EP16 – Data Scientist : Peter Norvig

Hello People,

Here is the sixth article of my series concerning famous Data Scientists. Today we will speak about Peter Norvig; a Research Data Scientist mostly popularized due to his colorful shirts and to contributions to the field.

So we will follow the following steps.
(1) Who is this Data Scientist?
(2) What is his work about?
(3) How can I benefit of such learning insights in my career path & theme selection?

Who is this Data Scientist?

Being a American-born (December 14, 1956), Peter Norvig is a  computer scientist most noted for his work on artificial intelligence via a modern approach & paradigms of AI programming through case studies in common Lisp. Author of publications dating from early 1990, the latter focuses on artificial intelligence, intelligence applied to technology and related paradigms.

In 2006, he was inducted as a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery. In 2011, Norvig worked to develop a popular online course in Artificial Intelligence with Sebastian Thrun that had more than 160,000 students enrolled. Norvig is also one of the creators of JScheme. Finally, Norvig, was head of Google’s core search algorithms group, and of NASA Ames’s before becoming a Director of Research at Google Inc.

What is his work about?

Starting as a mathematician, Norvig moved later on into computers as finding them easier. Later on he worked on probabilistic reasoning and dealing with uncertainty. This allowing him to get into artificial intelligence and problem solving solutions.

For his contribution in the following field of artificial intelligence, Norvig is often considered of a pioneer of the discipline. However, Norvig goes further to make a useful distinction between neuroscience and artificial intelligence research. In his point of view; understanding the brain in thrilling; but the main scope of artificial intelligence is to create problem solving machines.

Known for more than his fancy shirts, Norvig is a member of prestigious fellowships namely : fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) & fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).

How can I benefit of such learning insights in my career path & theme selection?

Norvig is an interesting Data Scientist. Due to his career path not initially starting in the computer science field but being dedicated to math and statistical theorems. However, bearing in mind that he is about solution creation based on math and computer generated artificial intelligence, I do think that we will part away. Although keeping in mind that I am data driven as he is and that doing some coding is thrilling; I am not interested in doing artificial intelligence and brain dedicated studies. Nevertheless, I think that considering his critical thinking in my aim to apply machine learning for databases analysis and algorithm will of course be an outstanding advantage in my learning track.

Conclusion : Norvig’s work is to be considered as an all rounded reference due to the application of his knowledge via his career evolution. However; seeing the contributions of Norvig like google mapping or related artificial intelligence, I must admit this is not the path I will follow. I can rather say that I will use the tools he create to work but won’t be in the team creating them. Thus, Norvig, could not be considered as a role model for me due to my career orientations being far away from artificial intelligence applications. Nevertheless the latter is an outstanding scientist in the field of Data Science dedicated to artificial intelligence.



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