AsianScientist (Mar. 12, 2018) – Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU) and Alibaba Group have officially launched the Alibaba-NTU Singapore Joint Research Institute.
The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between NTU President Professor Subra Suresh and Alibaba Group Chief Technology Officer Mr. Jeff Zhang marked the establishment of Alibaba’s first joint research institute outside China. This multimillion dollar per year partnership from Alibaba is for an initial five years, starting with a pool of 50 researchers from both organizations.
The joint institute will combine NTU’s human-centered AI technology, which has been applied to areas such as health, aging, homes and communities, with Alibaba’s leading technologies, including natural language processing, computer vision, machine learning and cloud computing to explore further technology breakthroughs and real-life AI solutions. Over the next five years, NTU and Alibaba will further push the frontiers of AI and deploy AI solutions in various scenarios ranging from retail to urban transportation.
“Using AI technologies, we can address fundamental societal challenges such as aging population which is a huge issue for cities with a rapidly aging population such as Singapore. For example, virtual AI assistants can be deployed to improve work productivity and smart sensors can be used to watch the health of the elderly, with data stored on the cloud for continuous monitoring,” said NTU’s Suresh.
“These AI and cloud technologies will be developed and tested on the NTU Smart Campus to demonstrate the effectiveness of the solutions so that our partners can have confidence before taking them to the market in Singapore and rest of the world,” he added.
NTU students, staff and faculty will have opportunities to go on exchange to Alibaba’s facilities and vice versa, while working on cutting-edge AI research. In addition, both parties will work toward building a crowdsourcing platform to connect researchers and industry practitioners around the world within an AI-focused R&D ecosystem, encouraging global AI experts, research institutions and universities to join and contribute to the AI research community.
“We are excited to work with the best and brightest around the world, such as researchers at NTU, to develop smart solutions for our future. Alibaba has been dedicated to working on technology breakthroughs and practical applications of AI, and this collaboration is another example of how we are advancing our technological leadership globally for better living and enabling businesses worldwide through innovation,” said Zhang of Alibaba Group.
Source: Nanyang Technological University; Photo: Shutterstock.
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