segmentation tasks, which were carefully curated and adapted to be both relevant to the field and well-suited for model evaluation. We accompany this benchmark with a robust methodology for evaluating models and reporting aggregated results to enable a reliable assessment of progress. Finally, we report results for 20 baselines to gain information about the performance of existing models. We believe that this benchmark will be a driver of progress across a variety of Earth monitoring tasks.
SatBird: a Dataset for Bird Species Distribution Modeling using Remote Sensing and Citizen Science Data
Mélisande Teng
Amna Elmustafa
Benjamin Akera
Hager Radi
Contrastive Retrospection: honing in on critical steps for rapid learning and generalization in RL
Chen Sun
Wannan Yang
Thomas Jiralerspong
Dane Malenfant
Benjamin Alsbury-Nealy
In real life, success is often contingent upon multiple critical steps that are distant in time from each other and from the final reward. T… (see more)hese critical steps are challenging to identify with traditional reinforcement learning (RL) methods that rely on the Bellman equation for credit assignment. Here, we present a new RL algorithm that uses offline contrastive learning to hone in on these critical steps. This algorithm, which we call Contrastive Retrospection (ConSpec), can be added to any existing RL algorithm. ConSpec learns a set of prototypes for the critical steps in a task by a novel contrastive loss and delivers an intrinsic reward when the current state matches one of the prototypes. The prototypes in ConSpec provide two key benefits for credit assignment: (i) They enable rapid identification of all the critical steps. (ii) They do so in a readily interpretable manner, enabling out-of-distribution generalization when sensory features are altered. Distinct from other contemporary RL approaches to credit assignment, ConSpec takes advantage of the fact that it is easier to retrospectively identify the small set of steps that success is contingent upon (and ignoring other states) than it is to prospectively predict reward at every taken step. ConSpec greatly improves learning in a diverse set of RL tasks. The code is available at the link: https://github.com/sunchipsster1/ConSpec
DynGFN: Towards Bayesian Inference of Gene Regulatory Networks with GFlowNets
Lazar Atanackovic
Alexander Tong
Jason Hartford
Leo J Lee
Bo Wang
Improving *day-ahead* Solar Irradiance Time Series Forecasting by Leveraging Spatio-Temporal Context
Oussama Boussif
Ghait Boukachab
Dan Assouline
Stefano Massaroli
Tianle Yuan
Loubna Benabbou
Solar power harbors immense potential in mitigating climate change by substantially reducing CO…
Joint Bayesian Inference of Graphical Structure and Parameters with a Single Generative Flow Network
Tristan Deleu
Mizu Nishikawa-Toomey
Jithendaraa Subramanian
Nikolay Malkin
Generative Flow Networks (GFlowNets), a class of generative models over discrete and structured sample spaces, have been previously applied … (see more)to the problem of inferring the marginal posterior distribution over the directed acyclic graph (DAG) of a Bayesian Network, given a dataset of observations. Based on recent advances extending this framework to non-discrete sample spaces, we propose in this paper to approximate the joint posterior over not only the structure of a Bayesian Network, but also the parameters of its conditional probability distributions. We use a single GFlowNet whose sampling policy follows a two-phase process: the DAG is first generated sequentially one edge at a time, and then the corresponding parameters are picked once the full structure is known. Since the parameters are included in the posterior distribution, this leaves more flexibility for the local probability models of the Bayesian Network, making our approach applicable even to non-linear models parametrized by neural networks. We show that our method, called JSP-GFN, offers an accurate approximation of the joint posterior, while comparing favorably against existing methods on both simulated and real data.
Laughing Hyena Distillery: Extracting Compact Recurrences From Convolutions
Stefano Massaroli
Michael Poli
Daniel Y Fu
Hermann Kumbong
Rom Nishijima Parnichkun
Aman Timalsina
David W. Romero
Quinn McIntyre
Beidi Chen
Atri Rudra
Ce Zhang
Christopher Re
Stefano Ermon
Recent advances in attention-free sequence models rely on convolutions as alternatives to the attention operator at the core of Transformers… (see more). In particular, long convolution sequence models have achieved state-of-the-art performance in many domains, but incur a significant cost during auto-regressive inference workloads -- naively requiring a full pass (or caching of activations) over the input sequence for each generated token -- similarly to attention-based models. In this paper, we seek to enable
Let the Flows Tell: Solving Graph Combinatorial Problems with GFlowNets
Dinghuai Zhang
Hanjun Dai
Nikolay Malkin
Ling Pan
Reusable Slotwise Mechanisms
Trang Nguyen
Amin Mansouri
Kanika Madan
Khuong N. Nguyen
Nguyen Duy Khuong
Kartik Ahuja
Dianbo Liu
Agents with the ability to comprehend and reason about the dynamics of objects would be expected to exhibit improved robustness and generali… (see more)zation in novel scenarios. However, achieving this capability necessitates not only an effective scene representation but also an understanding of the mechanisms governing interactions among object subsets. Recent studies have made significant progress in representing scenes using object slots. In this work, we introduce Reusable Slotwise Mechanisms, or RSM, a framework that models object dynamics by leveraging communication among slots along with a modular architecture capable of dynamically selecting reusable mechanisms for predicting the future states of each object slot. Crucially, RSM leverages the Central Contextual Information (CCI), enabling selected mechanisms to access the remaining slots through a bottleneck, effectively allowing for modeling of higher order and complex interactions that might require a sparse subset of objects. Experimental results demonstrate the superior performance of RSM compared to state-of-the-art methods across various future prediction and related downstream tasks, including Visual Question Answering and action planning. Furthermore, we showcase RSM's Out-of-Distribution generalization ability to handle scenes in intricate scenarios.