While artificial intelligence seems to be one of the major buzzwords of our times, popping up nearly everywhere you look, the Dan David Prize dedicated its future category this year to leaders who are applying AI in ways that truly advance society. And this year, our founder and chief executive has earned that distinction.
Named after the late business leader and philanthropist, the Dan David Prize is bestowed upon “those who have made a lasting impact on society and to help young students and entrepreneurs become the scholars and leaders of the future.” The highly prestigious award has been granted in three categories – focusing on the past, present, and future – every year since 2002.
This year the “future” category put the spotlight on artificial intelligence, a field in which Professor Amnon Shashua has emerged as a leading thinker, researcher, and pioneer. In addition to having co-founded Mobileye and serving as its CEO, Shashua is a Senior Vice President at our parent company Intel, the Sachs Professor of Computer Science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and the co-founder of additional enterprises in the fields of computer vision, natural language processing, and digital banking. He has also authored over 120 papers and holds 45 patents. He shares this year’s Dan David Prize with Dr. Demis Hassabis, co-founder and CEO of DeepMind.
“It is with great honor and gratitude that I receive the 2020 Dan David Prize in the field of AI, together with Dr. Hassabis,” remarked Shashua. “I am very fortunate to be affiliated with its distinguished list of laureates. Transforming modern life for the better, using artificial intelligence, has always been my primary motivation, and this prize holds an excellent opportunity to increase awareness to the great promise of AI for the benefit of humanity.”
“It’s such an honor to have been chosen to receive the 2020 Dan David Prize alongside my colleague, Professor Shashua, and so many other luminaries over the years,” added Hassabis. “At DeepMind, we believe AI could be one of humanity’s most useful inventions – acting as a multiplier for human ingenuity and ushering in a new renaissance of scientific discovery. This award is a great recognition of the work we have done so far and hopefully a sign of the impact we aspire to achieve in the future.”
The “past” prize this year was shared by Professor Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett and Lonnie G. Bunch III for their work in cultural preservation and revival. The “present” prize recognized Professors Gita Sen and Debora Diniz for their contributions to gender equality. Each award category comes with a million-dollar prize, with ten percent of each donated as scholarships for graduate and post-graduate researchers in their respective fields.
In receiving the prize, Shashua joins such notable past laureates as celebrated cellist Yo-Yo Ma, former US Vice President Al Gore, novelist Margaret Atwood, and filmmakers Ethan and Joel Coen.
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