Artificial Intelligence

Investment supports intelligence research, student fellowships

8th October 2018
Alex Lynn

A multi-year partnership focused on advancing the science and engineering of intelligence while supporting the next generation of researchers in this emerging field, has been announced by Fujitsu Laboratories and MIT's Center for Brains, Minds and Machines (CBMM). The new commitment follows on several years of collaborative research among scientists at the two organisations.

Founded in 1968, Fujitsu Laboratories has conducted a wide range of basic and applied research in the areas of next-gen services, computer servers, networks, electronic devices, and advanced materials. CBMM, a multi-institutional, National Science Foundation funded science and technology centre, which focuses on the interdisciplinary study of intelligence, was established in 2013 and is headquartered at MIT's McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT.

CBMM is also the foundation of ‘The Core’ of the MIT Quest for Intelligence launched earlier this year. The partnership between the two organisations has started on March 2017 when Fujitsu Laboratories sent a visiting scientist to CBMM.

"A fundamental understanding of how humans think, feel and make decisions is critical to developing revolutionary technologies that will have a real impact on societal problems," said Shigeru Sasaki, CEO of Fujitsu Laboratories. "The partnership between MIT's Center for Brains, Minds and Machines and Fujitsu Laboratories will help advance critical R&D efforts in both human intelligence and the creation of next-generation technologies that will shape our lives."

The new Fujitsu Laboratories Co-Creation Research Fund, established with a philanthropic gift from Fujitsu Laboratories, will aim to fuel new, innovative and challenging projects in areas of interest to both Fujitsu and CBMM, including the basic study of computations underlying visual recognition and language processing, creation of new machine learning methods, and development of the theory of deep learning. Alongside funding for research projects, Fujitsu Laboratories will also fund fellowships for graduate students attending CBMM's summer course from 2019 to contribute to the future of research and society on a long term basis.

The intensive three-week course gives advanced students from universities worldwide a ‘deep end’ introduction to the problem of intelligence. These students will later have the opportunity to travel to Fujitsu Laboratories in Japan or its overseas locations in the US, Canada, UK, Spain and China to meet with Fujitsu researchers.

CBMM's Director Tomaso Poggio, also Investigator at the McGovern Institute and Eugene McDermott Professor in MIT's Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, added: "CBMM faculty, students, and fellows are excited for the opportunity to work alongside scientists from Fujitsu to make advances in complex problems of intelligence, both real and artificial. Both Fujitsu Laboratories and CBMM are committed to creating revolutionary tools and systems that will transform many industries, and to do that we are first looking to the extraordinary computations made by the human mind in everyday life."

As part of the partnership, Tomaso Poggio will be a featured keynote speaker at Fujitsu Laboratories Advanced Technology Symposium held on October 9th, 2018. In addition, Tomotake Sasaki, a former visiting scientist and current research affiliate at Poggio Lab will continue to collaborate with CBMM scientists and engineers on reinforcement learning and deep learning research projects.

Moyuru Yamada, a visiting scientist at Tenenbaum Lab, is also studying the computational model of human cognition and exploring its industrial applications. Moreover, Fujitsu Laboratories is planning to invite CBMM researchers to Japan or overseas offices, and accept student internships.

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