Allen Institute for AI

The Allen Institute for AI (abbreviated AI2) is a research institute founded by late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. The institute seeks to achieve scientific breakthroughs by constructing AI systems with reasoning, learning, and reading capabilities.[1] Oren Etzioni was appointed by Paul Allen in September 2013 to direct the research at the institute.[2][3][4]

Allen Institute for AI
Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence.png
Formation2014; 7 years ago (2014)
FounderPaul Allen
TypeNon-profit research institute
Key people
Oren Etzioni


  • Aristo: A flagship project of AI2, inspired by a similar project called Project Halo carried out by Seattle-based investment company Vulcan.[5] The goal is to design an artificially intelligent system that can successfully read, learn, and reason from texts and ultimately demonstrate its knowledge by providing explainable question answering. The focus of the project is explained by the guiding philosophy that artificial intelligence is about having a mental model for how things operate and refining that mental model based on new knowledge.[6][7]
  • PRIOR: A ground-breaking research project on visual knowledge extraction that capitalizes on the wealth of information available in images. PRIOR aims to create knowledge bases composed entirely of information derived from images, both static and video. The PRIOR team released the game Iconary in February 2018 as a demonstration of an AI that can understand and produce situated scenes from a limited set of icons.[8]
  • Semantic Scholar: This project is a platform for scientific literature search and discovery, focusing on semantics and textual understanding. This search engine allows users to find key survey papers about a topic or to produce a list of important citations or results in a given paper.[9][10] Semantic Scholar officially launched on November 2, 2015.[11] In September 2017, Semantic Scholar added biomedical papers to its corpus.[12]
  • AllenNLP: AllenNLP is an open-source NLP research library built on PyTorch. AllenNLP also includes reference implementations of high-quality models for both core NLP problems (e.g. semantic role labeling) and NLP applications (e.g. textual entailment).[13]
  • MOSAIC: The Mosaic project is focused on defining and building common sense knowledge and reasoning for AI systems.[14]


In 2018, the institute partnered with the University of Washington to explore deep learning artificial intelligence designed to predict how dogs would respond to stimulus. Researchers used over 20,000 frames of video to train an AI to predict movements and learn other dog behavior.[15]

AI2 also partnered with the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and the University of Washington to develop an artificial intelligence named the "Composition, Retrieval and Fusion Network" (CRAFT). After the AI was trained with a database of over 25,000 videos from the U.S. television show The Flintstones, it was able to create novel short video clips from natural language captions that resembled the cartoon.[16]

Startup incubatorEdit

The institute's startup incubator launched in 2015 with the intent to develop technologies in the artificial intelligence field.[17]

Media coverageEdit

AI2 was the subject of an in-depth article in The Verge.[6] Its launch was covered in Xconomy,[3] and GeekWire.[4] Allen and Etzioni co-authored an article for CNN about artificial intelligence and AI2 in December 2013.[18] AI2 has also been mentioned in other articles discussing the current state of and trends in artificial intelligence research.[19][third-party source needed]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "AI2: Home". Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence. Retrieved January 25, 2014.
  2. ^ "Paul G. Allen appoints Head of Artificial Intelligence Institute" (PDF). Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence. September 4, 2013. Retrieved January 25, 2014.
  3. ^ a b Romano, Benjamin (September 4, 2013). "Paul Allen Hires Oren Etzioni for New Artificial Intelligence Push". Xconomy. Retrieved January 25, 2014.
  4. ^ a b Cook, John (September 4, 2013). "Going beyond Siri and Watson: Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen taps Oren Etzioni to lead new Artificial Intelligence Institute". GeekWire. Retrieved January 25, 2014.
  5. ^ "Project Aristo". Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence. Retrieved January 25, 2014.
  6. ^ a b Brandom, Russell (October 24, 2013). "Paul Allen and the Machines: teaching the next generation of artificial intelligence". The Verge. Retrieved January 25, 2014.
  7. ^ Clark; Harrison; Balasubramanian (2013). "A Study of the Knowledge Base Requirements for Passing an Elementary Science Test" (PDF). Retrieved January 25, 2014.
  8. ^ "AI2 : PRIOR".
  9. ^ "AI2 : Semantic Scholar". Archived from the original on 2015-05-08. Retrieved 2015-06-10.
  10. ^ "Semantic Scholar".
  11. ^ "Semantic Scholar Utilizes Artificial Intelligence Methods to Transform Scientific Search for Computer Scientists" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-11-23. Retrieved 2015-11-02.
  12. ^ Coldewey, Devin. "Allen Institute for AI's Semantic Scholar adds biomedical papers to its AI-sorted corpus". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-11-20.
  13. ^ "AllenNLP". Retrieved 2019-02-16.
  14. ^ "Mosaic". Retrieved 2019-02-16.
  15. ^ "Forget Cloning Dogs, A.I. Is The Real Way to Let Your Pooch Live Forever". Digital Trends. 13 April 2018.
  16. ^ "Researchers Trained an AI to Create Flintstones Cartoons". The Next Web. 12 April 2018.
  17. ^ John Cook. "Paul Allen's Artificial Intelligence Institute launches startup incubator with top minds in AI - GeekWire". GeekWire.
  18. ^ Allen, Paul; Etzioni, Oren (December 11, 2013). "From Star Trek to Siri: How the Machine-Reading Revolution will dictate the future". CNN. Retrieved January 25, 2014.
  19. ^ "AI2: News Articles".

External linksEdit