Canada - 2020
For fundamental contributions to knowledge representation and reasoning, and their broader influence within theoretical computer science, databases, robotics, and the study of Boolean satisfiability
Hector Levesque is recognized for his outstanding contributions to the broad core of logic-inspired Artificial Intelligence and the impact they have had across multiple sub-disciplines within computer science. With collaborators he has made fundamental contributions to cognitive robotics, multi-agent systems, theoretical computer science and database systems, as well as in philosophy and cognitive psychology. These have inspired applications such as the semantic web and automated verification. He is internationally recognized as one of the deepest and most original thinkers within AI and one that has advanced the flame that Allen Newell lit.
On the representation side, Levesque has worked on the formalization of a number of concepts pertaining to artificial and natural agents including belief, goals, intentions, ability, and the interaction between knowledge, perception and action. On the reasoning side, his research has focused on how automated reasoning can be kept computationally tractable, including the use of greedy local search methods. He is recognized for his fundamental contributions to the development of several new fields of research including the fields of description logic, the study of tractability in knowledge representation, the study of intention and teamwork, the hardness of satisfiability problems, and cognitive robotics. Levesque has also made fundamental contributions to the development of the systematic use of beliefs, desires, and intentions in the development of intelligent software, where his formalization of many aspects of intention and teamwork has shaped the entire approach to the use of these terms and the design of intelligent agents.