Demis Hassabis CBE, co-founder of AI research company Google DeepMind; computer scientist Professor Jane Hillston MBE; and leading digital policy expert, Professor Tom Crick MBE, will all receive the BCS Lovelace Medal this year.
The Lovelace Medal is presented annually by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT for outstanding contributions to the advancement of computing. Previous winners include worldwide web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee and information retrieval pioneer Karen Spärck Jones.
The BCS Lovelace Medal was established in 1998 in honour of Lady Augusta Ada Byron, Countess of Lovelace and daughter of Lord Byron. Born in 1815, Ada Lovelace was an English mathematician and writer, chiefly known for her work on Charles Babbage’s proposed mechanical general-purpose computer, the Analytical Engine. The Lovelace Medal recognises people whose work in the areas of research and education have contributed to significant advances in computing.
This year, Demis Hassabis and Professor Hillston each have been announced as winners of the Lovelace Research Medal while the Lovelace Education Medal has been awarded to Professor Crick. The three will be awarded their Medals in December this year.
Demis Hassabis is co-founder and CEO of Google DeepMind, one of the world’s leading AI research groups. He receives the Lovelace Medal for his extraordinary contribution to artificial intelligence and to the UK technology industry. One of the world’s top computer scientists and a leading proponent of deep reinforcement learning, Demis attended the AI Safety Summit hosted at Bletchley Park this autumn.
Speaking about the accolade, Demis Hassabis said, “I’m honoured to receive the 2023 Lovelace Research Medal from BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.”
“I’ve spent my entire career working on artificial intelligence because I believe that it will be one of the most impactful and beneficial technologies for humanity ever, helping experts solve some of the world’s greatest challenges from curing diseases to tackling climate change.”
Jane Hillston is Professor of Quantitative Modelling and former Head of the School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh. She is awarded the Lovelace Medal in recognition of her work developing new approaches to modelling both artificial and natural systems by combining elements of formal languages with mathematical modelling. In addition to computer systems, the resulting formalisms have found applications in biological, ecological and social systems.
Jane Hillston said, “I am deeply honoured to be awarded the BCS Lovelace Medal and to see the value of my work in computing recognised in this way.”
“I’m also grateful that my area of specialism is being recognised for its contribution across a range of scientific fields.”
“Over the years I have been privileged to work with many collaborators, in the UK and internationally, and I’d like to thank them all for their support and contributions.”
Tom Crick is Professor of Digital Education & Policy and Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor at Swansea University, based between the School of Social Sciences and the £32m Computational Foundry. He receives the Lovelace Medal for Education for his contributions to computer science education across research, policy and practice. He is recognised internationally for leading the major STEM education and skills reforms in Wales over a sustained period, alongside wider leadership in UK digital, engineering and technology policy to support a thriving digital and data-driven economy.
Professor Tom Crick said, “It has never been more important to critically assess the potential impact of computing and digital technologies across all areas of policy, from national infrastructure and the economy, health and wellbeing, to heritage and culture – with education and skills being the foundation.”
“That’s why I’m delighted and honoured to accept the BCS Lovelace Medal for Education.”
“Now more than ever, we need to think about what it means to be a citizen in a digital, data-driven, computational and AI-enabled world.”
“I’m hugely grateful to a diverse collection of colleagues, collaborators and mentors for helping make this wider work possible.”