Current Affairs 28 March 2019 Digest 5: Artificial Intelligence-pioneers win Turing Award 2018; Lokpal Memebers sworn-in

Story 1: Artificial Intelligence-pioneers win Turing Award 2018

The three pioneers of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Yoshua Bengio, Geoffrey Hinton, and Yann LeCun were on March 27, 2019 awarded with the 2018 ACM A.M. Turing Award “for conceptual and engineering breakthroughs that have made deep neural networks a critical component of computing”.

All the three winners will share the USD 1 million prize money.

AI-Giants associated with Facebook and Google

Named as the “Fathers of the Deep Learning Revolution” by the Association for Computing Machinery, all the three winners belong to big names in the industry.

Hinton is VP and Engineering Fellow of Google; LeCun is VP and Chief AI Scientist at Facebook and Bengio is Scientific Director at Mila and has inked deals with IBM and Microsoft.

Yoshua Bengio, Geoffrey Hinton, and Yann LeCun brought paradigm shift in science

Yoshua Bengio, Geoffrey Hinton and Yann LeCun have worked together as well as independently in bringing out the paradigm shift in science by developing Deep Learning for Artificial Intelligence by using neural networks for computing.

In 2004, with around USD 400,000 funding from the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, Geoffrey Hinton created a research program ‘Neural Computation and Adaptive Perception’, based on a technological idea called a neural network.

Under the programme, he invited several academicians who tackled the concept of neural network. Among these academicians were Yann LeCun of the New York University and Yoshua Bengio of the University of Montreal.

By the end of the decade in 2010, Hinton helped Microsoft, IBM, and Google push the boundaries of speech recognition, followed by the image recognition.

Self-driving cars, voice assistants and facial recognition technology are a few examples of development made possible by the works of Hinton, LeCun, and Bengio.

What are Neural networks?

Neural networks are the electronic engines that led to some of the greatest advances in modern computer science such as facial and speech recognition.

About ACM A.M. Turing Award

The ACM A.M. Turing Award was introduced in 1966 and is regarded as the “Nobel Prize of Computing”.

The award is presented annually by the Association for Computing Machinery to "an individual selected for contributions of a technical nature made to the computing community".

The honour is named after Alan Turing, a British mathematician and reader in mathematics at the University of Manchester.

From 2007 to 2013, the award included a prize of USD 250000 with financial support provided by Intel and Google. Since 2014, the award prize was reduced to USD 1 million with financial support provided only by Google.

The first recipient of the award was Alan Perlis. The first female recipient was Frances E. Allen, who was honoured in 2006.

About Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the intelligence demonstrated by machines, in contrast to the natural intelligence displayed by humans and other animals.

Computer science defines AI research as the study of "intelligent agents": any device that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its chance of successfully achieving its goals.

Colloquially, the term "artificial intelligence" is applied when a machine mimics cognitive functions that humans associate with other human minds, such as learning and problem-solving.

Artificial intelligence was founded as an academic discipline in 1956, and in the years since has experienced several waves of optimism, followed by disappointment and the loss of funding, which was followed again by new approaches, success and renewed funding.

The traditional problems of AI research include reasoning, knowledge representation, planning, learning, natural language processing, perception and the ability to move and manipulate objects.

The AI field draws upon computer science, information engineering, mathematics, psychology, linguistics, philosophy and many others.

Some of the examples of AI-based technologies include facial recognition, speech recognition, etc.


Story 2: PC Ghose administers oath of office to the Members of Lokpal

The Chairperson of Lokpal, Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose on March 27, 2019 administered the oath of office to the Members of Lokpal.

These Members are:

• Justice Dilip Babasaheb Bhosale

• Justice Pradeep Kumar Mohanty

• Justice Abhilasha Kumari

• Justice Ajay Kumar Tripathi

• Dinesh Kumar Jain

• Archana Ramasundaram

• Mahender Singh

• Indrajeet Prasad Gautam

Appointment of Lokpal

Pinaki Chandra Ghose was on March 19, 2019 appointed as India’s first Lokpal also known as the anti-corruption ombudsman.

Currently, Ghose is serving as a Member of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). He was appointed as a Judge of the Calcutta High Court in 1997. He served as the Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh High Court before his elevation to the Supreme Court in 2013.

While serving as the Chief Justice of the Andhra Pradesh, he convicted Sasikala Natarajan in a corruption case. Sasikala used to be a close adviser of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.

Ghose retired from the Supreme Court in May 2017.

Lokpal Selection Panel

Ghose’s name was recommended by the Lokpal selection panel chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The other members of the selection panel included the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, eminent jurist Mukul Rohatgi and Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge.

However, Kharge did not attend the meeting as a protest against being invited as a “special invitee” to the committee meetings.

Who is a Lokpal?

The Lokpal is a multimember body with a Chairperson (who is or has been a Chief Justice or Judge of the Supreme Court) and Members (who are or have been Judges or Chief Justices of High Courts).

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