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May 3, 2021
The Samsung Ho-am Prize in Medicine 2021 was awarded to Daeyeol Lee, Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Neuroscience, for his research on the neural mechanisms of decision making by incorporating theoretical frameworks from business into neuroscientific research about the function of medicine to examine the prefrontal cortex.
Image description: Daeyeol Lee
picture recognition: Courtesy of Daeyeol Lee
Established in 1991, often referred to as the Korean equivalent of the Nobel Prize, the prize is awarded annually to Koreans or individuals of Korean heritage “who have contributed to academics, the arts and social development or who have promoted the well-being of.” Humanity through outstanding performance in their respective professional fields. “This year’s recipients of the Samsung Ho-am Prize for Art include Bong Joon Ho, who won the 2020 Oscar for Best Director for the film Parasite.
Lee is known for having helped develop the field of neuroeconomics, or decision neuroscience, which integrates neuroscience and economics, as well as tools from artificial intelligence, psychology, and other fields. For Lee, this prestigious award is a testament to the value of the interdisciplinary approach he takes to his work.
“The focus of my research is on understanding how our brains enable us to develop appropriate, sometimes complex, plans for solving difficult problems,” says Lee. “This requires an interdisciplinary approach and draws on many different paradigms from business, psychology, neuroscience and computer science. I am grateful to the selection committee for recognizing the importance of such interdisciplinary research in understanding brain functions in relation to human cognition and to appreciate that this is important in developing better treatments for mental illness. “
Q + A.
What is intelligence
Neuroeconomist Daeyeol Lee discusses his new book and the development of artificial intelligence and asks: “Will AI ever surpass human intelligence?”
Current research in Lee’s lab examines how people choose actions by combining previously acquired knowledge like a city’s subway map and ever-changing destinations like a desired destination. Lee hopes to gain an understanding of the nature of neural activity and the brain circuits responsible for the mental simulation that is dysfunctional in many psychiatric conditions.
In his recent book Birth of Intelligence (Oxford University Press, 2020), Lee tracks the evolution of the brain and intelligence from self-replicating RNA to various species of animals, humans, and even computers to answer basic questions about origins. Development and limits of intelligence as well as the effects on artificial intelligence and its future role in our society.