Today the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) announced that Facebook Chief AI Scientist Yann LeCun, along with Yoshua Bengio (MILA and University of Montreal) and Geoffrey Hinton (Google, Vector Institute and University of Toronto), have been awarded the 2018 A.M. Turing Award. Often referred to as the “Nobel Prize of computing,” the award recognizes the group’s conceptual and engineering breakthroughs that made deep neural networks a critical component of computing.
In addition to Facebook, LeCun is a Silver Professor at New York University at the Center for Data Science, of which he was founding director from 2012 to 2014.
LeCun is also a member of the National Academy of Engineering and is the recipient of the 2014 IEEE Neural Network Pioneer Award; the 2015 IEEE Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence Distinguished Researcher Award; the 2016 Lovie Award for Lifetime Achievement; the University of Pennsylvania Pender Award; and honorary doctorates from IPN, Mexico and EPFL.
Upon receiving the award, LeCun reflects on his career and the early days of deep learning with Bengio and Hinton in the 1980s. “All three of us got into this field not just because we want to build intelligent machines, but also because we just wanted to understand intelligence — and that includes human intelligence,” says LeCun.
“We’re looking for underlying principles to intelligence and learning, and through the construction of intelligent machines, to understand ourselves.”