Volodymyr Mnih, 34
The first system to play Atari games as well as a human can.
Volodymyr Mnih, a research scientist at DeepMind, has created the first system to demonstrate human-level performance in almost 50 Atari 2600 video games, including Pong and Space Invaders. Minh’s system was the first to combine the playful characteristics of reinforcement learning with the rigorous approach of deep learning, which mirrors the way the human brain processes information—learning by example. His software learned to play the games much as a human would, through playful trial and error, while using the game score as a measurement by which to hone and perfect its technique for each game.