IIT Delhi and IBM on November 29 announced that they will join IBM’s AI Horizons Network to accelerate a multi-year research on artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. The strategic alliance puts IITD into an elite group of global universities that was earlier represented by IITB as the only Indian entrant. This alliance aims to discover path-breaking AI techniques which can assist organizations to take informed decisions. The teams from IITD and IBM jointly plan to publish their research in peer-reviewed academic journals and aim to open challenges and release datasets to the research community in a bid to identify new research areas.
IBM’s AI Horizons Network
IBM’s AI Horizons Network aims to discover novel AI techniques which can help organizations take informed decisions by being able to logically reason with their AI systems.
With the announcement, IIT-Delhi becomes the second institution outside North America to join the prestigious IBM’s AI Horizons Network. This network brings the expertise of IBM Researchers, top graduate students and a world-class faculty who work together on a series of advanced research projects and experiments designed to accelerate the pace of natural language processing, artificial intelligence, machine learning and other emerging technologies.
The AI Horizons Network projects are designed to apply the evolving technologies into some of the world’s most pioneering challenges, ranging from disease, environment, cybersecurity, transportation and education. The Network addresses the unstructured and structured data concerns required to train machine learning systems in a bid to build new computing infrastructures, to optimise new data-intensive solutions for the emerging digital world.
As a part of the collaboration, IBM researchers will partner with professors and students from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at IIT Delhi for a joint research which has the potential to benefit a multitude of sectors like Finance, Healthcare and Medicine, and Customer support which together bring complex set of questions and unstructured data into the analysis.
Valuable Collaboration to Drive Research
With this collaboration, IIT Delhi joins the distinguished list of universities like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University of Michigan, and University of Maryland at Baltimore County, Universite de Montreal, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, UC San Diego, and IIT Bombay. The important focus areas in the alliance include natural language processing, deep learning, computer vision, and others.
The centre for excellence is expected to come up on the campus in the next six months.
Michael Karasick, Vice President, Global Labs at IBM Research says, “While working with AI systems, organizations require explicit reasoning and comprehension to reach a particular conclusion. We believe advancement in AI can tackle such problems”. He further adds, “We are excited to collaborate with IIT Delhi to focus on this area of research and empower organizations to make informed decisions by infusing key characteristics like reasoning, comprehension and transparency in their AI systems.”
Speaking on the important alliance, Prof. V. Ramgopal Rao, Director, IIT Delhi, says “India has immense talent to accelerate innovation in AI and related technologies. We are happy to collaborate with IBM Research scientists and provide opportunities to our students and faculty colleagues to work on some of the complex problems around AI and apply the solutions to real-world scenarios.”
AI initiatives at IITD
IITD currently offers undergraduate and postgraduate level courses in artificial intelligence. With this centre for excellence, the institute aims to bring researchers across departments, to find solutions for various problems and inculcate AI in their respective disciplines. The institute has around 40 faculty members at present who are working on AI with 10 people working on core artificial intelligence capabilities. With this centre, the institute wishes to create a single platform integrating all researchers to come together on a single platform. Besides this collaboration, IIT-D also plans to offer certificate courses in AI for professionals who may have graduated some years ago and need to reskill themselves to stay in the competition.
Embracing AI in India
AI has become a disruptive force to redefine technology and challenge the way we live. The Impact of AI has been felt in India, as per a Niti Ayog’s paper on National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence, the country has 386 AI and emerging technologies Ph.D. researchers of a total of 22,000 present worldwide, which ranks India on the 10th spot globally. These statistics make the IITD-IBM collaboration a great deal to cheer up for.