Deep Learning Pioneers Yann LeCun and Yoshua Bengio Elected as AAAI-20 Fellows

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Dec 24, 2019 · 3 min read

The AAAI (Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence) has announced the election of ten AAAI 2020 Fellows — including AI pioneers and 2018 Turing Award Winners Yann LeCun and Yoshua Bengio.

The AAAI Fellows Program launched in 1990 to annually honour individuals who have made significant, sustained contributions to the field of artificial intelligence. Generally, members who have been active in the field for a decade or more are eligible for selection.

The announcements came in advance of the Thirty-Fourth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-20), a top-tier AI gathering that will be held February 7–12, 2020 at the Hilton New York Midtown, New York, USA.

Yoshua Bengio (University of Montreal)

Yoshua Bengio is Professor of Department of Computer Science and Operations Research, Université de Montréal, and Canada Research Chair in Statistical Learning Algorithms. He was one of the first to combine neural networks with probabilistic models of sequences, which has been extended to apply to speech recognition tasks. The well-known concept of word-embedding — a language modeling and feature learning paradigm which aims to map vocabularies to vectors was also introduced by him. Furthermore, he is one of the contributors on generative adversarial networks (GANs), a revolutionary methods for the application of machine translation, image generation, audio synthesis etc.

Yann LeCun (New York University)

Yann LeCun is Scientific Director of artificial intelligence for Facebook, and professor at New York University. He is credited with developing convolutional neural networks and was the first to train neural network for handwritten digits recognition in the 1980s and contributed to an early version of the back-propagation algorithm. What’s more, he popularized the notion of hierarchical feature representation — which captures both local relationships and interrelationships for data as a whole to handle structure data more efficiently.

The other new AAAI Fellows are:

  • Cynthia Breazeal, a pioneer of social robotics and human–robot interaction; William T. Freeman, a computer vision pioneer
  • Radhika Nagpal, co-founder of Root Robotics Company
  • Natasha Noy, contributor of Protégé ontology editor, the Prompt alignment tool and Google Dataset Search
  • Martha Palmer, contributor of verb semantic and creator of ontological resources such as PropBank and VerbNet
  • Dragomir R. Radev, secretory of ACL and and associate editor of JAIR
  • Thomas Schiex, pioneer of constraint satisfaction problem on computing biology
  • Journal Sylvie Thiebaux.co-editor in chief of Artificial Intelligence Journal.

Author: Hecate He | Editor: Michael Sarazen

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