About Leela AI


Our AI system, Leela, is motivated by intrinsic curiosity. Leela creates theories about cause and effect in her world, and then conducts experiments to test these theories. Leela can connect all her knowledge and use this network to make plans, reason about goals, and communicate using grounded natural language.

Leela has at her core a hybrid symbolic-connectionist network. This means that she uses a dynamic combination of artificial neural networks and symbol networks to learn. Hybrid networks open the door to AI agents that can build their own abstractions on the fly, while still taking full advantage of the power of deep learning.

Our Story

Leela’s co-founders met while students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and bring to the company a breadth and depth of technical and business experience in AI, natural language, computer science, and hardware. The promise of AI which understands the world in a much more humanistic way has been of deep interest to us throughout our careers. As technology and computational resources continue to push what is possible, our team is developing products that can actually understand, reason about,  and explain what is being done (action) and sensed (perception).

Our Founders

Henry Minsky, CTO

Henry is the driving force behind the core Leela AI software. He worked on computer vision systems at the MIT AI Lab, and developed distributed location-based services together with a wearable sensor network architecture at NTT DoCoMo. Most recently he worked at Google’s Nest Labs. He is a graduate of MIT (SB, MSc).

Dr. Cyrus Shaoul, CEO

Cyrus is an entrepreneur and computational psycholinguist with extensive experience in computational cognitive modeling. Cyrus was a co-founder and CTO of Digital Garage Inc. until 2001. From his work on computational language processing models while at the U. of Alberta and the U. of Tübingen, Cyrus gained deep experience with neural networks for NLP and related technologies. He is a graduate of MIT (BSc) and the University of Alberta (MSc, Phd).

Dr. Milan Singh Minsky, VP Product

Milan brings extensive experience in venture backed startups as a founder or early employee, managing teams to build innovative products. Prior to Leela AI, she co-founded RayVio, a startup commercializing UV-C LED technology for disinfection. Milan was an undergraduate at MIT, and did her Master’s at the MIT Lab for Computer Science with Professor Steve Ward. She earned a PhD for work on characterizing GaN-based blue/green LED materials at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and spent a year as a Sloan Fellow at the MIT Sloan School of Business.

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