Portrait image of Thomas Wolf

He leads the Science Team at Huggingface Inc., a Brooklyn-based startup working on Natural Language Generation and Natural Language Understanding.

He has been programming since he was 10, writing video games and interactive software in Assembly and C/C++ but his first career was actually in Physics rather than Computer Science.

After graduating from Ecole Polytechnique (Paris, France), he worked on laser-plasma interactions at the BELLA Center of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley, CA). Got accepted for a PhD at MIT (Cambridge, MA) but ended up doing his PhD in Statistical/Quantum physics at Sorbonne University and ESPCI (Paris, France), working on superconducting materials for the French DARPA (DGA) and Thales. After his PhD, he needed a change from the long time scale of experiments in physics and ended up totally changing direction. He joined an IP Law firm, Cabinet Plasseraud (Paris, France), got a law degree from Pantheon Sorbonne University and worked as a European Patent Attorney for 5 years, assisting a portfolio of startups and big companies to build and defend their Intellectual Property assets.

In 2015, he was consulting for many Deep-Learning/AI/ML startups and they made him discover the maths behind the new ML/AI revolution. He realised that most of these methods, equations and tools were just re-branded statistical physics approaches which fueled his interest for Machine Learning and Deep Learning. He started his online education in AI/ML reading books and following online courses. About year later, one of his friend asked him if he wanted to join his startup to build a science team, and there he was, doing science again and having a lot of fun!

The tools created by Thomas and the HuggingFace team are used across more than 5000 research organisations including, Google Research, Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research, DeepMind, Amazon Research, Apple, the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence as well as most university departments. 

Thomas is the initiator and senior chair of the largest research collaboration that has ever existed in Artificial Intelligence: “BigScience” (https://bigscience.huggingface.co) as well as a set of widely used libraries and tools (https://github.com/huggingface/). 

AMLD EPFL 2022 / Speakers

Michael Bronstein

Oxford / Twitter / IDSIA

Max Welling

Distinguished Scientist, Microsoft Research

Samy Bengio

Senior Director, AI and Machine Learning Research, Apple

Regina Barzilay

Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, MIT

Melanie Mitchell

Davis Professor, Santa Fe Institute

Thomas Wolf

Co-founder and Chief Science Officer, Hugging Face

AMLD / Global partners