Oren Etzioni

Oren Etzioni is the Washington Research Foundation Entrepreneurship Professor at the University of Washington's Computer Science Department. He received his bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Harvard University in June 1986, where he was the first Harvard student to "major" in Computer Science. Etzioni received his Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University in January 1991 and joined the University of Washington's faculty in February 1991, where he is now a Professor of Computer Science. Etzioni received a National Young Investigator Award in 1993 and was selected as a AAAI Fellow a decade later. In 2007, he received the Robert S. Engelmore Memorial Award. He is the founder and director of the University of Washington's Turing Center .

Etzioni is the author of over 100 technical papers in a wide range of conferences, including AAAI, ACL, CIDR, COLING, EMNLP, FOCS, HLT, ICML, IJCAI, ISWC, IUI, KDD, KR, SIGIR, and WWW. He is a founder of four companies (see below) and a Venture Partner at the Madrona Venture Group. His work has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, SCIENCE, The Economist, TIME Magazine, Business Week, Newsweek, Discover Magazine, Forbes Magazine, Wired, NBC Nightly News, and even Pravda.

His current research interests include: fundamental problems in the study of intelligence, Web search, Machine Reading, and Machine Learning.

In 2010, Etzioni co-founded Decide -- a company that utilizes data mining and information extraction to revolutionize shopping for Consumer Electronics. In 2003, Etzioni founded Farecast -- a company that utilized data mining techniques to anticipate airfare fluctuations. The company was formerly known as Hamlet ("to buy or not to buy...that is the question"). Farecast was acquired by Microsoft in 2008 and became the foundation for Bing Travel. He was the Chief Technology Officer and a board member of Go2net (acquired by Infospace in 2000) and a co-founder of Netbot (acquired by Excite in 1997). At Netbot, Etzioni helped to conceive and design the web's first major comparison-shopping agent. In 1995, Etzioni and his student Erik Selberg developed MetaCrawler, the web’s premier Meta-search engine for several years, now being run by Infospace. He is a co-founder of Clearforest, a text-mining startup (acquired by Reuters in 2007), and has served on the board of Performant (acquired by Mercury Interactive in 2003). Finally, Etzioni has served as a consultant or advisor to Google, Microsoft, Northern Telecom, SAIC, Infospace, Excite, Askjeeves, Zillow, Vivisimo, and others.

In 1991, Etzioni launched the Internet Softbots project, and in 2003 he launched the KnowItAll project.

You have to wonder what he was doing in the intervening 12 years...

In 1997, Etzioni's joint paper on the Ahoy! Softbot was the runner-up for best paper award in WWW6; alas, the award itself was snagged by Alta Vista. In 2004, his joint paper on Semantic Email was a runner-up for the best paper award in WWW13. An actual award is coming any day now...really...wait. "A Probabilistic Model of Redundancy in Information Extraction" snagged the Distinguished Paper Award at IJCAI 2005.

Etzioni has served as a director of the non-profit AI Access Foundation since 1993. The foundation was created by Steve Minton to publish the Journal of AI Research -- one of the very first electronic journals distributed over the Web. Etzioni has served as an Associate Editor of the ACM Transactions on the Web, on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery, on the AAAI Executive Council, as the Program Chair for the Agents Conference, Vice Chair of the WWW Conference Search Track, Area Chair for AAAI's AI and the Web Track, and more.