Judea Pearl, father of American journalist Daniel Pearl who was abducted and beheaded by Taliban militants in Pakistan, has been honored with the prestigious 2011 A.M. Turing Award for artificial intelligence.

The 75-year-old pioneer of artificial intelligence has been honored for his innovations that enabled remarkable advances in the partnership between humans and machines, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) said.

The award, won by the professor of computer science at the University of California, is named after British mathematician Alan M. Turing, and is considered as the Nobel Prize in computing.  The award carries a $250,000 prize which is sponsored by Intel (NasdaqL INTC)  and Internet titan Google (Nasdaq: GOOG).

(Judea Pearl's) accomplishments over the last 30 years have provided the theoretical basis for progress in artificial intelligence and led to extraordinary achievements in machine learning, said Vint Cerf, a Google executive who is considered one of the fathers of the Internet, according to rawstory.com.

They have redefined the term 'thinking machine,' added Cerf.

According to the ACM, Judea has created the computational foundation for processing information under uncertainty, a core problem faced by intelligent systems. His work serves as the standard method for handling uncertainty in computer systems, with applications ranging from medical diagnosis, homeland security and genetic counseling to natural language understanding and mapping gene expression data. His influence extends beyond artificial intelligence and even computer science, to human reasoning and the philosophy of science.

Daniel Pearl, who was the South Asia bureau chief of the Wall Street Journal in Mumbai, was abducted and beheaded by the militants in Pakistan Jan. 23, 2002. He was in the country as part of an investigation into the alleged links between Richard Reid (the shoe bomber) and al-Qaeda.