30th June 2022
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Artificial intelligence pioneers honoured with Princess of Asturias Award

Four scientists regarded as pioneers in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), were this week named as recipients of Spain’s 2022 Princess of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research.

The foundation that gives out the Princess of Asturias Awards honoured Geoffrey Hinton (UK), Yann LeCun (France) and Yoshua Bengio (Canada) for the breakthrough of machine-based ‘deep learning’, a process by which computers can start to learn automatically though complex algorithms.

Demis Hassabis, also from the UK, and the CEO and co-founder of DeepMind, a leading artificial intelligence company, was the fourth award recipient. DeepMind is owned by Google.

DeepMind’s AphaFold protein database, a joint-project with the European Bioinformatics Institute, has predicted with a high level of accuracy more than 350,000 human protein structures.

The Princess of Asturias jury said the work ‘represents a huge advance in techniques, ranging from voice recognition, the processing of natural language … [and] the perception of objects,’ among others.

‘The impact both now and in the future progress of society can be called extraordinary,’ the jury said.

The 50,000-euro award is one of eight prizes covering the arts, communication, science and other areas that are handed out annually by the foundation. ALSO READ: Dame Ellen MacArthur wins Spain’s Princess of Asturias Award.

The prizes are among the most prestigious in the Spanish-speaking world. The awards ceremony takes place each October in the northern Spanish city of Oviedo.


The four AI pioneers awarded. (FPA)

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1 comment

Eduard Antoniu 17th June 2022 at 12:47 pm

Geoffrey Hinton is actually a pioneer in neural networks; same for Yann LeCun, albeit applied in computer vision. 30 years ago, artificial intelligence was just natural language processing, automatic translation & voice recognition. Nowadays, however, it is everything, even IoT.


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