Yoshua Bengio

Yoshua Bengio is a Canadian computer scientist, most noted for his work on artificial neural networks and deep learning.
Summary

Recognized worldwide as one of the leading experts in artificial intelligence, Yoshua Bengio is most known for his pioneering work in deep learning, earning him the 2018 A.M. Turing Award, “the Nobel Prize of Computing”, with Geoffrey Hinton and Yann LeCun.

He is a Full Professor at University of Montreal, and the Founder and Scientific Director of Mil– Quebec AI Institute. He co-directs the CIFAR Learning in Machines & Brains program as Senior Fellow and acts as Scientific Director of IVADO.

In 2019, he was awarded the Killam Prize and in 2022, became the computer scientist with the highest h-index in the world. He is a Fellow of both the Royal Society of London and Canada, Knight of the Legion of Honor of France and Officer of the Order of Canada.

Concerned about the social impact of AI and the objective that AI benefits all, he actively contributed to the Montreal Declaration for the Responsible Development of Artificial Intelligence.

Biography

Born in France to a Jewish family who had previously immigrated from Morocco, Yoshua earned his Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering, followed by a Master of Science (MSc) and a Ph.D. in computer science, all from McGill University.

After completing his Ph.D., Bengio continued to hone his expertise as a postdoctoral fellow at MIT, under the mentorship of the esteemed Michael I. Jordan, and at AT&T Bell Labs. In 1993, he returned to Canada, where he has since served as a faculty member at the Université de Montréal. His tenure at the university has been marked by outstanding contributions to the field of AI, including his leadership as the head of the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms (MILA) and co-directorship of the Learning in Machines & Brains program at the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.

Bengio's influence on the world of AI is truly profound. Alongside Geoffrey Hinton and Yann LeCun, he is recognized as one of the key figures responsible for propelling deep learning into the forefront during the 1990s and 2000s. Notably, his research has consistently garnered high citation rates, making him a prominent figure in the field.

In addition to his academic pursuits, Bengio has played a pivotal role in the practical application of AI. He co-founded Element AI, an AI incubator based in Montreal, which aimed to translate cutting-edge AI research into real-world business solutions. The company was eventually acquired by ServiceNow, with Bengio remaining as an advisor.

Bengio's commitment to advancing AI extends beyond academia and industry. He currently serves as a scientific and technical advisor for Recursion Pharmaceuticals and as a scientific advisor for Valence Discovery. His dedication to responsible AI development is evident through his involvement in the Montreal Declaration, which seeks to guide ethical AI practices.

In recognition of his groundbreaking contributions, Yoshua Bengio has received numerous awards and honors, including the prestigious A.M. Turing Award in 2018, often referred to as the "Nobel Prize of Computing," which he shared with Geoffrey Hinton and Yann LeCun. He has also been named an Officer of the Order of Canada, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of London.

Furthermore, his list of accolades includes the Killam Prize for Natural Sciences (2019), the Government of Québec Marie-Victorin Award (2017), the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian AI Association (2018), the Prix d’excellence FRQNT (2019), and the Medal of the 50th Anniversary of the Ministry of International Relations and Francophonie (2018), among many others.

Published work

In the book "Deep Learning" co-authored with Ian Goodfellow and Aaron Courville (2016), Bengio delves into the foundations of deep learning, providing a comprehensive guide to this transformative field.

One of his seminal contributions to machine translation is the paper "Neural Machine Translation by Jointly Learning to Align and Translate" (2015), co-authored with Dzmitry Bahdanau and Kyunghyun Cho. This work introduced a groundbreaking approach to neural machine translation, using attention mechanisms to improve the quality and accuracy of translation.

Bengio's research extends to optimization challenges in deep learning, as seen in "Identifying and attacking the saddle point problem in high-dimensional non-convex optimization" (2014), co-authored with Yann Dauphin and others, which addresses the optimization challenges inherent in training deep neural networks.

He also explored the structural properties of deep neural networks in "On the Number of Linear Regions of Deep Neural Networks" (2014), co-authored with Guido Montufar and others, shedding light on the complexity of these networks.

Bengio's contributions to the generative aspects of deep learning are evident in "Generative Adversarial Networks" (2014), co-authored with Ian Goodfellow and others, which introduced the concept of generative adversarial networks (GANs) that have since become a vital tool in AI research.


Vision

Yoshua Bengio's vision for the future of artificial intelligence is deeply rooted in a commitment to advancing the field in ways that benefit all of humanity. He envisions a world where AI systems are not only highly capable but also ethically responsible, ensuring that the development of AI aligns with human values and serves the common good. Bengio believes in the power of AI to transform industries, solve complex problems, and enhance our lives, but he emphasizes the importance of responsible AI that respects privacy, fairness, and transparency.

