Oren Etzioni

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Oren Etzioni
Oren Etzioni for AI2.jpg
Born1964 (age 54–55)
ResidenceSeattle, Washington, U.S.
Alma materHarvard University (BA 1986)
Carnegie Mellon University (PhD 1991)
AwardsAAAI Fellow (2003)
Scientific career
FieldsComputer science
InstitutionsAllen Institute for Artificial Intelligence
University of Washington
Doctoral advisorTom M. Mitchell

Oren Etzioni (b. 1964)[1] is an American entrepreneur, professor of computer science, and CEO of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence.[2][3][4][5] He joined the University of Washington faculty in 1991, where he became the Washington Research Foundation Entrepreneurship Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. In May 2005, he founded and became the director of the university's Turing Center.[6] The center investigates problems in data mining, natural language processing, the Semantic Web and other web search topics.[7] Etzioni coined the term machine reading[8] and created the first commercial comparison shopping agent.


Etzioni was the first student to major in computer science at Harvard University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in 1986. He earned a PhD from Carnegie Mellon University in January, 1991, supervised by Tom M. Mitchell.[6]


Etzioni was appointed CEO of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence in September of 2013.[9]

Etzioni's research is focused on basic problems in the study of intelligence, machine reading, machine learning and web search.[6] Past projects include Internet Softbots—the study of intelligent agents in the context of real-world software testbeds. In 2003, he started the KnowItAll project for acquiring massive amounts of information from the web.[6]

In 2015, he helped to create the Semantic Scholar search engine.[10]

He has written for Wired about AI.[11] After reading the idea in a book about AI by Brad Smith and Harry Shum, Etzioni has attempted to create an oath for AI practitioners.[12][13]


Etzioni is an entrepreneur who has founded or co-founded several business ventures, including MetaCrawler (bought by Infospace), Netbot (bought by Excite), and ClearForest (bought by Reuters). He founded Farecast, a travel metasearch and price prediction site, which was acquired by Microsoft in 2008.[14] He also co-founded Decide.com, a website to help consumers make buying decisions using previous price history and recommendations from other users. Decide.com was bought by eBay in September, 2013.[15] Etzioni is also a venture partner at the Madrona Venture Group.[16]


Etzioni is the son of prominent Israeli-American intellectual Amitai Etzioni.

Awards and recognition[edit]

  • In 1993, Etzioni received a National Young Investigator Award.[6]
  • In 2003, Etzioni was elected as AAAI Fellow.[6]
  • In 2005, Etzioni received an IJCAI Distinguished Paper Award for "A Probabilistic Model of Redundancy in Information Extraction".[6]
  • In 2007, he received the Robert S. Engelmore Memorial Award.[6]
  • In 2012 Etzioni was featured as GeekWire's "Geek of the Week".[17]
  • In 2013 Etzioni was voted "Geek of the Year" through GeekWire.[18]


In 2011 he was sued by law firm K&L Gates for anonymously harassing attorney Mabry DeBuys, who represented his ex-wife in their divorce proceedings. He admitted to the harassment in a statement to the newspaper, calling it "a mistake". The lawsuit was later settled.

Selected publications[edit]

Popular essays[edit]

  • Etzioni, Oren (August 4, 2011). "Web Search Needs a Shakeup" (PDF). Nature. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  • Etzioni, Oren (December 9, 2014). "AI Won't Exterminate Us – It Will Empower Us". Backchannel. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  • Etzioni, Oren (April 8, 2016). "Quora Session with Oren Etzioni". Quora. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  • Etzioni, Oren (June 15, 2016). "Deep Learning Isn't a Dangerous Magic Genie. It's Just Math". Wired. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  • Etzioni, Oren (July 6, 2017). "Artificial intelligence: AI Zooms in on highly influential citations". Nature. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  • Etzioni, Oren (September 1, 2017). "How to Regulate Artificial Intelligence". The New York Times. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  • Etzioni, Oren (November 2, 2017). "Workers Displaced by Automation Should Try A New Job: Caregiver". Wired. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  • Etzioni, Oren (March 14, 2018). "A Hippocratic Oath for artificial intelligence practitioners". Tech Crunch. Retrieved March 29, 2018.

Academic publications[edit]


  1. ^ "He does what he wanted to do when he grew up (kind of) – The Washington Jewish Museum". web.archive.org. 7 August 2018. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  2. ^ "Team — Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence". allenai.org. Retrieved 2016-03-22.
  3. ^ Romano, Benjamin (September 4, 2013). "Paul Allen Hires Oren Etzioni for New Artificial Intelligence Push". Xconomy. Retrieved November 12, 2013.
  4. ^ "UW Professor Oren Etzioni To Lead Paul Allen's New Artificial Intelligence Institute". KUOW. Retrieved November 12, 2013.
  5. ^ "Deep Learning And Artifical [sic] Intelligence - The Diane Rehm Show". The Diane Rehm Show. Retrieved 2016-04-05.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h "Oren Etzioni". University of Washington. Retrieved February 23, 2013.
  7. ^ "Turing Center at University of Washington". University of Washington. Retrieved February 23, 2013.
  8. ^ Etzioni, Oren; Banko, Michelle; Carafella, Michael (2006). "Machine Reading" (PDF). AAAI: 1517–1519.
  9. ^ "Paul G. Allen Appoints Head of Artificial Intelligence Institute". PR Newswire. September 4, 2013. Retrieved March 4, 2019.
  10. ^ Nicola Jones, November 11, 2016 AI science search engines expand their reach, Nature
  11. ^ Oren Etzioni, Wired
  12. ^ Khari Johnson, March 23, 2018, AI Weekly: For the sake of us all, AI practitioners need a Hippocratic oath, VentureBeat
  13. ^ Catherine Clifford, March 14, 2018, Expert says graduates in A.I. should take oath: ‘I must not play at God nor let my technology do so’, CNBC
  14. ^ Peter High, June 6, 2016 The Serial Entrepreneur Who Leads Paul Allen's AI Institute, Forbes
  15. ^ "eBay acquires Decide.com, shopping research site will shut down Sept. 30". GeekWire. 2013-09-06. Retrieved 2019-03-05.
  16. ^ "oren etizoni: Venture Partner". Madrona.com. Madrona Venture Group. Retrieved February 24, 2013.
  17. ^ Bishop, Todd (January 19, 2012). "Geek of the Week: Oren Etzioni on Siri, Burning Man and the promise of algorithms". GeekWire. Retrieved February 23, 2013.
  18. ^ Soper, Taylor (May 9, 2013). "Revealed: The winners of the 2013 GeekWire Awards". GeekWire. Retrieved November 12, 2013.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]