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Premier technology institute Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-Bombay) and IBM on Wednesday announced that the institute will join the AI Horizons Network, a network of the world’s leading universities committed to working with IBM to accelerate the development of core technologies needed to advance the promise of cognitive computing.

As part of this multi-year collaboration, IIT-Bombay and IBM will advance Artificial Intelligence (AI) research in India in the domain of multi-modal content for industries such as financial services, retail & healthcare, announced IBM.

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering at IIT Bombay is one of the preeminent research institutions in the world, with a long history of leadership in data mining and information retrieval systems.

By joining the AI Horizons Network, IIT Bombay will pair its world-class faculty and top graduate students with leading AI scientists from IBM Research – India to advance and accelerate the application of AI, machine learning, natural language processing and related technologies to business and industry.

Under IBM’s AI Horizon Network, Researchers at IBM, world-class faculty, and top graduate students work together on a series of advanced research projects and experiments designed to accelerate the application of artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language processing and related technologies. Projects are designed to apply the technologies to some of the world’s most enduring challenges, ranging from disease and the environment to transportation and education. The Network addresses the entire AI stack from analyzing the unstructured and structured data required to train these systems to building the new computing infrastructures needed to optimize the new data-intensive workloads of a truly digital world.

The IIT-Bombay & IBM collaboration will also work to advance the field of training and building domain-specific AI agents (chatbots), which are designed to aid humans in complex decision-making such as making trading and investment choices in financial services. Additionally, work is planned to explore new, domain-neutral training approaches which could enable faster, more efficient training of AI systems.

Arvind Krishna (left), Senior VP, Hybrid Cloud and Director, IBM Research and Prof Devang Khakhar, Director, IIT Bombay(Image Credit – YourStory.com)

“Over its 20-year history, IBM Research – India has been at the forefront of research advances in technologies like AI and blockchain. We have always had strong collaborations with the leading academic institutions in India,” said Arvind Krishna, senior vice president, Hybrid Cloud and director, IBM Research. “Through this collaboration with IIT Bombay, we aim to accelerate the pace of innovation for AI in India, working hand-in-hand with some top scientists and research scholars in the country,” he added.

Speaking on the relevance of collaboration Prof. Devang Khakhar, Director, IIT Bombay said “This partnership will enable IIT Bombay faculty to work in collaboration with researchers around the world on the frontiers of Artificial Intelligence focusing on industrially relevant problems and will provide access to large data sets. We look forward to fruitful collaboration, which will make a significant impact on the field.”

Some of members of the network include Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), University of Michigan, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Illinois), among others.

IBM’s research partnership with MIT is to advance the area of video comprehension, i.e., to develop systems that emulate the human ability to understand and integrate inputs from multiple sources of audio and visual information into a detailed computer representation of the world.

To recall, government of India’s policy think, NITI Aayog, has already partnered with IBM to develop a crop yield prediction model using artificial intelligence to provide real time advisory to farmers in backward states of India.

Last August, IBM has opened of its first Machine Learning (ML) Hub in India, its fifth in the world. The hub, located in Bengaluru, is a physical space for organizations to visit for hands-on training on ML. Prior to that, tech giant Google too launched AI Studio, globally to foster & nurture machine learning startups worldwide.

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