Presidential Welcome 2018


As President of the International Neural Network Society (INNS) for years 2017-2018, I am delighted that you visit our web portal. In my second year of presidency, I want to share with you my thoughts on the progress of INNS, its accomplishments, successes, and challenges ahead. You are welcome to check my “Presidential Welcome” here for year 2017, which was my junior year. It will give you a perspective on the dynamics of my views on our society, its past, present, and future.

A brief summary on INNS: INNS is a non-profit organization incorporated in 1987 in the State of California, USA. The bylaws of INNS define its purpose as follows: to create a scientific and educational forum for students, scientists, engineers and the general public to learn about, share, contribute to, and to advance the state of knowledge in the modeling of behavioral and brain processes and the application of neural modeling ideas to problems and applications in technology. These visionary words represent a very profound statement of purpose and give clear guidance, even 30+ years after their inception. At the time of its foundation, INNS has been one of the very first organizations declaring such unique goals. In the ensuing decades, INNS has been a major driving force defining our field of neural networks and modeling behavioral and brain processes and today it is still the premier organization in the field. Many of the pioneers and early champions of neural networks and brain-inspired computing have been the founders and key leaders of our society. We proudly carry their legacy in today’s INNS in developing intelligent technologies.

The world progresses, and the overall scientific landscape has been changed dramatically in the past decades, which also means that there are a lot of new and very successful organizations in our very field broadly defined as neural networks, artificially intelligent technologies, deep learning, brain-computer interfaces, just to name a few. The development of science is not a zero sum game, just as human development reaches ever-expanding frontiers. So the emerging new organizations are not just competitors but also potential collaborators. Almost from the very start we had a very close collaboration between INNS and the European Neural Network Society (ENNS), and the Japanese Neural Network Society (JNNS), which lead the international efforts in neural networks. Another excellent example of productive collaboration is the one we have for over 20 years with IEEE Neural Network Council, which has been converted to IEEE Neural Network Society, and most recently it is called Computational Intelligence society, covering many areas beyond neural networks, such as fuzzy systems, evolutionary computing, and many related areas.

Based on these successes, we need to actively pursue further dynamic development of our field, and INNS as it leading force. It is important to realize that INNS is especially well positioned to play a key role in developing human-friendly technologies for furthering the well-being of humanity. INNS, by spearheading neural network research, closely combined with brain and cognitively motivated technologies, provides a key component of the challenge of making these technologies close to humans, and keeping humans in the loop. I strongly believe that this is both an opportunity and a huge responsibility for us.

Let me briefly summarize the recent developments in the life of our society:

  • Board Members: Our Board Members are key for their active involvement and dedication. I appreciate very much Tereza Ludemir’s past work on the Board. She stepped down at end of 2017, and she is focusing on leading IJCNN2018 in Rio Brazil. I congratulate to our incumbent Board members who have been re-elected for a new term; they are: Cesare Alippi, Plamen Angelov, Peter Erdi, Asim Roy, and Hava Siegelmann. We have two Board members who have not served before: Minho Lee, and Tingwen Huang, welcome. We are a volunteer organization and without the dedication of our members we cannot be successful.
  • Executive Committee: While I am President (2017-2018), we have elected Irwin King to be the next President (2019-2020); this year he serves as President-Elect. Congratulations and we look forward to future successes under your leadership. We have Chrisina Jayne the new VP for Education (after Irwin stepped down to resume his new role). The other VPs are continuing in their respective roles: Peter Erdi VP Membership, Plamen Angelov VP Conferences, Seiichi Ozawa VP Publicity, as well as Yoonsuck Choe as Treasurer, and Marley Vellasco as Secretary. We have three standing committees, which are lead by David Brown, Fellows; Ali Minai, Nominations; and Hava Siegelmann Awards.
  • We have a new Management Company: Center for Association resources (CAR), lead by Ron Patterson. We look forward to a successful relationship in the years to come. At the same time we appreciate our previous management Marianne Van Wagner for the professional help in previous 4 years.
  • Awards and Recognitions: We have reshaped our existing awards, plus created 3 new awards for service, young scientists achievement, and NN best paper, respectively. The recipients of the 2018 awards are: Derong Liu of the Dennis Gabor Award; Kenji Doya of the Donald O Hebb Award; Nik Kasabov of the Ada Lovelace Outstanding Service Award; and Long Cheng for the Aharon Katzir Young Investigator Award. Juergen Schidhuber received the inaugural 2017 Neural Network Journal Best Paper Award. The new INNS Fellows for 2017 are: Soo-Young Lee, James McClelland, and Danil Prokhorov. Congratulations to all.

For details of many events and progress in conferences, memberships, chapters and sections, and publicity I encourage you to explore our web portal.