IJCAI Award Winners

IJCAI-22 Award for Research Excellence

The Research Excellence award is given to a scientist who has carried out a program of research of consistently high quality throughout an entire career yielding several substantial results. Past recipients of this honor are the most illustrious group of scientists from the field of Artificial Intelligence.
They are: John McCarthy (1985), Allen Newell (1989), Marvin Minsky (1991), Raymond Reiter (1993), Herbert Simon (1995), Aravind Joshi (1997), Judea Pearl (1999), Donald Michie (2001), Nils Nilsson (2003), Geoffrey E. Hinton (2005), Alan Bundy (2007), Victor Lesser (2009), Robert Anthony Kowalski (2011),  Hector Levesque (2013), Barbara Grosz (2015), Michael I. Jordan (2016), Andrew Barto (2017), Jitendra Malik (2018), Yoav Shoham (2019), Eugene Freuder(2020) and Richard Sutton (2021).

The winner of the 2022 Award for Research Excellence is Stuart Russell, Professor of Computer Science and Smith-Zadeh Professor in Engineering, University of California, Berkeley and Honorary Fellow, Wadham College, Oxford.  Professor Russell is recognized for his fundamental contributions to the development of Bayesian logic to unify logic and probability, the theory of bounded rationality and optimization, and learning and inference strategies for operations in uncertain environments.

Award  for Research Excellence Talk
Title: Artificial Intelligence: Some Thoughts?
Abstract: I will offer a perspective on recent developments in AI and prospects for further advances, with a particular emphasis on the importance of expressive, structured, symbolic representations of both knowledge and behavior. I will also argue for a revision in the standard model of AI to allow for uncertainty over objectives, as part of a broader research agenda aimed at developing AI systems that are provably safe and beneficial by design, no matter how capable they become.

IJCAI-22 Computers and Thought Award

The Computers and Thought Award is presented at IJCAI conferences to outstanding young scientists in artificial intelligence. The award was established with royalties received from the book, Computers and Thought, edited by Edward Feigenbaum and Julian Feldman. It is currently supported by income from IJCAI funds.
Past recipients of this honor have been: Terry Winograd (1971), Patrick Winston (1973), Chuck Rieger (1975), Douglas Lenat (1977), David Marr (1979), Gerald Sussman (1981), Tom Mitchell (1983), Hector Levesque (1985), Johan de Kleer (1987), Henry Kautz (1989), Rodney Brooks (1991), Martha Pollack (1991), Hiroaki Kitano (1993), Sarit Kraus (1995), Stuart Russell (1995), Leslie Kaelbling (1997), Nicholas Jennings (1999), Daphne Koller (2001), Tuomas Sandholm (2003), Peter Stone (2007), Carlos Guestrin (2009), Andrew Ng (2009),Vincent Conitzer (2011), Malte Helmert (2011), Kristen Grauman (2013), Ariel Procaccia (2015), Percy Liang (2016), Devi Parikh (2017), Stefano Ermon (2018), Guy Van den Broeck (2019),  Piotr Skowron (2020) and Fei Fang (2021).

The winner of the 2022 IJCAI Computers and Thought Award is Bo Li, Assistant Professor in the Computer Science Department, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  Professor Li is recognized for her contributions to uncovering the underlying connections among robustness, privacy, and generalization in AI, showing how different models are vulnerable to malicious attacks, and how to eliminate these vulnerabilities using mathematical tools that provide robustness guarantees for learning models and privacy protection.

Computers and Thought Award Talk
Title: Trustworthy Machine Learning: Robustness, Privacy, Generalization, and their Interconnections
Abstract: Advances in machine learning have led to the rapid and widespread deployment of learning based methods in safety-critical applications, such as autonomous driving and medical healthcare. Standard machine learning systems, however, assume that training and test data follow the same, or similar, distributions, without explicitly considering active adversaries manipulating either distribution. For instance, recent work has demonstrated that motivated adversaries can circumvent anomaly detection or other machine learning models at test-time through evasion attacks, or can inject well-crafted malicious instances into training data to induce errors during inference through poisoning attacks. Such distribution shift could also lead to other trustworthiness issues such as generalization. In this talk, I will describe different perspectives of trustworthy machine learning, such as robustness, privacy, generalization, and their underlying interconnections. I will focus on a certifiably robust learning approach based on statistical learning with logical reasoning as an example, and then discuss the principles towards designing and developing practical trustworthy machine learning systems with guarantees, by considering these trustworthiness perspectives in a holistic view.

IJCAI-22 John McCarthy Award

The IJCAI John McCarthy Award is intended to recognize established mid-career researchers, typically between fifteen to twenty-five years after obtaining their PhD, that have built up a major track record of research excellence in artificial intelligence. Nominees of the award will have made significant contributions to the research agenda in their area and will have a first-rate profile of influential research results.
The award is named for John McCarthy (1927-2011), who is widely recognized as one of the founders of the field of artificial intelligence. As well as giving the discipline its name, McCarthy made fundamental contributions of lasting importance to computer science in general and artificial intelligence in particular, including time-sharing operating systems, the LISP programming languages, knowledge representation, common-sense reasoning, and the logicist paradigm in artificial intelligence.
The award was established with the full support and encouragement of the McCarthy family.
Past recipients of this honor have been:  Bart Selman (2015), Moshe Tennenholtz (2016), Dan Roth (2017), Milind Tambe (2018), Pedro Domingos (2019), Daniela Rus (2020) and Tuomas Sandholm (2021).

The winner of the 2022 John McCarthy Award is Michael L. LittmanProfessor of Computer Science at Brown University.  Professor Littman is recognized for his fundamental contributions to reinforcement learning and AI planning by enabling them to handle partial observability, and formalized state abstractions, building the theoretical foundations for future work.

McCarthy Award Talk
Title: Some Open Problems in Sequential Decision Making
Abstract: When I was working on my dissertation in 1996, there were a lot of problems I really wanted to solve but couldn’t. My advisor suggested I just list them as open problems in the chapters where they arose so that I didn’t get stuck going around in circles and would eventually graduate. Looking back, a lot of these problems were silly and I just didn’t know it at the time. But some have since been resolved and a few interesting ones are still open. I’ll do a retrospective/update on these problems and argue why they might still be worth thinking about.

Donald E. Walker Distinguished Service Award

The IJCAI Distinguished Service Award was established in 1979 by the IJCAI Trustees to honor senior scientists in AI for contributions and service to the field during their careers.
Previous recipients have been: Bernard Meltzer (1979), Arthur Samuel (1983), Donald Walker (1989), Woodrow Bledsoe (1991), Daniel G. Bobrow (1993), Wolfgang Bibel (1999), Barbara Grosz (2001), Alan Bundy (2003), Raj Reddy (2005), Ronald J. Brachman (2007), Luigia Carlucci Aiello (2009), Raymond C. Perrault (2011), Wolfgang Wahlster (2013), Anthony G. Cohn (2015), Erik Sandewall (2016), Ramon Lopez de Mantaras (2017), Craig Knoblock (2018), Francesca Rossi (2019), Toby Walsh (2020) and Steven Minton (2021).

At IJCAI-22, the Donald E. Walker Distinguished Service Award will be given to Bernhard Nebel, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Germany, retired as of 2022. Professor Nebel  is recognized for his substantial contributions, as well as his extensive service to the IJCAI Organization and the entire field of Artificial Intelligence throughout his career.