First Artificial Inteligence Institute Outside of China Launched

By Faith Magbanua, March 14, 2018 01:03 AM

Cyber technology(Pixabay)

Last month, the Nanyang Technological University of Singapore and the Alibaba Group have launched a joint research institute for developing artificial intelligence technologies (AI), the Alibaba-NTU Singapore Joint Research Institute in Singapore. 

 The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between NTU President Professor Subra Suresh and Alibaba Group Chief Technology Officer Jeff Zhang marked the formation of Alibaba's first joint research institute outside China was noted on the NTU's website announcement and this multimillion dollar per year partnership from Alibaba is for an initial five years, starting with a pool of 50 researchers from both organizations.

Meanwhile, the joint institute will combine NTU's human-centered AI technology, which has been applied to areas such as health, aging, homes and communities, with Alibaba's leading technologies, including natural language processing, computer vision, machine learning and cloud computing to explore further technology breakthroughs and real-life AI solutions.

Over the next five years, NTU and Alibaba will gradually push the frontiers of AI and organize AI solutions in various scenarios ranging from retail to urban transportation.

According to NTU's Suresh, "Using AI technologies, we can address fundamental societal challenges such as aging population which is a huge issue for cities with a rapidly aging population such as Singapore. For example, virtual AI assistants can be deployed to improve work productivity and smart sensors can be used to watch the health of the elderly, with data stored on the cloud for continuous monitoring,"

Suresh also added "These AI and cloud technologies will be developed and tested on the NTU Smart Campus to demonstrate the effectiveness of the solutions so that our partners can have confidence before taking them to the market in Singapore and rest of the world."

On the other hand, NTU students, staff and faculty will have opportunities to go on exchange to Alibaba's facilities and vice versa, while working on cutting-edge AI research. In addition, both parties will work towards building a crowdsourcing platform to unite researchers and industry practitioners around the globe within an AI-focused R&D ecosystem, encouraging international AI experts, research institutions and universities to join and contribute to the AI research community.

"We are excited to work with the best and brightest around the world, such as researchers at NTU, to develop smart solutions for our future. Alibaba has been dedicated to working on technology breakthroughs and practical applications of AI, and this collaboration is another example of how we are advancing our technological leadership globally for better living and enabling businesses worldwide through innovation," said Zhang of the Alibaba Group.


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