Furthermore, Bengio's vision extends to the democratization of AI, where the benefits of this technology are accessible to people from all walks of life. He advocates for the responsible dissemination of AI knowledge and tools, enabling individuals and organizations to harness the potential of AI for a wide range of applications, from healthcare to environmental sustainability. In essence, Yoshua Bengio's vision revolves around harnessing the capabilities of AI to create a more equitable, ethical, and prosperous world for everyone.


Recognition and Awards
In 2019, Yoshua was honored with the prestigious A. M. Turing Award, the highest distinction in computer science. This coveted recognition was awarded jointly with Geoffrey Hinton and Yann LeCun. In the same year, Bengio's excellence in the natural sciences earned him the Killam Prize from the Canada Council for the Arts, further solidifying his status as a luminary in the field. His pioneering work in neural networks was also celebrated with the IEEE CIS Neural Networks Pioneer Award by the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society. Within his home province of Québec, Bengio received the Prix d’excellence FRQNT from the Fonds de recherche du Quebec – Nature et technologies in 2019, reaffirming his local influence and contributions. Looking back to 2018, Bengio was bestowed with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Canadian AI Association, recognizing his enduring impact on the AI landscape. He also received the Medal of the 50th Anniversary of the Ministry of International Relations and Francophonie, highlighting his contributions to the global advancement of science and technology. In 2017, Bengio was recognized with the Marie-Victorin Quebec Prize, the highest distinction in the sciences for the province of Québec. His significant contributions to science were further underscored when he was named Radio-Canada's Scientist of the Year. That same year, he was honored as a Member of the Royal Society of Canada and was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada for his outstanding achievements. Yoshua Bengio, a trailblazing figure in the field of artificial intelligence, has garnered numerous awards and accolades throughout his illustrious career. In 2019, he was honored with the prestigious A. M. Turing Award, the highest distinction in computer science. This coveted recognition was awarded jointly with Geoffrey Hinton and Yann LeCun, marking their groundbreaking contributions to deep learning and neural networks. In the same year, Bengio's excellence in the natural sciences earned him the Killam Prize from the Canada Council for the Arts, further solidifying his status as a luminary in the field. His pioneering work in neural networks was also celebrated with the IEEE CIS Neural Networks Pioneer Award by the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society. Within his home province of Québec, Bengio received the Prix d’excellence FRQNT from the Fonds de recherche du Quebec – Nature et technologies in 2019, reaffirming his local influence and contributions. Looking back to 2018, Bengio was bestowed with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Canadian AI Association, recognizing his enduring impact on the AI landscape. He also received the Medal of the 50th Anniversary of the Ministry of International Relations and Francophonie, highlighting his contributions to the global advancement of science and technology. In 2017, Bengio was recognized with the Marie-Victorin Quebec Prize, the highest distinction in the sciences for the province of Québec. His significant contributions to science were further underscored when he was named Radio-Canada's Scientist of the Year. That same year, he was honored as a Member of the Royal Society of Canada and was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada for his outstanding achievements. Bengio's groundbreaking research on neural networks was acknowledged in 2015 when he was featured in "La Recherche 10 Discoveries That Changed Science." His work in addressing local minima in neural networks has left a lasting impact on the field. Furthermore, in 2009, Bengio received the ACFAS Urgel-Archambault Prize, a testament to his enduring commitment to advancing scientific knowledge and his significant contributions to the world of artificial intelligence.

References

 

Yoshua Bengio
Nationality
Canadian
Residence
USA
Occupation
computer scientist
Educations
Known for
Deep learning (Godfather), Neural machine translation, Generative adversarial networks, Attention models, Word embeddings, Denoising autoencoders, Language models, Learning to learn, Generative flow networks
Accolades
Marie-Victorin Prize (2017), Turing Award (2018), AAAI Fellow (2019), Legion of Honor (2022)
Education
B.Eng. (Computer Engineering, Honours, McGill University, Montreal), M.Sc. (Computer Science, Speech Recognition with Statistical Methods, McGill University, Montreal), Ph.D. (Computer Science, NSERC scholarship, Neural Networks and Markovian Models, McGill University, Montreal), Post-doctoral Fellow (NSERC scholarship, Statistical Learning, Sequential Data Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Michael I. Jordan’s Group, MIT, MA, USA), Post-doctoral Fellow (AT&T Bell Laboratories, Learning and Vision Algorithms?, Larry Jackel and Yann LeCun’s group, NJ, USA)
Mon Feb 26 2024
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