UW News

September 14, 2023

Faculty/staff honors: Two professors on TIME100 AI list, UW President Ana Mari Cauce honored for contributions to León, and more

Recent recognition for the University of Washington includes two professors on the TIME100 AI list, President Ana Mari Cauce receiving a Decrees Award and Jeff Hou’s election to the American Society of Landscape Architects’ Council of Fellows.

Emily M. Bender, Yejin Choi named to TIME100 AI list

TIME included two UW professors on its first TIME100 AI list, which highlights 100 individuals who are advancing major conversations about how artificial intelligence is reshaping the world.

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Emily M. Bender

The list features leaders, policymakers, artists and entrepreneurs across a variety of fields and countries. Emily M. Bender, professor of linguistics, and Yejin Choi, professor in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering, were honored as top thinkers.

Bender has consistently raised ethical concerns regarding large language models and has resisted the notion that AI systems are truly intelligent. TIME called her “a machine-learning myth buster,” who is working to dispel “overblown promises about what AI can do.”

Among other topics, Bender studies the societal impacts of language technology, the implications for research and design and how to integrate it into the natural language processing curriculum. She was named an AAAS fellow in 2022.

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Yejin Choi

Choi, a MacArthur Fellow, focuses on discerning the various distinctions between human intelligence and AI. She researches whether AI can develop common sense and a sense of humor. Choi is now working to develop AI systems that can comprehend social and moral norms.

“A calculator can calculate better and faster than I do,” Choi told TIME, “but it doesn’t mean that a calculator is superior to any of us in other dimensions of intelligence.”

The full TIME100 AI list is available on TIME’s website.

President Ana Mari Cauce receives Decrees Award for ‘contribution to society’

Ana Mari Cauce

UW President Ana Mari Cauce

University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce received a 2023 Decrees Award, which recognizes people and institutions that add value to and promote the economic and social improvement of León, Spain.

The awards were given for the first time in 2022. They are granted annually by the Association of Friends of the Decrees, which organizes the public reading of the Decrees of León of 1188 before the Royal Abbey of San Isidoro de León. These documents contain the oldest known written information about the European parliamentary system.

President Cauce was honored for overseeing the launch of the UW León Center in 2010. About 1,200 students have participated in 70 programs at the center, and the faculty includes representatives from 20 departments on all three UW campuses.

College of Built Environments’ Jeff Hou elected to American Society of Landscape Architects’ Council of Fellows

Jeff Hou, UW professor of landscape architecture, has been named a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects.

Election to the ASLA Council of Fellows is based on members’ works, leadership, knowledge and service.

“Landscape architects help build a better world for all of us, and ASLA Fellows represent the most respected and accomplished professionals in the entire field,” said ASLA President Emily O’Mahoney.

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Jeff Hou

Hou is one of 48 newly elected Fellows, recognized specifically for his knowledge in “democratic design in the global built environment,” elevating “grassroots activism for environmental equity and justice into the public, professional, and academic spheres.” A member of the UW Department of Landscape Architecture since 2001, Hou has worked in communities around the world, on projects from wildlife habitat conservation to urban open space design. In addition to his work with community members, Hou has edited, co-edited and co-authored 12 books, and he has written dozens of book chapters and journal articles. He also won the 2023 Outstanding Educator Award from the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture.

An investiture ceremony for the ASLA Fellows is planned for the 2023 Conference on Landscape Architecture in October.