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Dr. Fred Popowich

Dr. Fred Popowich is a leading computing scientist and a leader who works closely with industry, communities, to help Canada address the greatest challenges and opportunities in big data. He served in various roles, including President, for the Canadian Society for Computational Studies of Intelligence (now known as Canadian Artificially Intelligence Association), and regularly talks about the role of AI in society, most recently in a Vancouver Sun Op-Ed entitled “Don’t fret about AI, focus on humans.”

Extremely active in technology commercialization, his ties to industry include being a Founding Director of AILIA (Canada’s Language Industry Association), Founding Director of the Vancouver Institute for Visual Analytics, and President of the Canadian Network for Visual Analytics (CANVAC). He was also co-Founder of Axonwave Software where he also held various senior roles until the company was acquired by Matrikon (since been acquired by Honeywell).

 Dr. Popowich received his PhD in Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science from the University of Edinburgh in 1989 and since then has been a faculty member in the School of Computing Science at SFU, as is also an Associate Member of Linguistics and of Cognitive Science. His research is concerned with how computers can be used to process human language, either to make it easier for human beings to interact with computers, or to make it easier for human beings to interact with each other. As such, he has been concerned with how knowledge about language and the world can be represented, maintained, and even learned by computers. Typical real-world applications of this research include “smart homes”, the automatic translation of language, tools to assist people in learning language, and technology to help people search and manage the vast amount of information contained on computer systems and networks.  Fred Popowich  has been awarded with CAIAC Distinctive Service Award in 2017.