Jay Last, who played a leading role in founding one of the earliest companies in the history of Silicon Valley, died on Jan. 22 at the age of 92.
Mr. Last was one of the founders of the Energy Research Institute, better known as the Singularity University. The organization was organized in 1994 to “connect entrepreneurs and students to leading thinkers and doers in science, technology, and business,” according to the organization’s website.
Singularity University, which is based at Stanford University and was co-founded by Mr. Last and Joseph Wang, is a graduate program that gives students a “scholarly workshop” that, in part, teaches them about business.
Mr. Last, who also served as a university trustee, worked on developing the idea of “think tanks” for science and business. He founded the Singularity University in 1994.
After Mr. Last retired from Singularity University in 2011, a spinoff, the Institution for Artificial Intelligence, was formed in 2013 with him serving as chair.
According to Singularity University, Mr. Last “promoted scientific innovation at MIT, Stanford, Caltech, Oxford, and many other world-class centers of research. He established agencies in the US and overseas that are championing groundbreaking new ideas, research, and technology. He used his life experiences to inspire others to think different and act differently. He and his family have supported thousands of researchers and scholars — all inspired by his compelling vision of a future powered by human intelligence, and embodied in the Singularity.”
Last led the search committee to select the six winners for the 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Singularity University said.
He also participated in media commentary on things like big data, robotics, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, and more.
Read a statement from Singularity University below: