Questionnaire 1: Yorick Wilks (Researchers) (II)

In this article I am going to keep on presenting important researchers and scholars that have successfully contributed to the development of the areas that we have been studying lately. Today I am going to introduce you to Yorick Wilks, who is Professor of Artificial Intelligence at the University of Sheffield and whose research interests include: artificial intelligence, computational linguistics, theoretical linguistics, machine translation, dialogue management and understanding systems and named entity recognition, among other topics.

Yorick Wilks

Professor Yorick Wilks

Yorick Wilks was born in the United Kingdom in 1939 and was educated at Torquay Boys’ Grammar School (Devon, England), before attending Pembroke College, at the widely known University of Cambridge (Cambridgeshire, England), where he obtained his Ph.D. in 1968 under Professor R. B. Braithwaite for his thesis Argument and Proof.

In 1970, Mr Wilks obtained a post as a Research Associate and Lecturer in the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory of the University of Stanford (California), where he kept on working until the year 1974. During this period of time, Yorick Wilks made one of his earliest and more important contributions, the “Preference Semantics”.

In the year 1974 he moved to the University of Castagnola (Switzerland) in order to work as a Senior Research Fellow in the Institute for Semantic and Cognitive Studies. Between the years 1975 and 1978 he was working as a Senior Visiting Fellow in the Department of Artificial Intelligence of the University of Edimburgh and as a Reader in Linguistics for the University of Essex, where some years later, in 1985, would become Professor of Computer Science.

Yorick Wilks at a meeting of the Companions Project in Paris (2007)

Yorick Wilks at a meeting of the Companions Project in Paris (2007)

It was already in the 1990’s when Professor wilks became  interested in modelling human-computer dialogue. Actually, he is currently the Director of the EU funded Companions Project on creating long-term computer companions for people. Along this decade he received some grants in order to investigate, for example, in the field of Large-Scale Information Extraction (LaSIE).

In 1993 Mr Wilks became  the founding Director of the Institute of Language, Speech and Hearing (ILASH); and five years later, he also headed the Department of Computer Science of the University of Sheffield. In fact, in the University of Sheffield he also directs the Natural Language Processing Group, where he designed an Advanced NLP Architecture called GATE.

Nowadays, Yorick Wilks is Professor of Artificial Intelligence at the University of Sheffield, and a Senior Research Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute. Moreover, as he is considered a leading figure in the field of Natural Language Processing I thought it was really appropiate to write a brief summary about his life and career. However, if you want further information (CV, publications, conferences, awards, workshops… ) you can find it easily in the references below. I hope you have liked this post and that you have found it useful.


(Note: in the future this article could be modified several times in order to include more up-to-date information.)


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