Multimedia Star Innovator Award

The Multimedia Star Innovator Award was created to recognize pioneers of transformative technologies and business models in areas within the technical scope of the IEEE ICME conference series. The Award showcases innovations that have had great impact on human experiences or are anticipated to do so in the near future. To reflect widespread appreciation by the community, the winner is selected through voting by registered attendees of the conference, among finalists selected by an Award Board.

Details on the selection process are here.


Xiaodong He
Deputy Managing Director of JD AI Research

Talk: Multimodal intelligence: From image captioning to text-to-image synthesis

Dr. Xiaodong He is Vice President of Technology of JD.COM Inc., Deputy Managing Director of JD AI Research, and Head of the Deep learning, NLP and Speech Lab. He is also Affiliate/ Honorary Professor of the University of Washington (Seattle), CUHK (Shenzhen), and Central Academy of Fine Arts (Beijing). Dr. He joined JD.COM, the largest online retailer in China, in 2018. Before that, he was Principal Researcher and Research Manager of the Deep Learning Technology Center (DLTC) at Microsoft Research, Redmond, WA, USA. Dr. He is Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He has held editorial positions on Trans. of the ACL and multiple IEEE Journals. He was the Chair of the IEEE Seattle Section in 2016-2017, and served in the IEEE SLTC in 2015-2017. His research interests are mainly in natural language, vision and multimodal intelligence. He and colleagues have published more than 100 papers in these areas, received more than 19,000 citations (according to Google Scholar). His work, including Bottom-up and Top-down Attention models (BUTD), Stacked Attention Networks (SAN), MS-Celeb-1M, AttnGAN, CaptionBot, Deep Structured Semantic Models (DSSM), Hierarchical Attention Networks (HAN), is widely applied to important real-world scenarios. He also led the development of the industry-first emotion-aware multimodal conversational system that provides large scale smart customer services to more than 300 millions of users of JD.COM. He and colleagues has received multiple best paper awards (ICASSP 2011, ACL 2015, IEEE TASLP 2018), and won major AI challenges (2008 NIST Machine Translation Evaluation, IWSLT 2011, COCO Captioning Challenge 2015, and Visual Question Answering (VQA) 2017, WikiHop-QA 2019).

Maja Pantic
AI Scientific Research Lead in Facebook London and Professor at Imperial College London

Talk: Emotional Artificial Intelligence

Maja Pantic obtained her BSc, MSc and PhD degrees all in computer science (Artificial Intelligence) in 1995, 1997, and 2001 from Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands. Until 2005, she was an Assistant/ Associate Professor at Delft University of Technology. In 2006, she joined the Imperial College London, Department of Computing, UK, where she is Professor of Affective & Behavioural Computing and the Head of the iBUG group, working on machine analysis of human non-verbal behaviour. From April 2018 till April 2020, she was the Research Director of Samsung AI Research Centre in Cambridge, where she established this Research Centre and set the team to be working on Human-Centric AI. In April 2020, she became AI Scientific Research Lead in Facebook London.

Prof. Pantic is one of the world’s leading experts in the research on machine understanding of human behavior including vision-based detection, tracking, and analysis of human behavioral cues like facial expressions and body gestures, and multimodal analysis of human behaviors like laughter, social signals, and affective states. Prof. Pantic received various awards for her work including BCS Roger Needham Award (2011), awarded annually to a UK based researcher for a distinguished research contribution in computer science. She is a Fellow of the UK’s Royal Academy of Engineering, an IEEE Fellow and an IAPR Fellow.

Website, TEDx CERN talk, WEF 2016 talk.

Fatih Porikli
Vice President of San Diego Device Hardware Competency Center, Futurewei, San Diego and Professor Australian National University

Aljosha Smolic
Co-founder, Volograms and SFI Research Professor of Creative Technologies at Trinity College Dublin

Talk: Volumetric Video Content Creation – From Research to Products and Services

Prof. Smolic is the SFI Research Professor of Creative Technologies at Trinity College Dublin (TCD). Before joining TCD, Prof. Smolic was with Disney Research Zurich as Senior Research Scientist and Head of the Advanced Video Technology group, and with the Fraunhofer Heinrich-Hertz-Institut (HHI), Berlin, also heading a research group as Scientific Project Manager. At Disney Research he led over 50 R&D projects in the area of visual computing that have resulted in numerous publications and patents, as well as technology transfers to a range of Disney business units. Prof. Smolic served as Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Image Processing and the Signal Processing: Image Communication journal. He was Guest Editor for the Proceedings of the IEEE, IEEE Transactions on CSVT, IEEE Signal Processing Magazine, and other scientific journals. His research group at TCD, V-SENSE, is on visual computing, combining computer vision, computer graphics and media technology, to extend the dimensions of visual sensation. This includes immersive technologies such as AR, VR, volumetric video, 360/omni-directional video, light-fields, and VFX/animation, with a special focus on deep learning in visual computing. Prof. Smolic is also co-founder of the start-up company Volograms, which commercialises volumetric video content creation.


Thursday, July 9 – 13:30 to 16:00 London (BST time zone)


Maria Martini

Maria Martini is Professor in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing at Kingston University London, where she also leads the Wireless Multimedia Networking (WMN) Research Group and is MSc Course Director. She received the Laurea in electronic engineering (summa cum laude) from the University of Perugia (Italy) in 1998 and the Ph.D. in Electronics and Computer Science from the University of Bologna (Italy) in 2002.

Prof. Martini has led the KU team in several national and international research projects, funded by the European Commission, UK research councils, Innovate UK, and international industries. She has been Associate Editor for IEEE Signal Processing Magazine (2018-2021) and IEEE Transactions on Multimedia (2014-2018) and editor/guest editor for journals such as IEEE JSAC, IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics, IEEE Multimedia, Int. Journal on Telemedicine and Applications.

She is Board member of the Video Quality Expert Group (VQEG), member of the NetWorld2020 European Technology Platform (ETP) Expert Group and of the IEEE Multimedia Communications technical committee (MMTC), having served as MMTC vice-chair (2014-2016) and chair (2012-2014) of the 3D Rendering, Processing, and Communications Interest Group.

Her research interests include wireless multimedia networks, video quality assessment, neuromorphic visual data (DVS) processing, decision theory, machine learning, and medical applications. She authored about 200 international scientific articles and book sections, international patents and contributions to international standards (ITU and IEEE); she currently chairs IEEE WG P3333.1.4 (Standard for the Quality Assessment of Light Field Imaging).


13:30Introduction of the Award and of the Speakers
13:40Xiadong He, "Multimodal intelligence: From image captioning to text-to-image synthesis"
14:10Maja Pantic, "Emotional Artificial Intelligence"
14:40Fatih Porikli
15:10Aljosha Smolic, "Volumetric Video Content Creation – From Research to Products and Services"
15:40Wrap-Up and Voting (via App)

Award Board