The Princess of Asturias Award for Scientific Research honors four experts in brain-mimicking systems

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Artificial intelligence, computing designed to perform operations that are considered typical of human intelligence, such as learning, is behind the main technological advances of recent decades in fields ranging from robotics to new drug research. This year the jury of the Princess of Asturias Awards recognized the critical importance of the region by awarding scientific and technical research experts Geoffrey Hinton, Yann Lecan, Yoshua Bengio and Demis Hasabis for Scientific and Technological Research.

Bengio (French, age 58), Lecun (French, age 61) and Hinton (British, age 75) already had an endorsement for these awards: the Turing Awards, considered award winner of computing. José Luis Salmarón, Professor of Information Systems and Management Computing at the Pablo de Olavide University (Seville), then highlighted that “this sector, after a phase of stagnation, has re-emerged”. British Demis Hasabis (45 years old) has a more versatile profile: he is, in addition to being an artificial intelligence researcher, a neuroscientist, a computer game designer and a chess master.

The priority areas of action of the first three are Nervous system, According to Salmarone, “they have had a significant past and have a promising future.” They are present in many common devices, like voice assistants or vehicle safety net. These are systems that try to imitate the human brain and have gone from working with simple structures (monolayer) to working with complex systems (read or learn attentively) to identify voices or differentiate images, among many other applications.

Its use has become widespread in artificial intelligence work to perform sophisticated classification, predictions and machine learning models. It is about mimicking the most complex organ (the human brain), which is why it has been called a “bio-inspired” model or “artificial neurons”.

The revival of these systems has a lot to do with those who have been awarded the Princess of Asturias Award today. Geoffrey Hinton, Professor at the University of Toronto (Canada) and winner of the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in 2017, developed the concepts he has been working on for half a century in 2004 and oriented them towards mechanical learning and recognition of elements Is. as complex as speech or image. Hinton created a research community that was involved in yaan le kunefrom New York University, and Joshua BengioFrom Montreal (Canada).

According to Salmeron, neural networks are based on increasingly complex mathematical systems that can learn from the analysis of quantities of information. Some areas of application are pharmaceutical or self-driving cars.

This model tries to mimic the brain and analyzes more situations than those perceived with the naked eye or that are included in current safety programs. In this way, for example, the mechanical decision to brake is made not only in the presence of an object, but also in light of speed, motor power, temperature and humidity data.

Hassabis. is co-founder of deep mind, artificial intelligence research center that was bought by Google in 2014. His field also deals with neural networks. “The brain is the only real proof we have in the universe that intelligence is possible,” he said in a communication to his company.

Hasabis, who is also a chess player, developed AlphaGo, a machine that defeated world champions in 2017 in a Chinese discipline similar to chess. Since 2013, it has collaborated with Google in developing applications for read or learn attentively as Vice President and is Senior Scientific Advisor at the Vector Institute of Canada.

Their AlphaZero software has been seen as instrumental in advancing the development of an artificial intelligence learning system combining the connections between memory and imagination with human neural functioning and machine learning mechanisms.

Geoffrey Hinton, Yann Lecan, and Yoshua Bengio have made advances in fields as diverse as object perception and machine translation using algorithms that convert the biological process of learning into mathematical sequences. It’s about machine learning from my own experience. In 1986, Hinton invented the backpropagation algorithm, which is fundamental to the training of neural networks. With them, in 2012 they managed to create a convolutional neural network called AlexNet, composed of 650,000 neurons and trained with 1.2 million images, that recorded only 26% errors in object recognition and the percentage from previous systems. Half done. LeCun added optical character recognition technology.

The jury for the Princess of Asturias Award for Scientific and Technical Research, chaired by physicist Pedro Manuel Ichenic, is composed of 13 members from various disciplines, who distinguish “scientific, technological, cultural, social and humanitarian work” carried out at an international level. We do. Last year it fell to seven researchers who developed some vaccines against Kovid.

The awards are endowed with a sculpture by Joan Miró (emblem of the Princess of Asturias Awards), a diploma, a badge and 50,000 euros, distributed equally, as in the case of Science and Technology this year, It is shared. ,

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