Stanford AI Leader Fei Fei Li Working on “Spatial Intelligence” Startup

Li’s research would involve algorithms capable of projecting how images and text would appear in three-dimensional settings.
Fei-Fei Li
Fei-Fei LiImage source: Stanford University

Fei-Fei Li, an eminent computer scientist, AI researcher, and professor at Stanford University, has embarked on her AI start-up journey, according to a Reuters report. The “godmother of AI” is reportedly building a company “that uses human-like processing of visual data to make artificial intelligence (AI) capable of advanced reasoning.”

Li reportedly described the startup at a recent TED conference, elaborating that its cutting-edge research would involve algorithms capable of realistically projecting how images and text would appear in three-dimensional settings and then responding to those projections, leveraging a concept termed "spatial intelligence."

Illustrating the idea, she showed a picture of a cat with its paw outstretched, pushing a glass to the table’s edge. Within a second, the human brain could assess "the geometry of this glass, its place in 3D space, its relationship with the table, the cat, and everything else," and then predict the outcome and take action to prevent it, Li said.

She added, "Nature has created this virtuous cycle of seeing and doing, powered by spatial intelligence."

As reported in leading media outlets, Li raised funding for her startup in a seed funding round, and the investors include Silicon Valley venture firm Andreessen Horowitz and Radical Ventures, a Canadian firm.

Li earned her name in the AI field by developing ImageNet, a large-scale image dataset. In addition to that, she Co-directs Stanford's Human-Centered AI Institute, which focuses on developing AI technology in ways that "improve the human condition.” She further led AI at Google Cloud, served on Twitter's Board of Directors, and advised policymakers, including the White House.

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