Geoffrey Hinton received his PhD in Artificial Intelligence from Edinburgh in 1978. After five years as a faculty member at Carnegie-Mellon he became a fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research and moved to the Department of Computer Science at the University of Toronto where he is now an emeritus distinguished professor. He is also a distinguished researcher at Google.
Geoffrey Hinton was one of the researchers who introduced the backpropagation algorithm and the first to use backpropagation for learning word embeddings. His other contributions to neural network research include Boltzmann machines, distributed representations, time-delay neural nets, mixtures of experts, variational learning and deep learning. His research group in Toronto made major breakthroughs in deep learning that revolutionized speech recognition and object classification.
Geoffrey Hinton is a fellow of the UK Royal Society and a foreign member of the US National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His awards include the David E. Rumelhart prize, the IJCAI award for research excellence, the Killam prize for Engineering, the IEEE James Clerk Maxwell Gold medal, and the NSERC Herzberg Gold Medal which is Canada's top award in Science and Engineering.
Dr. Aubrey de Grey is a biomedical gerontologist based in Cambridge, UK and Mountain View, California, USA, and is the Chief Science Officer of SENS Research Foundation. He is also Editor-in-Chief of Rejuvenation Research, the world’s highest-impact peer-reviewed journal focused on intervention in aging. He received his BA and Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in 1985 and 2000 respectively. His original field was computer science, and he did research in the private sector for six years in the area of software verification before switching to biogerontology in the mid-1990s. Nowadays, Dr. de Grey is arguably the world’s foremost advocate for the pursuit of radical life extension.
Two years ago, Edward Snowden gave the WAC 2015 Lionel Gelber Keynote Address. In June 2013, Snowden leaked highly classified information about the scale and scope of NSA and CIA counter-terrorism and counter-intelligence operations around the globe. Since then, he has become a household name and is among the most influential privacy activists in the world. At the Keynote Address, Snowden explained his views on global privacy issues, government involvement in citizens' lives, and the dangers of the digital age.
WAC has featured many current, popular, and influential speakers in the past. Here's a quick summary of some big names at WAC: Nanor Balyozian - Syrian political advocate Dr. Samantha Nutt - Founder of War Child North America Stephen Lewis - former United Nations ambassador Ralph Nader - American political activist Lord David Owen - former British Foreign Secretary Marc Garneau - astronaut turned politician John Stackhouse - editor of the Globe and Mail