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Pedro A. Ortega

Research Scientist
Google DeepMind

This is Ludwig Boltzmann (no joke). Thanks Jordi!


I am a Research Scientist in the AI Safety Group at DeepMind. My research focuses on the formal principles of intelligent systems covering aspects such as learning, planning and decision making in both machines and biological organisms. My approach lies at the intersection between machine learning, computational neuroscience, theoretical economics, and physics.

Research Interests

Free Energy Functional (it's also meant to be a puzzling pic)

Most of my work centers on information-theoretic and statistical mechanical approaches to learning and control, leading to contributions in bounded rationality models and recasting adaptive control as a causal inference problem. I have also worked on causal induction, and on game- and decision-theoretic models in computational neuroscience.

To get a sense of my work, please refer to:

I was part of the former Tuebingen group on Sensorimotor Learning and Decision Making, where some of the now widespread ideas on Thompson sampling, causality, and thermodynamic methods for reinforcement learning have originated. Check out its members' sites:

Travel Schedule

Date Where Title
6-8 Jan 2017 Pacific Grove, California Beneficial AI 2017
25 Jan 2017 FHI, Oxford -
3 Mar 2017 FHI, Oxford -
17-26 Mar 2017 Philadelphia -
12 May 12 2017 University of Columbia Talk at Information Processing and Behavioral Variability
15 June 2017 FHI, Oxford -
28-31 July 2017 University of Cambridge Talk at Decision Theory & the Future of AI
7-27 August 2017 Philadelphia -

News (on Twitter)

Timeline of @AdaptiveAgents

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On variance estimation for Bayesian variable selection
About 23 hours, 45 mins ago by: Pedro A. Ortega (@AdaptiveAgents)

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Fairness in Decision-Making: The Causal Explanation Formula
About 1 day, 17 hours ago by: Pedro A. Ortega (@AdaptiveAgents)

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Deconstructing the human algorithms for exploration
About 1 day, 23 hours ago by: Pedro A. Ortega (@AdaptiveAgents)

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Sample-then-optimize posterior sampling for Bayesian linear models
About 4 days, 17 hours ago by: Pedro A. Ortega (@AdaptiveAgents)

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Social Bayesian Learning in the Wisdom of the Crowd
About 4 days, 23 hours ago by: Pedro A. Ortega (@AdaptiveAgents)


Pedro A. Ortega
Google UK
DeepMind 6th Floor
6 Pancras Square
London N1C 4AG