Ashwin Vijayakumar

GT Computing Student Plans to Study Connections Between Law and Machine Learning as a J.P. Morgan Ph.D. Fellow

Recognized for his exceptional talent for using artificial intelligence (AI) to solve real-world problems, machine learning Ph.D. student Ashwin Vijayakumar has been named a 2020 recipient of the prestigious J.P. Morgan Ph.D. Fellowship.

Vijayakumar typically studies how to develop machine-learning solutions for assistive technology and focuses on improving reasoning systems, modeling human preferences, and producing diverse outputs.

However, with the funds from the fellowship, Vijayakumar plans to pivot and explore the relationship between machine learning and law.

“With machine learning still being relatively new, there are a lot of questions surrounding its impact legally. I want to dive into that and hopefully discover some connections that will make a broad impact. I wouldn’t be able to explore this new area without J.P. Morgan’s support,” said Vijayakumar, who is advised by School of Interactive Computing associate professor Dhruv Batra.

As a leading financial institution, J.P. Morgan is keen on collaborating with academia on ways to use AI to create better solutions, better protect their customers, and create better products. The awards are a part of the company’s $10 billion-plus annual investment in technology and innovation.

“Our goal is to recognize and enable the next generation of leading AI researchers. We want to create an environment where researchers can inspire change and make a lasting impact in our communities and across our industry,” said Manuela Veloso, head of J.P. Morgan AI Research.

The fellowship begins in fall 2020, granting Vijayakumar $100,000 to be used for tuition with a stipend and travel expenses for technical conferences.