Artificial intelligence pioneers win tech’s ‘Nobel Prize’

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Computers have become so sophisticated during the past 20 years that people don’t think twice about chatting with digital assistants like Alexa and Siri or seeing their friends automatically tagged in Facebook pictures.

But making it happen required hard work from computer scientists like Yoshua Bengio, Geoffrey Hinton and Yann LeCun. The trio tapped into their own brainpower to make it possible for machines to learn like humans, a breakthrough now commonly known as “artificial intelligence.”

Their insights and persistence are being rewarded with the Turing Award, an honor known as technology industry’s version of the Nobel Prize. It comes with a $1 million prize funded by Google, a company where AI has become part of its DNA.

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