Data Science Investment Counter —Funding raised by UK data science companies in 2018.
£ 5.640 Million

MIT Wants to Beat Silicon Valley at the AI Game

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is launching a new programme to understand human intelligence and develop better AI.

Called the MIT Intelligence Quest, or MIT IQ, the effort will involve hundreds of researchers and aims at raising hundreds of millions of dollars from both the public and the private sectors.

MIT IQ programme will try and  to answer two main interrogatives: how does human intelligence works? And how can we use that knowledge to create smarter machines?

The research programme will therefore be structured in two branches. One, called “The Core” will deal with making sense of intelligence— both human and artificial. Researchers will focus on how brains and computers work, and generate machine learning systems for specific applications.

The second line of research, called  “The Bridge”, aims at applying insights about human and machine intelligence to an array of fields— from disease diagnosis, to drug discovery, to material manufacturing, to fintech.

The initiative comes at a time when the best and brightest AI researchers, developers and engineers are often poached by moneyed Silicon Valley giants.

In an interview with the FT, MIT experts told that tech giants themselves are increasingly aware that snapping up too many top-notch researchers risks impoverishing those same universities of talents that are necessary to educate future AI experts and data scientists. That is why tech companies are increasing cooperation with academic entities: for instance, in September 2017, IBM agreed to invest $240m in a new MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab.

“Two weeks ago we had a symposium with several Google and Alphabet companies,” MIT cognitive science professor Josh Tenenbaum told the FT. “We can see that industry is keen to replenish the well of ideas and people.”

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