Professor Barry O'Sullivan was awarded the EurAI Distinguished Service Award 2023 for his contributions to the field of artificial intelligence through sustained service, including President of the European Artificial Intelligence Association, Vice Chair of the European Commission’s High-Level Group on AI, and the promotion of ethical and trustworthy AI.
Professor O’Sullivan is a full professor (Chair of Constraint Programming) at the School of Computer Science & IT at University College Cork and a member of its Governing Body. He is founding Director of the Insight SFI Research Centre for Data Analytics at UCC and Director of the SFI Centre for Research Training in Artificial Intelligence. He has received numerous awards for his work in the fields of artificial intelligence, constraint programming, operations research, AI/data ethics, and public policy. He also contributes to several global Track II AI diplomacy efforts at the interface of geopolitics and AI.
Professor O'Sullivan is a Fellow and a past President of the European AI Association (EurAI). He is also a Fellow and a member of the Executive Council of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI). He previously served as President of the Association for Constraint Programming as well as Chair of the Artificial Intelligence Association of Ireland.
In July 2018 Professor O'Sullivan was appointed Vice Chair of the European Commission's High-Level Expert Group on AI. In 2019 the HLEG-AI published: Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy AI (April) and Policy & Investment Recommendations for Trustworthy AI (June). In 2019 he became an advisor on AI to the European Commission's Joint Research Centre.
Professor O'Sullivan served as one of Ireland’s two national representatives to the UNESCO Intergovernmental Special Committee on the Ethics of AI. He has also chaired a committee on behalf the Irish Government to assess the skills and training needs associated with artificial intelligence, publishing a highly regarded report on AI Skills in 2022.
Professor O'Sullivan is a member of the Digital Group at the Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA). The IIEA is Ireland’s leading international affairs think tank. The IIEA provides a forum for all those interested in EU and International affairs to engage in debate and discussion, and to evaluate and share policy options.
In 2019 Professor O’Sullivan was appointed by Ireland’s Minister for Health to the Health Research Consent Declaration Committee. In 2020 he was appointed Chair of the Oversight Board of Health Data Research UK (North). In 2021 he was appointed by the Minister for Health as Chair of the National Research Ethics Committee for Medical Devices. In 2022 he was appointed by the Minister for Trade Promotion, Digital & Company Regulation to the Enterprise Digital Advisory Forum.
His awards include: Fellow of the European AI Association (2012), UCC’s Leadership Award (2013), ACP Distinguished Service Award (2014), Science Foundation Ireland Researcher of the Year (2016), UCC Researcher of the Year (2017), elected to the Royal Irish Academy (2017), Fellow of the Irish Computer Society (2018), Fellow of the Irish Academy of Engineering (2019), IPEC-EATCS Nerode Prize (2020), Science Foundation Ireland Best International Engagement Award (2021), Fellow of the Asia-Pacific AI Association (2022), Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of AI (2022).