On August 5th, 2013, the Donald E. Walker Distinguished Service Award was presented to Professor Wolfgang Wahlster for substantial contributions and services to the field of Artificial Intelligence throughout his career. He received the award from the President of the IJCAI Board of Trustees, Professor Craig Knoblock (ISI, Los Angeles), during the opening ceremony of the 23rd International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Beijing, China.

The award was established in 1979 by the IJCAI Trustees to honor senior scientists in AI for contributions and service to the field during their careers. It is awarded to a single scientist at most every second year. Previous recipients have been: Bernard Meltzer (1979, Univ. of Edinburgh), Arthur Samuel (1983, Stanford), Donald Walker (1989, Bellcore), Woodrow Bledsoe (1991, Univ. of Texas), Daniel G. Bobrow (1993, Xerox Parc), Wolfgang Bibel (1999, TU Darmstadt), Barbara Grosz (2001, Harvard), Alan Bundy (2003, Univ. of Edinburgh), Raj Reddy (2005, CMU), Ronald J. Brachman (2007, AT&T Labs), Luigia Carlucci Aiello (2009, Univ. of Rome) and Raymond C. Perrault (2011, SRI International).

Professor Wahlster is the second German and the fifth European Computer Scientist receiving this prestigious award.

He has made significant contributions to user modeling, natural language and multimodal dialog systems, speech-to-speech translation, conversational virtual characters and digital product memories. He introduced various new AI concepts and helped to coin the corresponding terms before they became trendy - such as user modeling, hybrid speech-to-speech translation, symmetric multimodality, plan-based presentation generation, digital product memories and cyber-physical production systems.

He was the Chair of the Board Trustees of IJCAII from 1991-1993 and served as the Conference Chair of IJCAI-93. He also served as the President of the Association for Computational Linguistics in 2000. He was one of the drivers behind ECCAI, the European AI Association, and served as its chair for two terms from 1996-2000.

He was one of the founders of the German Research Center for AI (DFKI) in 1988 and grew it as the director and CEO to the world's largest non-profit research AI research center with more than 400 researches and close to 40 Million Euro annual revenues.

You can download the Award Acceptance Speech of Professor Wahlster as a PDF file here.

The Award Certificate

Prof. Wolfgang Wahlster
and IJCAI President Prof. Craig Knoblock

Prof. Wahlster during his acceptance speech at
the Opening Ceremony of IJCAI-2013 in
the Beijing International Convention Center


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