IBM and MIT are collaborating to research every aspect of AI technology. The two institutions announced that they will work together under the banner of the MIT–IBM Watson AI Lab in September this year. The lab has a budget of $240 million dollars to spend over the next ten years.
Artificial Intelligence or AI is a rapidly expanding area of technology. The rise of AI is linked to all sorts of changes to the way our society will operate from the loss of traditional employment opportunities to new ways to worship.
Open call to researchers will determine what gets done
The lab has a broad focus, it will not only look to advance AI hardware and software, It will also investigate AI’s influence on different industries like health and cybersecurity. In broader research, the lab will look at the ways AI is impacting on society including how it will affect job growth and education. Dario Gil, IBM Research VP of AI and IBM Q, and Anantha P. Chandrakasan, dean of MIT’s School of Engineering will co-chair the lab. The lab is unusual not only for its depth and breadth of research but specific topics for projects will come from an open call from both students and professors. The call for projects will be open to MIT researchers and IBM scientists who can think of ideas that would be perfect to explore under the conditions of the joint team.
Four main areas of interest
There will be four broad project categories that teams or individuals can apply their project in.
The first is AI algorithms. This category will cover projects that develop algorithms for machine learning and reasoning. The projects are expected to not only improve existing algorithms but develop new ones that can chomp through big data. The next category for project is the Physics of AI. Projects in this category will be at the intersection between quantum computing and machine learning. The third category is the application of AI to industries. This category of project will take advantage of the lab's close location to Kendall Square a major hub for biomedical innovation. This category can expect to see projects that will explore the use of AI in the creation and distribution of healthcare data as well topics related to security and medical data.
Research includes social studies
The final category is about advancing shared prosperity through AI. With the category, the lab will examine how AI can bring broad economic and societal benefits to all areas of society. It will look at the way technology is used and distributed as well as how it may be able to rapidly increase the quality of life for many. John Kelly III, IBM senior vice president from the Cognitive Solutions and Research department describes the collaboration: ‘The field of artificial intelligence has experienced incredible growth and progress over the past decade. Yet today’s AI systems, as remarkable as they are, will require new innovations to tackle increasingly difficult real-world problems to improve our work and lives. The extremely broad and deep technical capabilities and talent at MIT and IBM are unmatched, and will lead the field of AI for at least the next decade.”