Hartmut Neven

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Hartmut Neven at Further Future 2016

Hartmut Neven (born 1964 in Aachen, Germany) is a scientist working in quantum computing, computer vision, robotics and computational neuroscience. He is best known for his work in face and object recognition and his contributions to quantum machine learning. He is currently Director of Engineering at Google where he is leading the Quantum Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. [1][2][3][4][5]


Hartmut Neven studied Physics and Economics in Brazil, Köln, Paris, Tübingen and Jerusalem. He wrote his Master thesis on a neuronal model of object recognition at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics under Valentino Braitenberg. In 1996 he received his Ph.D. from the Institute for Neuroinformatics at the Ruhr University in Bochum, Germany, for a thesis on "Dynamics for vision-guided autonomous mobile robots" written under the tutelage of Christoph von der Malsburg.


Neven was assistant professor of computer science at the University of Southern California at the Laboratory for Biological and Computational Vision. Later he returned as the head of the Laboratory for Human-Machine Interfaces at USC’s Information Sciences Institute.

Neven co-founded two companies, Eyematic for which he served as CTO and Neven Vision which he initially led as CEO. At Eyematic he developed real-time facial feature analysis for avatar animation.[6] Neven Vision pioneered mobile visual search for camera phones [7][8] and was acquired by Google in 2006.[9] At Google he managed teams responsible for advancing Google’s visual search technologies and was the engineering manager for Google Goggles.[10][11][12][13] He was a co-founder of the Google Glass project.

Teams led by Neven have repeatedly won top scores in government sponsored tests designed to determine the most accurate face recognition software.[14] In 2013 his optical character recognition team won the ICDAR Robust Reading Competition by a wide margin.[15]

In 2006 Neven started to explore the application of quantum computing to hard combinatorial problems arising in machine learning. In collaboration with D-Wave Systems he developed the first image recognition system based on quantum algorithms. It was demonstrated at SuperComputing07.[16] At NIPS 2009 his team demonstrated the first binary classifier trained on a quantum processor.[17][18][19]


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