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Global Swiss AI Award presented to Demis Hassabis, CEO of DeepMind

Demis Hassabis, CEO of DeepMind, has been honored with the Global Swiss AI Award 2022. Jury member Prof. Stadelmann gave the laudatory speech.

On the occasion of the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2023 with its theme of ‘Cooperation in a Fragmented World,’ around 50 leading representatives from AI, politics, research, and talent communities were attending the ceremony taking place in the historic town hall in the house of the Mayor in Davos, a showpiece of higher architecture, connecting tradition with modernity, and a popular venue for state receptions. The trophy was handed over by the Mayor of Davos, Philipp Wilhelm and the president of the Swiss AI Award, Pascal Kaufmann.

In his laudation speech, Prof. Dr. Thilo Stadelmann, Head of the Centre for Artificial Intelligence, ZHAW, noted that ‘Recently, Demis and his team made a breakthrough in the field of protein folding, a crucial area of research in the life sciences, accelerating protein science by taking a process that would previously have taken months or even years, to minutes. The new AI system, known as AlphaFold, can predict the 3D structure of essentially any known protein with unprecedented accuracy and speed.’ The AlphaFold system has provided researchers with a powerful new tool for studying and designing complex 3D proteins, accelerating the development of new drugs but also helping to improve our understanding of diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Prof. Dr. Thilo Stadelmann closed with the following words: ‘Demis has been at the forefront of AI research for many years and has been a tireless advocate for the responsible development and deployment of cutting-edge AI technologies. Demis is a role model uniting entrepreneurship and curiosity to push the edge of the unknown. Thus, the jury honoured him with the Swiss Global AI Award today.’

The president of the Mindfire Foundation, Pascal Kaufmann stated: ‘Demis and his team consistently pushed research boundaries showing other fields what is possible with today’s AI systems. For the future, I am certain that his commitment to developing AIs will benefit society, and I consider him a shining example of what we can achieve when science and entrepreneurship goes hand in hand.’