22 April 2022: Each year, the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) recognizes a small number of fellows for their unusual distinction in the profession and for their sustained contributions to the field for a decade or more. This year, AAAI is pleased to honour 10 scientists as the 2022 AAAI Fellows.

A Fellow may be recognized for individual technical contributions or for having performed significant extended service for the AAAI. Evidence of technical contribution will often be in the form of technical results and publications, but other evidence will also be considered, such as patent awards or statements of longstanding contribution to an industrial group effort.

UCC’s Professor Barry O’Sullivan, Chair of Constraint Programming at the School of Computer Science and Information Technology, who is also the founding director of both the Insight SFI Research Centre for Data Analytics at UCC and the SFI Centre for Research Training in Artificial Intelligence, has been elected a Fellow of AAAI this year. This is the first time that someone based at an Irish university has been recognised in this way. Professor O’Sullivan has been recognised for his contributions to the field of constraint programming and his leadership within the AI community.

Responding to the announcement, Professor O’Sullivan said: “I am honoured to receive this recognition and become a Fellow of AAAI which has been a life-time ambition of mine. I owe huge thanks to all my colleagues and students at Insight, my collaborators at home and abroad, and especially my family. I would like to especially recognise the mentorship of Professor Eugene Freuder over the years. It has been an honour to contribute to the field of artificial intelligence over the last two decades.”

In congratulating Professor Barry O’Sullivan on this prestigious award, UCC President, John O’Halloran, said: “This award is a global recognition of Professor O’Sullivan’s very significant contribution to the advancement, awareness, education and research in Artificial Intelligence to make our world a better place and in securing our future.”

Director General of Science Foundation Ireland, Professor Philip Nolan, said: “We are witnessing an extraordinary acceleration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, as it disrupts and transforms the world of work, our economy and society. While we must harness the opportunity to improve, and make smarter and more responsive, systems such as health, transport and energy, it is vital that we do so in an ethical and responsible manner. I commend Professor O’Sullivan on this achievement, which recognises his leadership in placing Ireland at the forefront of using AI for good.”

Commenting on the announcement Professor John Cryan, Vice President for Research and Innovation at UCC said: “I would like to congratulate Barry on this prestigious research recognition. It is particularly timely as Artificial Intelligence & Data Analytics is one of the ten strategic research areas that we have recently prioritised at an institutional level as part of our UCC Futures initiative.”

Professor O'Sullivan has served as Vice Chair of the European Commission High-Level Expert Group on AI, which developed Europe’s Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy AI. He is a Fellow and a past President of the European AI Association (EurAI). He was the longest serving President of the Association for Constraint Programming and currently serves as an elected member of the Executive Council of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI). He chairs the Advisory Board of the GRACE project at Europol, and advises the Leuven.ai institute at KULeuven (Belgium) and the Computational Sustainability Network at Cornell University (USA).