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Swiss Global AI Award 2023 presented to Yann LeCun

Congratulations to Yann LeCun for winning the Global Swiss AI Award for his outstanding global impact in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). The French computer scientist is one of the pioneers of machine learning and is currently Vice President and Chief AI Scientist at Meta.

Global Swiss AI Award Ceremony 2023

The award ceremony took place during the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2024 in Davos, where the Mayor of Davos, Philipp Wilhelm, presented the trophy to Yann LeCun. The prize is awarded by the Mindfire Foundation, which promotes AI talent, research and innovation and is a partner of the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW). Each year, the jury members, experts from business and academia, together with the jury board, consisting of Pascal Kaufmann (President of Mindfire), Prof. Dr. Benjamin Grewe (ETH and University of Zurich) and Prof. Dr. Thilo Stadelmann (ZHAW), scout and select an individual who has made a recent and global impact on the field of AI for humankind.

This year’s winner, Yann LeCun, is celebrated for his groundbreaking contributions to AI and society’s handling of the emerging technology. He is regarded as one of the founding fathers of deep learning. In his laudation speech in Davos, Prof. Dr. Benjamin Grewe said: “His early work on convolutional neural networks has revolutionized the way how we approach computer vision today, leading to new technologies that were once thought were impossible. Using his inventions, today's AI systems can achieve remarkable feats, from mastering complex computer vision tasks to understanding language and the content of images”. Yann LeCun’s innovations have influenced many disciplines and real-world applications, from autonomous vehicles to medical diagnostics.

The jury of the Global Swiss AI Award also recognises Yann LeCun for his commitment to open-source AI research and the development of responsible and transparent AI systems. Prof. Dr. Thilo Stadelmann remarked: "Yann has been at the forefront of AI research for many years and is a tireless advocate for the responsible development and use of cutting-edge AI technologies. He has been one of the first and loudest proponents to speak up against unwarranted fears of AI when reports of hypothetical existential risks had started to circle, fuelled by arguments based on worldview. It is because of his early interventions that the world once more managed to navigate the balance between opportunities and challenges in a grounded, sustainable way."

More information about the Global Swiss AI Award by Mindfire.