Thomas J Watson Research Center

Industry-University Cooperative Research Center Increases Focus on AI

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The Center for Advanced Knowledge Enablement (CAKE), started about a decade ago at Florida International University (FIU) and Florida Atlantic University (FAU) under the auspices of the National Science Foundation. Since then, CAKE has added 71 Industry members and completed more than 100 applied industry projects.

I serve as the Chairperson of the Industry Advisory Board for CAKE. Over the past two years, the agenda for CAKE has taken a natural turn toward a greater focus on Artificial Intelligence (AI) leadership with machine learning technology at the core of its many research projects.

For example, looking for better unbiased ways for predicting the performance of financial instruments, Dr. Mark Finlayson from the School of Computing and Information Science at Florida International University (FIU) is looking for novel patterns in news and narrative text called “tropes” — stereotypical clusters of events, characters, motivations — that he hypothesizes will correlate with investor sentiment, and thus with future price movements.

Another new project on prediction and correction of gesture user interfaces examines how to predict the user intent and correct user error in gesture recognition using multiple techniques, including template-matching, neural networks, and other machine-learning methods.

AI

Cover of the 2016 NSF breakthroughs compendium

Other AI-related projects include sustainability for smart buildings, detection of diver drowsiness systems, Ebola modeling, gesture recognition in augmented and mixed reality scenarios and detection of melanoma.

The Center’s overall mission is to conduct industry-relevant studies and deployments in the representation, management, storage, analysis, search and social aspects of large and complex data sets, with particular applications in geospatial location-based data, disaster mitigation, healthcare, transportation, and town planning.

CAKE has been a great resource for recruiting diverse talent for IBM Research via summer internship programs, which can eventually lead to a career in Research. For example, CAKE alums Shonda and Shalisha Witherspoon will join IBM Research in May 2018 to work on Distributed AI projects.

Over its lifetime, CAKE has been responsible for hundreds of papers, articles, patents (many of them can be found at: http://CAKE.fiu.edu/PB/.) Given its current trajectory and focus on AI, I’m confident in the center’s continued success.

 

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