British Computer Scientist Wins $250,000 Turing Award
The software that was able to beat two US champions in the show Jeopardy had been mostly influenced by Professor Les Valiant's techniques and design ideas for improving AI learning capabilities.
Professor Valiant, at the age of 61 has won the $250,000 Turing Award for his life's work in developing the mathematical techniques and research necessary to make possible the many applications such as email spam filters, speech recognition and stock market fraud detection systems.
Google will be using Professor Valiant's work to continue improving their self-driving cars and the smart phone app that translates calls in real time between English and Spanish.
The $250,000 award, the highest honor in computer science, is named after, Alan Turing, the famous mathematician who cracked the German Enigma code at Bletchley Park in World War II.
There are many AI competitions every year that aim to pass what's called the "Turing Test", which was devised by Alan Turing, where an interrogator interviews a mix of humans and computers in order to be tricked into thinking the computer is actually the human. No one has yet completely beat the Turing test.
Professor Valiant's work will be significantly influential in developing the software that will eventually beat the Turing Test.
Meanwhile, the debate still goes on whether software will ever dominate over the human mind and whether programming toward that goal is more beneficial than having intelligent software that is used as a tool rather than a replacement for the human mind.