Many of the advances in machine learning today are a direct result of breakthroughs made in the understanding of neural networks and their potential for deep learning in machines.In the early 2000s, Geoffrey Hinton approached CIFAR with an idea. He had been a member of CIFAR’s first program, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics & Society (founded in 1983) and he had become convinced of the power of neural networks and their potential for deep learning in machines. By early 2004, Hinton was leading CIFAR’s Neural Computation & Adaptive Perception program (NCAP).
Its members included Yoshua Bengio and Yann LeCun, among other neuroscientists, computer scientists, biologists, electrical engineers, physicists, and psychologists. Together, they confirmed Hinton’s conviction when they created computing systems that mimicked human intelligence.
Today, the three are widely acknowledged as the pioneers of deep learning. In 2019, ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, named Hinton, Bengio and LeCun as recipients of the 2018 ACM A.M. Turing Award — also known as the “Nobel Prize” for computing — for conceptual and engineering breakthroughs that have made deep neural networks a critical component of computing.