Samy Bengio is a Canadian computer scientist, Senior Director of AI and Machine Learning Research at Apple,[1] and a former long-time scientist at Google[2] known for leading a large group of researchers working in machine learning including adversarial settings. Bengio left Google shortly after the company fired his reportee, Timnit Gebru, without first notifying him.[3][4] At the time, Bengio said that he had been "stunned" by what happened to Gebru.[5] He is also among the three authors who developed Torch in 2002,[6] the ancestor of PyTorch,[7] one of today's two largest machine learning frameworks.[8]

Samy Bengio
Born1965 (age 55–56)
Alma materUniversité de Montréal
Scientific career
FieldsComputer science
InstitutionsGoogle, IDIAP Research Institute, Microcell Labs
Thesis'Optimisation d'une règle d'apprentissage pour réseaux de neurones artificiels (Optimization of a learning rule for artificial neural networks) (1993)


Bengio obtained his Ph.D. in Computer Science in 1993 with a thesis titled Optimization of a Parametric Learning Rule for Neural Networks from the Université de Montréal. Before that, Bengio got an M.Sc. in Computer Science in 1989 with a thesis on Integration of Traditional and Intelligence Tutoring Systems from the same university, together with a B.Sc. in Computer Science in 1986.

Scientific contributionsEdit

According to DBLP, Samy Bengio has authored around 250 scientific papers on neural networks, machine learning, deep learning, statistics, computer vision and natural language processing.[9] The most cited[10] of these include some of the early works sparking the 2010s deep learning revolution by showing how to explore the many learned representations obtained through deep learning,[11] one of the first deep learning approaches to image captioning,[12] efforts to understand why deep learning works[13] leading to many follow-up works.[14] He also worked on the first evidence that adversarial examples can exist in the real world, i.e. one can really change a physical object such that a machine learning system would be fooled[15] and one of the first works on zero-shot recognition, i.e., recognizing classes never seen during training.[16]

Professional activitiesEdit

Bengio worked at the IDIAP Research Institute and the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland, from 1999 to 2007.[17]

He was General Chair of the Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS) in 2018[18] served as program chair of NeurIPS in 2017[19] and is currently a board member.[20] He was also program chair of ICLR (2015-2016)[21] and sits on its board (2018-2020).[22]

Bengio is also an editor of the Journal of Machine Learning Research.[23]

Personal lifeEdit

Samy Bengio was born to two Moroccan Jews who emigrated to France and Canada. He is the brother of Turing Award winner Yoshua Bengio.[24] Both of them lived in Morocco for a year during their father's military service in Morocco.[24] His father, Carlo Bengio, was a pharmacist who wrote theatre pieces and ran a Sephardic theatrical troupe in Montreal that played Judeo-Arabic pieces.[25][26] His mother, Célia Moreno, is also an artist who played in one of the major theatre scenes of Morocco that was run by Tayeb Seddiki in the 1970s.[27]


  1. ^ "Apple hires ex-Google AI scientist who resigned after colleagues' firings". Reuters. 2021-05-03. Retrieved 2021-05-21.
  2. ^ "Another prominent Google scientist is leaving the company amid fallout from fired AI researcher". CNBC. Retrieved 2021-04-09.
  3. ^ Dave, Jeffrey Dastin, Paresh (2020-12-17). "Google staff demand exec step aside after ethicist's firing - document". Reuters. Retrieved 2021-06-11.
  4. ^ Schiffer, Zoe (2021-04-06). "Google AI manager resigns following controversial firings of two top researchers". The Verge. Retrieved 2021-06-11.
  5. ^ "Samy Bengio". Retrieved 2021-06-11.
  6. ^ Collobert, Ronan; Bengio, Samy; Marithoz, Johnny (2002). Torch: A Modular Machine Learning Software Library. CiteSeerX
  7. ^ Yegulalp, Serdar (2017-01-19). "Facebook brings GPU-powered machine learning to Python". InfoWorld. Retrieved 2021-02-23.
  8. ^ "The State of Machine Learning Frameworks in 2019". The Gradient. 2019-10-10. Retrieved 2021-02-23.
  9. ^ "dblp: Samy Bengio". Retrieved 2021-02-24.
  10. ^ "Samy Bengio". Retrieved 2021-02-24.
  11. ^ Erhan, Dumitru; Bengio, Yoshua; Courville, Aaron; Manzagol, Pierre-Antoine; Vincent, Pascal; Bengio, Samy (2010-03-01). "Why Does Unsupervised Pre-training Help Deep Learning?". The Journal of Machine Learning Research. 11: 625–660. ISSN 1532-4435.
  12. ^ Vinyals, Oriol; Toshev, Alexander; Bengio, Samy; Erhan, Dumitru (June 2015). "Show and tell: A neural image caption generator". 2015 IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR). IEEE: 3156–3164. arXiv:1411.4555. doi:10.1109/cvpr.2015.7298935. ISBN 978-1-4673-6964-0. S2CID 1169492.
  13. ^ Zhang, Chiyuan; Bengio, Samy; Hardt, Moritz; Recht, Benjamin; Vinyals, Oriol (March 2021). "Understanding deep learning (still) requires rethinking generalization". Communications of the ACM. 64 (3): 107–115. doi:10.1145/3446776. ISSN 0001-0782. S2CID 231991101.
  14. ^ "Google Scholar". Retrieved 2021-02-24.
  15. ^ Kurakin, Alexey; Goodfellow, Ian J.; Bengio, Samy (2018-07-27), "Adversarial Examples in the Physical World", Artificial Intelligence Safety and Security, First edition. | Boca Raton, FL : CRC Press/Taylor & Francis Group, 2018.: Chapman and Hall/CRC, pp. 99–112, arXiv:1607.02533, doi:10.1201/9781351251389-8, ISBN 978-1-351-25138-9, S2CID 1257772, retrieved 2021-02-24CS1 maint: location (link)
  16. ^ Frome, Andrea; Corrado, Greg S.; Shlens, Jonathon; Bengio, Samy; Dean, Jeffrey; Ranzato, Marc'Aurelio; Mikolov, Tomas (2013-12-05). "DeViSE: a deep visual-semantic embedding model". Proceedings of the 26th International Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems - Volume 2. NIPS'13. Lake Tahoe, Nevada: Curran Associates Inc.: 2121–2129.
  17. ^ "Samy Bengio: de l'IDIAP à Google" (in French). 2008-04-11. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  18. ^ "2018 Organizing Committee". Retrieved 2021-02-23.
  19. ^ "NIPS 2017 Committees". Retrieved 2021-02-23.
  20. ^ "Board, Neural Information Processing Systems". Retrieved 2021-02-23.
  21. ^ "ICLR 2015 -". Retrieved 2021-02-24.
  22. ^ "2020 Board". Retrieved 2021-02-24.
  23. ^ "Samy Bengio | Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing". Retrieved 2021-02-23.
  24. ^ a b "Interview: The Bengio Brothers". Eye On AI. Retrieved 2021-02-24.
  25. ^ Levy, Elias (2019-05-08). "À la mémoire de Carlo Bengio". The Canadian Jewish News. Retrieved 2021-02-24.
  26. ^ Tahiri, Lalla Nouzha (July 2017). Le théâtre juif marocain : une mémoire en exil : remémoration, représentation et transmission (Thèse ou essai doctoral accepté thesis) (in French). Montréal (Québec, Canada): Université du Québec à Montréal.
  27. ^ "Célia Moréno, une marocaine au Québec". Mazagan24 - Portail d'El Jadida (in French). 2020-11-14. Retrieved 2021-02-24.