Oliver Groth is a PhD student in Computer Vision and Robotics at the University of Oxford.
Oliver’s research focuses on the training of autonomous agents with the help of computer simulations. He is fascinated by the human “superpower” of physical intuition which enables us to execute a wide range of complex manipulation tasks: From stacking plates of dishes to assembling IKEA furniture. Oliver believes that this intuition can be acquired by machines in a human-like fashion: Similar to toddlers, who play with wooden toys, Oliver’s machine learning algorithms play with elementary geometric shapes in computer simulations to learn about geometry and physics.
Since progress in artificial intelligence is often measured in competitive games like Chess or Go, Oliver hopes that the AI he trains in a physics simulation can one day control a real robotic arm to compete with a human player in the block stacking game of Jenga using only learnt physical intuition.
Besides his research, Oliver is passionate about communicating the advances in artificial intelligence to broad and non-technical audiences. He is convinced of the profound impact of AI and advocates for a broader public discussion involving more branches of society beyond the technology sector. By explaining how machines learn and showing what AI can already do and what AI cannot do yet, he hopes to enable his audiences to adequately address and discuss the challenges and opportunities of AI.
Currently, Oliver is working towards a PhD in Computer Vision and Robotics at Oxford, supervised by Prof. Ingmar Posner and Prof. Andrea Vedaldi. He started his scientific journey at the Computer Vision Lab Dresden under the supervision of Prof. Carsten Rother and received the Carl-Zeiss-Award 2017 for his Diplom thesis on image captioning. He also spent one year as a visiting student at the heart of Silicon Valley working at the lab of Prof. Fei-Fei Li at Stanford. Oliver studied computer science at the Technical University of Dresden. He was born and raised in the region of Vogtland in Saxony.