AI itself has developed manifold and the focus lies on creating machines that rival human competencies in a wide range of tasks. We take a look at ten premier R&D labs
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has fascinated humankind for long. After all, intelligence displayed by machines is unlike humans, bereft of conscience and emotion. But aimed at improving efficiency and mitigating risks posed by humans while mimicking certain functions is indeed a fascinating technology.
However, the field is continually evolving and permeates across every industry at varying levels. Varying degrees of technological advancements have been attributed to AI. AI has developed manifold, and the focus lies in creating machines that rival human competencies in a wide range of tasks.
When machines are taught to mimic humans and performa single or series of tasks that outperform them, it is called Narrow AI. Medical equipment enhanced with AI and capable of better diagnosis than doctors, Natural Language Understanding (NLU), Natural Language Processing (NLP), are examples of Narrow AI. Much of AI as we know today is concentrated around Narrow AI.
The second stage is Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), where the objective is developing AI to a level where it can perform ‘everyday’ tasks like humans. For example, performing daily tasks like identifying objects, recognising voice commands, navigating, and various other functions personal assistant devices are capable of undertaking come under this realm.
There’s chatter about the third stage of development among the scientific community dedicated to studying and researching AI and allied fields. This stage has been termed Artificial Super Intelligence (ASI), and the focus is on performing actions beyond human reach or a stage where machines outperform humans.
Research and development are a constant in AI and related fields. Most of it is done in highly specialised environments, customised according to the study’s area and scope. Here’s a look at the top 10 AI laboratories in the world.
- Alan Turing Institute, London
Named after computer visionary and World War ll hero Alan Turing, the institute is a national treasure and comprises of 13 universities as well as the UK Physical Science and Research Council. The institute is currently dedicated to fighting Covid-19, establishing ethics in AI and predictive analytics in criminology.
The Machine Learning Research Group is a niche group created within the university’s Information Engineering group housed under the Department of Engineering Science. The AI lab is heavily invested in machine learning methodology and application to science, engineering, industry, and commerce problems.
Few projects currently undertaken by the lab are:
- AI in Quantitative Finance
- Quantum Optimisation and Machine Learning
- Autonomous Intelligent Systems
- Independent Component Analysis
- P. Morgan AI Research Lab, New York
J.P. Morgan is one of the top investment banks in the world. The company has an A.I. research lab which is located in New York. This organisation’s research program aims to identify opportunities and, with a combination of ML, AI and data analysis, identify avenues for investment, wealth creation. The firm aims at developing solutions that are most impactful to the firm’s clients and businesses.
- Laboratory of Imaging, Vision and Artificial Intelligence (LIVIA), Montreal
The Laboratory of Imaging, Vision and Artificial Intelligence (LIVIA) is a research group accredited by ÉTS which brings together scientific heads under one roof. The laboratory focuses on computer vision across industries in various disciplines. LIVIA focuses on improving visual aids for space, medical, defence and surveillance sectors. LIVIA also works in other fields like:
- Machine Learning
- Computer Vision
- Pattern Recognition
- Adaptive and Intelligent Systems
- Information Fusion
- Optimisation of Complex Systems
Microsoft needs no introduction in the world of computers. The software giant uses ML in a way so that other businesses and organisations are encouraged to adopt AI for all-round growth. Microsoft’s AI research lab harnesses the power of robust infrastructure and an unlimited talent pool across the globe to produce cutting-edge innovations in how humans interact with computers and other problems in AI.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) is the biggest on-campus laboratory for AI and computer science. More complex still is the lab’s extensive portfolio of AI-based research. The lab pioneers research in computing that improves the way people work, play, and learn. Currently, the lab is engaged in research that impacts ten areas. They are Big Data, Cybersecurity, Education, Energy, Entertainment, Health care, Internet of Things (IoT), Manufacturing, Transportation, and Wireless. CSAIL’s research activities are organised around several semi-autonomous research groups, each of which is headed by one or more professors or research scientists.
- University of Texas – UTCS AI-Lab, Texas
The computer science department at the University of Texas houses the AI lab where multiple researchers, students, PhD scholars, and professors work together on AI and allied subjects. The main objective at UTCS AI-Lab is identifying and addressing the challenges thrown up by machine cognition. The lab is also home to research in fields like:
- Automatic Programming
- Automated Reasoning and Interactive Theorem Proving
- Autonomous Agents
- Computer Vision
- Data Mining
- Knowledge Representation and Reasoning
- Learning Theory
- Logic-based AI
- Machine Learning
- DeepMind, London
DeepMind Technologies is a British artificial intelligence subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Internet giant Google. The research laboratory established in 2010 was acquired by Google in 2014. DeepMind is involved in research that helps expand human knowledge and makes a positive global impact. The AI lab studies intelligence and tries to replicate the same in computer systems to find solutions to complex problems. The lab intends to develop more general and capable problem-solving systems in the realm of artificial general intelligence (AGI).
- Berkeley AI Research Lab, California
The Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research (BAIR) Lab brings together UC Berkeley researchers across the areas of computer vision, machine learning, natural language processing, planning, control, and robotics. BAIR includes over 50 faculty and more than 300 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers working on multi-modal deep learning, human-compatible AI, and connecting AI with other scientific disciplines and the humanities.
The Robotics Laboratory at Harvard focuses on the role of sensing and mechanical design in motor control for humans and robots. The lab’s research is based on multiple disciplines, including biomechanics, systems analysis, and neurophysiology. The primary approach is experimental, although analysis and simulation play important parts. In association with industrial partners like Toyota, Intuitive, iRobot, Philips and Honda, the researchers at the Harvard Robotics lab develop applications in biomedical instrumentation, teleoperated robots, and intelligent sensors. Some of the primary research topics at the lab include:
- Biomechanical Modeling and Surgical Planning
- Image-Processing and Medical Imaging
- Robotic Surgery
- Rehabilitation Robotics
- Robotic Hands
- Tactile Sensing and Haptics