Geoffrey Hinton honoured as regional city builder

The Toronto Region Board of Trade is awarding U of T University Professor Emeritus Geoffrey Hinton its Toronto Region Builder Award, in recognition of what it called his “visionary leadership.”

Hinton, chief scientific adviser for the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence, and a vice-president and fellow at Google, is widely known as the “godfather” of deep learning, a branch of artificial intelligence that trains computers to reason like humans. The award, which recognizes people who have demonstrated “an extraordinary commitment” to making the Toronto region a better place to live, work and learn, will be presented to Hinton on Thursday night.

“The Board is proud global researchers like Geoffrey are not only calling Toronto home, but investing their considerable expertise, talent, and conviction in building our region as a global tech hub,” Jan De Silva, president and CEO of the Toronto Region Board of Trade, said in a statement.

Carol Wilding, president and CEO of CPA Ontario, echoed the sentiment.

“We are honouring a leader who is making Toronto synonymous with advanced thinking and innovation in the eyes of the world,” said Wilding. “Toronto is one of the great global cities preparing for the future. Through his dedicated commitment to innovation, research and advocacy, Geoffrey is ensuring that we have the talent, resources and knowledge to excel in a changing world.”

Hinton said he was honoured to have the opportunity to highlight what he called the “incredible global AI capabilities” of the Toronto region.

“My goal is to ensure Vector Institute serves as a beacon for the world’s most talented, elite computer scientists and AI specialists,” Hinton said. “This award signals we are on the right track and Canadian business, academia and all levels of government recognize the vast potential of Toronto in shaping the future of this important technology.” 

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