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The Best of Minds: IBM’s Commitment to Advancing AI Research with University Partners

IBM’s Cognitive Horizons Network produced more than 70 peer-reviewed AI publications in its first year

With over two decades of AI research expertise across our global labs, our scientists take pride in their ability to explore, invent and uncover new innovations, but we also understand that the solutions to the most complex AI problems will come from a diversity of perspectives and disciplines. Therefore, we seek to collaborate with the best minds –- whether they are industry partners or from universities –- so we can approach a single problem from multiple perspectives and arrive at the best solution most efficiently.

By partnering with top experts from the world’s leading universities for engineering and scientific research under the IBM Cognitive Horizons Network, which was formed last year, we’re aiming to influence and lead the trajectory of future AI innovation.

Under this program IBM scientists, world-class faculty and students are working together on a series of advanced AI research projects and experiments. By nurturing an AI research ecosystem like the Cognitive Horizons Network, we are helping amplify and accelerate foundational AI research and applications that can solve real-world problems.

During the past year, the Cognitive Horizons Network has quickly generated results, including more than 70 peer-reviewed publications about the development of core technologies needed to advance the promise of AI. These joint projects are designed to accelerate the application of AI technologies, such as deep learning, natural language processing and others, to big societal challenges, ranging from aiding the understanding of disease, education and cybersecurity. A full list of the published research projects can be found here.

Students, faculty and IBM researchers who are part of the Cognitive Horizons Network — including MIT, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the University of Michigan, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, the University of Montreal and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County — convened at the Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y. this week to discuss their findings and future research plans at the 6th Annual IBM Research Cognitive Colloquium.

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The Cognitive Horizons Network welcomed the newest member — the University of California at San Diego

The 6th Annual Cognitive Colloquium highlighted the CHN’s progress with research projects across the entire AI stack, from analyzing the unstructured and structured data required to train AI systems, to building the new computing infrastructures needed to optimize the data-intensive workloads of a truly digital world.

Some of the projects showcased this week included advancing audio-visual comprehension technologies; building the next generation of AI hardware that can master a subject area by learning from multimedia and multi-modal educational content; and improving chronic disease care.

Also unveiled this week is the newest member of the Cognitive Horizons Network — the University of California at San Diego. Through a multi-year research project, IBM and UC San Diego scientists will collaborate at the new Artificial Intelligence for Healthy Living Center (AIHL) located on the campus of the university to advance AI technologies that help the aging population live independently longer and have a higher quality of life. The center will also use AI to study the impact of human microbiomes and genetic data on healthy living.

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Microbiome research on display at UC San Diego. Photo credit: Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications

Together with our university partners, we look forward to advancing the frontiers of AI research and advancing the application of AI technologies such as machine learning, natural language processing and others to big, societal challenges.

You can expect to hear about more milestones and AI publications from the Cognitive Horizons Network during the coming year. We had a very productive first year and we are just getting started.

Click here for more information about the IBM Cognitive Horizons Network.

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Isabel Yang

Ph.D, Vice President, Cognitive Horizons Network