Enrolled in a Master’s degree in Computer Science at the Université de Montréal with a focus on deep learning, Rithesh had a chance to work with one of the superstars of Artificial Intelligence (AI): the highly-esteemed Yoshua Bengio.
Professor Bengio is head of MILA, a Full Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Operation Research at the Université de Montréal and a world leader in the field of artificial intelligence. Despite a busy schedule, he finds time to collaborate with hundreds of researchers around the world as well as mentor students at UdeM. One of these students is Rithesh. They are working with Lyrebird on a research project about speech synthesis “which is related to replicating people’s voice. The ultimate goal would be to create artificial voices that are not differentiable from the real voices,” as Rithesh states. The aim is “to help everyone who loses their voice to a disease to recover this part of their identity,” says former US president, Barack Obama. The video is part of the project and is available on Rithesh’s website at ritheshkumar.com/obamanet
According to Rithesh, working on this project under the supervision of Professor Bengio is an honor. He explains that they’ve been working together for about one and half years. “I used to collaborate with him remotely, throughout my final year of undergrad at Anna University, in Chennai, in India. I can’t imagine where I’d be right now if I didn’t have him as my mentor.” Professor Bengio did inspire him to come to Montreal. This decision was also, however, encouraged by the fact that he would be able to pursue his studies at MILA. After all, as Rithesh says himself, “It’s one of the best labs in the world doing research in artificial intelligence.”
Carla Simon is a Communications Officer at Université de Montréal where she gt her Master’s degree in International Studies. Carla worked as a journalist for several years in Brazil, where she comes from. Interested in politics, books, vegetarian food, and languages, she has adopted as her hometown a place that brings all those things together: Montreal.