Brief Biography


Richard S. Sutton is a distinguished research scientist at DeepMind, a professor in the Department of Computing Science at the University of Alberta, and a fellow of the Royal Society (UK), the Royal Society of Canada, the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii), and CIFAR. He received a PhD in computer science from the University of Massachusetts in 1984 and a BA in psychology from Stanford University in 1978. Prior to joining the University of Alberta in 2003, he worked in industry at AT&T Labs and GTE Labs, and in academia at the University of Massachusetts.  In Alberta, he founded the Reinforcement Learning and Artificial Intelligence Lab, which now consists of ten principal investigators and about 100 people altogether. He joined DeepMind in 2017 to co-found their first satellite research lab, in Alberta.

Sutton's research interests center on the learning problems facing a decision-making agent interacting with its environment, which he sees as central to intelligence. He has additional interests in animal learning psychology, in connectionist networks, and generally in systems that continually improve their representations and models of the world. He is co-author of the textbook Reinforcement Learning: An Introduction. His scientific publications have been cited more than 100,000 times. He is also a libertarian, a chess player, and a cancer survivor.