IBM and MIT to advance AI as far as the machine can see

22 Sep 2016158 Shares

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Breakthroughs in the field of machine vision will potentially help us live healthier more productive lives, says IBM. Image: Christian Lagerek/Shutterstock

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Tech giant IBM is joining forces with MIT to push the boundaries of artificial intelligence and enable machines to realise visual and audio senses currently impossible today.

The goal of the new IBM-MIT Laboratory for Brain-inspired Multimedia Machine Comprehension (BM3C) will be to develop cognitive computing systems that emulate the human ability to understand and integrate inputs from multiple sources of audio and visual information.

It will then turn this into a detailed computer representation of the world that can be used in a variety of computer applications in industries such as healthcare, education and entertainment.

‘By bringing together brain researchers and computer scientists to solve this complex technical challenge, we will advance the state-of-the-art in AI with our collaborators at MIT’
– GURU BANAVAR

In this way, a machine powered by BM3C’s technology will be able to understand objects and sounds in a real-time context and make sense of it, such as a dog chasing a cat or rain drops hitting a puddle.

This will give machines a contextual awareness not possible today.

March of the machines

Beginning this month in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the BMC3 collaboration will bring together leading brain, cognitive and computer scientists to conduct research in the field of unsupervised machine understanding of audio-visual streams of data, using insights from next-generation models of the brain to inform advances in machine vision.

“In a world where humans and machines are working together in increasingly collaborative relationships, breakthroughs in the field of machine vision will potentially help us live healthier more productive lives,” said Guru Banavar, chief scientist in cognitive computing and vice-president at IBM Research.

“By bringing together brain researchers and computer scientists to solve this complex technical challenge, we will advance the state-of-the-art in AI with our collaborators at MIT.”

The BM3C will be led by Prof James DiCarlo, head of the Department of Brain & Cognitive Sciences (BCS) at MIT, who will be supported by a team of faculty members, researchers and graduate students from both his department and the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL).

MIT researchers will collaborate with IBM scientists and engineers who will provide technology expertise and advances from the IBM Watson platform.

“Our brain and cognitive scientists are excited to team up with cognitive computing scientists and engineers from IBM to achieve next-generation cognitive computing advances as exposed by next-generation models of the mind,” said DiCarlo.

“We believe that our fields are poised to make key advances in the very challenging domain of unassisted real-world audio-visual understanding and we are looking forward to this new collaboration.”

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com