When Geoffrey Hinton started doing graduate student work on artificial intelligence at the University of Edinburgh in 1972, the idea that it could be achieved using neural networks that mimicked the human brain was in disrepute. Computer scientists Marvin Minsky and Seymour Papert had published a book in 1969 on Perceptrons, an early attempt at building a neural net, and it left people in the field with the impression that such devices were nonsense. "It didn't actually say that, but that's how the community interpreted the book," says Hinton who, along with Yoshua Bengio and Yann LeCun, will receive the 2018 ACM A.M. Turing award for their work that led deep neural networks to become an important component of today's computing. "People thought I was just completely crazy to be working on neural nets." Even in the 1980s, when Bengio and LeCun entered graduate school, neural nets were not seen as promising.
Once treated by the field with skepticism (if not outright derision), the artificial neural networks that 2018 ACM A.M. Turing Award recipients Geoffrey Hinton, Yann LeCun, and Yoshua Bengio spent their careers developing are today an integral component of everything from search to content filtering. Here, the three researchers share what they find exciting, and which challenges remain. There's so much more noise now about artificial intelligence than there was when you began your careers--some of it well-informed, some not. What do you wish people would stop asking you? GEOFFREY HINTON: "Is this just a bubble?"
Yoshua Bengio is recognized as one of the world's leading experts in artificial intelligence and a pioneer in deep learning. Yoshua Bengio's profound influence on the evolution of our society is undeniable. In 2017, he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada. In 2018, he was is the computer scientist who collected the largest number of new citations in the world. In 2019, he received, jointly with Geoffrey Hinton and Yann LeCun, the ACM A.M. Turing Award -- "the Nobel Prize of Computing" -- for conceptual and engineering breakthroughs.
This interview took place at the RE•WORK Deep Learning Summit in Boston, on 12-13 May 2016. Yoshua Bengio (PhD in CS, McGill University, 1991), post-docs at M.I.T. (Michael Jordan) and AT&T Bell Labs (Yann LeCun), CS professor at Université de Montréal, Canada Research Chair in Statistical Learning Algorithms, NSERC Chair, CIFAR Fellow, member of NIPS foundation board and former program/general chair, co-created ICLR conference, authored two books and over 300 publications, the most cited being in the areas of deep learning, recurrent networks, probabilistic learning, natural language and manifold learning. He is among the most cited Canadian computer scientists and is or has been associate editor of the top journals in machine learning and neural networks. Get more information on the Deep Learning Book here: http://www.deeplearningbook.org