Singapore to tackle AI, new tech with research group launch

Singapore to tackle AI, new tech with research group launch

Expected to work with Singaporean partners.

Jinhua Zhao (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Jinhua Zhao (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Credit: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Singapore is set to tackle social and institutional challenges regarding artificial intelligence (AI) and new technologies through a research group launched by Singapore’s MIT research enterprise.

Launched by the Singapore MIT-Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART), the Mens, Manus and Machina - How AI Empowers People, Institutions and the City in Singapore (M3S) interdisciplinary research group (IRG) will focus on the “human-machine relationship, enhancing existing AI initiatives in the city-state”, according to the enterprise.

Behind SMART M3S is 17 professors from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), as well as local researchers from Singapore Management University (SMU), Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the National Robotics Programme (NRP).

Helming the IRG is lead principal investigator, Professor Jinhua Zhao, while co-lead principal investigators are MIT professor Daniela Rus and SMU professor Archan Misra. 

Issues on the agenda, according to SMART, include physical and digital interfaces between humans and machines, machine learning fundamentals and understanding the implications of AI for human and social capital development.

Other issues cover work on structuring human-machine teams within organisations and the developing dynamics between humans and machines in resource allocation and machine-power management.

The IRG is also expected to collaborate with Singaporean partners, resulting in the expectation that the city-state will improve its ability to create forward-looking AI policies and its economic standing within AI, in addition to bolstering local workforce training and mentorship on AI topics.

Through SMART M3S, the IRG is expected to “significantly advance” the fields of soft robotics, brain interfaces, learning algorithms, task allocation, team formation, model compression, sustainable technology, technology acceptability in the workplace and social acceptability of robotics and AI, among others.

“As a species, humans have spent eons learning how to work effectively with each other but, at the scale of human history, we are still neophytes to computation and automation,” said Zhao.

“We focus on two questions at M3S: How will we design AI and robotics technologies and train humans to build the skills and habits necessary for success in a robotics-heavy work environment? How will we adapt our social and business institutions to create the incentives and protections necessary to drive innovation and social welfare?”

Tags MITsmartSingapore MIT-Alliance for Research and TechnologyM3SMensManus and Machina - How AI Empowers PeopleInstitutions and the City in Singapore

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