ACM recognises Monash IT Professor Phil Cohen with elite Fellowship

Professor Phil Cohen, Director of the Monash Faculty of Information Technology Laboratory for Dialogue Research, has been named a 2019 Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Fellow.

The ACM Fellow is the most prestigious status, only recognising the top one per cent of ACM members for outstanding accomplishments in computing and information technology. This title also acknowledges their exceptional service to ACM and the wider computing community.

Professor Cohen was one of only two recipients in Australia and among 58 around the world. His extensive contributions go beyond the theory and practice of multi-agent systems to human-computer dialogue and multimodal interaction.

“The ACM Fellows have defined the field of computing and their accomplishments have greatly affected the societies in which we live. It’s a tremendous honour to have my work recognised by them,” shares Professor Cohen.

With an enviable track record for advancing AI, Professor Cohen has held roles in higher education and beyond. These include Chief Scientist, AI, and Senior Vice President of Advanced Technology at Voicebox Technologies, Founder and CEO of Adapx Inc, and Program Director of Natural Program, AI Centre at SRI International, where he conceived and initially led the project that resulted in the Siri digital assistant.

Professor Cohen’s research has focused on natural language processing in AI, assistant technology, intelligent agents and multimodal interfaces. His current research on human-computer dialogue examines the ethical implications of dialogue systems and investigates applications to digital health, particularly building dialogue systems that can discuss medication management with patients and dialogue systems that can assist emergency operators to understand the nature of distress calls quickly.

“The ACM Fellows program is a cornerstone of our overall recognition in highlighting the accomplishments of the ACM Fellows, we hope to give credit where it is due, while also educating the public about the extraordinary array of areas in which computing professionals work,” said ACM President Cherri M. Pancake.

ACM will formally recognise its 2019 Fellows at the annual Awards Banquet, to be held in San Francisco on Saturday, June 20 2020.