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The past year has seen remarkable change. As innovation in the field of AI and real-world applications of its constituent technologies such as machine learning, natural language processing, and computer vision continue to grow, so has an understanding of their social impacts.

At our AI-focused Transform 2020 event, taking place July 15-17 entirely online, VentureBeat will recognize and award emergent, compelling, and influential work in AI through our second annual VB AI Innovation Awards.

Drawn both from our daily editorial coverage and the expertise, knowledge, and experience of our nominating committee members, these awards give us a chance to shine a light on the people and companies making an impact in AI.

The nominating committee

Our nominating committee includes:

Claire Delaunay, Vice President of Engineering, Nvidia

Claire Delaunay is vice president of engineering at Nvidia, where she is responsible for the Isaac robotics initiative and leads a team to bring Isaac to market for use by roboticists and developers around the world.

Prior to joining Nvidia, Delaunay was the director of engineering at Uber, after it acquired Otto, a startup she cofounded. She was also the robotics program lead at Google and founded two other companies, Botiful and Robotics Valley.

Delaunay has 15 years of experience in robotics and autonomous vehicles leading teams ranging from startups and research labs to Fortune 500 companies. She holds a Master of Science in computer engineering from École Privée des Sciences Informatiques (EPSI).

Asli Celikyilmaz, Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research

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Asli Celikyilmaz is a principal researcher at Microsoft Research (MSR) in Redmond, Washington. She is also an affiliate professor at the University of Washington. She received her Ph.D. in information science from the University of Toronto, Canada, and continued her postdoc study in the Computer Science Department at the University of California, Berkeley.

Her research interests are mainly in deep learning and natural language (specifically language generation with long-term coherence), language understanding, language grounding with vision, and building intelligent agents for human-computer interaction. She serves on the editorial boards of Transactions of the ACL (TACL) as area editor and Open Journal of Signal Processing (OJSP) as associate editor. She has received several “best of” awards, including at NAFIPS 2007, Semantic Computing 2009, and CVPR 2019.

The categories

The award categories are:

Natural Language Processing/Understanding Innovation

Natural language processing and understanding have only continued to grow in importance, and new advancements, new models, and more use cases continue to emerge.

Business Application Innovation

The field of AI is rife with new ideas and compelling research, developed at a blistering pace, but it’s the practical applications of AI that matter to people right now, whether that’s RPA to reduce human toil, streamlined processes, more intelligent software and services, or other solutions to real-world work and life problems.

Computer Vision Innovation

Computer vision is an exciting subfield of AI that’s at the core of applications like facial recognition, object recognition, event detection, image restoration, and scene reconstruction — and that’s fast becoming an inescapable part of our everyday lives.

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AI for Good

This award is for AI technology, the application of AI, or advocacy or activism in the field of AI that protects or improves human lives or operates to fight injustice, improve equality, and better serve humanity.

Startup Spotlight

This award spotlights a startup that holds great promise for making an impact with its AI innovation. Nominees are selected based on their contributions and criteria befitting their category, including technological relevance, funding size, and impact in their sub-field within AI.

As we count down to the awards, we’ll offer editorial profiles of the nominees on VentureBeat’s AI channel The Machine and share them across our social channels. The award ceremony will be held on the evening of July 15 to conclude the first day of Transform 2020.



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