Sharper focus on AI, data science

28 April 2017 | Research
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NUS is boosting its capabilities in AI and data science to develop innovative solutions for the digital economy

NUS has renamed the former Interactive and Digital Media Institute (IDMI) as the NUS Smart Systems Institute (SSI) to sharpen the University’s focus on building strong capabilities and expertise in artificial intelligence (AI), big data analytics, as well as applied research in areas such as augmented reality, virtual reality, Internet of Things and media technologies.

SSI will be an integral part of NUS’ Smart Nation Research Cluster, which supports Singapore’s Smart Nation Initiative by developing deep and strategic capabilities in data science, optimisation, cybersecurity and AI. SSI will lead the way in the research-to-market life cycle, from conducting smart systems research to translating research output into innovative solutions for the market, and encouraging spin-offs and close collaboration with industry in healthcare, wellness, education, security and the government.

This realignment of NUS’ strategic research resources will open up new opportunities for the University to carry out high-impact research as well as develop innovative solutions relating to digital economy and in doing so, improve the quality of life of Singaporeans and the community at large.

Professor Ho Teck Hua, NUS Deputy President (Research & Technology) and Tan Chin Tuan Centennial Professor, explained how the IDMI, set up in 2007, has developed strong capabilities beyond its initial focus on interactive and digital media technology, moving into many areas in computer science including AI.

“It is therefore timely to reposition the institute with a new name and to sharpen its focus for the Smart Nation Initiative. This realignment of NUS’ strategic research resources will open up new opportunities for the University to carry out high-impact research as well as develop innovative solutions relating to digital economy and in doing so, improve the quality of life of Singaporeans and the community at large,” Prof Ho said.

SSI is home to three international research centres — Keio-NUS CUTE (Connective Ubiquitous Technology for Embodiments) Center; NUS-Tsinghua Extreme Search Centre (NExT); and Sensor-enhanced Social Media (SeSaMe) Centre which is a collaboration between NUS and Zhejiang University of China.

It also houses three research laboratories, namely the Social Robotics Lab, Ambience Intelligence Lab and the Living Lab.

SSI’s work is also complemented by two other NUS research institutes — the NUS Institute of Operations Research and Analytics (IORA) and the NUS Institute of Data Science (IDS) — which have strong emphasis on AI and data science research and applications.

See press release.