Geoffrey E. Hinton

Geoffrey E. Hinton

The godfather of the deep learning revolution

Geoffrey Hinton, a professor at the University of Toronto who is often referred to as the godfather of deep learning, was one of three winners of the 2018 ACM A.C. Turing Award. Announced and awarded in June 2019, the prize recognized Dr. Hinton and the other winners for their conceptual and engineering breakthroughs that have made deep neural networks a critical component of computing.

Dr. Hinton aims to discover learning procedures that are efficient at finding complex structure in large, high-dimensional datasets. His contributions to neural network research include Boltzmann machines, distributed representations, time-delay neural nets, mixtures of experts, variational learning, products of experts, deep belief nets and capsule networks. His research group in Toronto has made major breakthroughs in deep learning that have revolutionized speech recognition and object classification.

Following an undergraduate degree in experimental psychology from the University of Cambridge in 1970, Dr. Hinton earned his PhD in artificial intelligence from the University of Edinburgh in 1978. After teaching at Carnegie-Mellon University for five years, he became a fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIAR) and moved to the department of computer science at the University of Toronto. He later spent three years setting up the Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit at University College London before returning to the University of Toronto in 2001. From 2004 to 2013, Dr. Hinton also directed the CIAR-funded Neural Computation and Adaptive Perception program (now the Learning in Machines & Brains research program).

Dr. Hinton is now an emeritus distinguished professor and a fellow of the Royal Society, the Royal Society of Canada, and the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence. Since 2013, he has been working halftime for the Google Brain team and now directs their research group in Toronto. He is also the chief scientific adviser of the Vector Institute.

Dr. Hinton has received honorary doctorates from the University of Edinburgh, the University of Sussex and the University of Sherbrooke. Among Dr. Hinton’s honours, he was awarded the first David E. Rumelhart prize in 2001 and the NSERC Herzberg Gold Medal in 2010, which is Canada’s top award in Science and Engineering.

Learn more about the ACM A.M. Turing Award

*The ACM A.M. Turing Award, the most prestigious technical award offered by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), is given for major contributions of lasting importance to computing. Often called the “Nobel Prize of Computing,” the ACM A.M. Turing Award carries a $1 million prize, with financial support provided by Google, Inc. It is named for Alan M. Turing, the British mathematician who articulated the mathematical foundation and limits of computing.

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