Advancing artificial intelligence research

The broad applicability of artificial intelligence in today’s society necessitates the need to develop and deploy technologies that can build trust in emerging areas, counter asymmetric threats, and adapt to the ever-changing needs of complex environments.

As part of a new collaboration to advance and support AI research, the MIT Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing and the Defense Science and Technology Agency in Singapore are awarding funding to 13 projects led by researchers within the college that target one or more of the following themes: trustworthy AI, enhancing human cognition in complex environments, and AI for everyone. The 13 research projects selected are highlighted below.

“SYNTHBOX: Establishing Real-World Model Robustness and Explainability Using Synthetic Environments” by Aleksander Madry, professor of computer science. Emerging machine learning technology has the potential to significantly help with and even fully automate many tasks that have confidently been entrusted only to humans so far. Leveraging recent advances in realistic graphics rendering, data modeling, and inference, Madry’s team is building a radically new toolbox to fuel streamlined development and deployment of trustworthy machine learning solutions.

“Next-Generation NLP Technologies for Low-Resource Tasks” by Regina Barzilay, the Delta Electronics Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; and Tommi Jaakkola, the Thomas Siebel Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. In natural language technologies, most languages in the world are not richly annotated. This lack of direct supervision often results in inaccurate, indefensible, and brittle outputs. In a project led by Barzilay and Jaakkola, researchers are developing new text-generation tools for controlled style transfer and novel algorithms for detecting misinformation or suspicious news online. 

“Computationally-Supported Role-playing for Social Perspective Taking” by D. Fox Harrell, professor of digital media and artificial intelligences. Drawing on computer science and social science approaches, this project aims to create tools, techniques, and methods to model social phenomena for users of computer-supported role-playing systems — online gaming, augmented reality, and virtual reality — to better understand the perspectives of others with different social identities.

“Improving Situational Awareness for Collaborative Human-Machine First Responder Teams” by Nick Roy, professor of aeronautics and astronautics. When responding to emergencies in urban environments, achieving situational awareness is essential. In a project led by Roy, researchers are developing a multi-agent system that encompasses a team of autonomous air and ground vehicles designed to arrive at the sc


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