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Welcome from the President

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Nikhil R. Pal
President of the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society (2018-2019)

 

It is a great honor and privilege for me to serve as the President of the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society (CIS), beginning January 2018. I am deeply grateful to the Administrative Committee for providing me this great opportunity to serve our membership. The outgoing president, as well as, his predecessors have lead the society to a great shape. We have an outstanding set of publications and a big array of premier conferences covering all aspects of computational intelligence (CI).   But time brings new challenges to be addressed and always there are scopes for further improvement.  Before I say a few words about some of the areas where there are abundant opportunities to work, I want to pay my tribute to Prof. Lotfi A. Zadeh, whom we lost on September 6, 2017.

Prof. Zadeh was not only a great scientist, but also a philosopher, thinker, and above all a great human being. ¬†It is a great loss to the scientific community. Prof. Zadeh introduced the revolutionary concept of fuzzy sets, which provides a vehicle for modelling and processing of imprecise information to develop comprehensible decision making systems.¬† Fuzzy logic is one of the three main pillars of computational intelligence; the other two pillars are ¬†neural networks and evolutionary computing.¬† Fuzzy logic has found its application in diverse areas including control, health care, consumer products, and computer vision. A Google scholar search using ‚Äú fuzzy logic‚ÄĚ (December 21, 2017) retrieves 883,000 items- this is clearly an indicator of how strongly it has impacted us.¬† Prof. Zadeh was very closely related to us, to our society, and he will continue to remain so in our heart.

CI technologies have come a long way with plenty of success stories, yet there are ample opportunities to explore and enhance CI tools and techniques to develop truly ‚Äúintelligent machines‚ÄĚ. Although we have systems based on deep learning and other technologies that can yield unbeatable performance in recognition tasks or even can defeat the best human Go player,¬† in my view, we are yet to see the best. Some of these systems take inspiration from the brain, but usually the system architecture as well as the low level processing are far from the way human brain functions. In my view, unless such systems exploit some of the attributes of brain (that are known), it would be difficult to achieve human-like cognitive and reasoning abilities. This is an area where CI can contribute a lot. There are other areas such as computing with words, not necessarily fuzzy sets based approaches, where we need to focus more research effort.

Let us work together to take CI at the next level. In the next two years, I look forward to working with you all to provide the best possible values to our community. Among other things, I shall try to work with  the CIS administrative committee to take initiatives for attracting more young students and researchers not only to CI research, but also their involvement in society activities. This will provide a pathway to grow future CI leaderships. I shall follow the footsteps of my predecessors, to make CIS as the most attractive home for anyone interested in any aspect of CI.  If any member has any suggestion that can help the society to move ahead, you are requested to email me at nrpal59@gmail.com. We shall try our best to accommodate your suggestions.

 

Nikhil R. Pal
President of the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society (2018-19)