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The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) announced Yoshua Bengio, Geoffrey Hinton, and Yann LeCun, the three pioneers in Artificial Intelligence, as winners of the 2018 Turing Award. The Turing Award was presented to the researchers for their ‘conceptual and engineering breakthroughs’ that resulted in deep neural networks become a critical component of computing.

The ACM Turing Award, named after the great Alan M. Turing, a British Mathematician, is often referred to as the “Nobel Prize of Computing”. The award brings along with it a $1 million prize which will be split between the winners. Financial support is being offered by Google.

ACM states that Hinton, LeCun, and Bengio, worked independently and together to develop conceptual foundations for the field. These researchers worked diligently to identify surprising phenomena via various experiments and also contributed engineering advances that effectively shows the practical advantages of deep neural networks. These deep learning methods have led to many astonishing breakthroughs in the fields of computer vision, speech recognition, natural language processing, and robotics among others.

LeCun, Hinton, and Bengio stayed committed to the approach of using artificial neural networks as a tool to help computers recognize patterns and simulate human intelligence. Researchers also faced much criticism initially and their ideas were often met with skepticism. But, the researchers were determined and their ideas have resulted in major technological advances.

“At the heart of this progress are fundamental techniques developed starting more than 30 years ago by this year’s Turing Award winners, Yoshua Bengio, Geoffrey Hinton, and Yann LeCun”, said Jeff Dean, Google Senior Fellow, and SVP, Google AI.

Dr. Hinton now works as VP and engineering fellow at Google; Dr. LeCun works as the Chief AI Scientist for Facebook, and Dr. Bengio has inked deals with IBM and Microsoft.

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Tech writer at the Packt Hub. Dreamer, book nerd, lover of scented candles, karaoke, and Gilmore Girls.