IBM and MIT Team Up for Artificial Intelligence Research Lab

Last week, IBM and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced a 10-year, $240 million partnership to establish the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The long-term initiative is expected to bring together industry experts, professors and students to research areas such as cybersecurity, healthcare, machine learning and quantum computing. Researchers will work at MIT and the nearby Watson Health and Security facilities. The lab will be co-chaired by IBM Research VP Dario Gil and MIT School of Engineering dean Anantha Chandrakasan.

“One of the goals is to build machine learning and AI systems that excel at both narrow tasks and the human skills of discovery and explanation,” said Chandrakasan. “In terms of applications, there are some particular targets we have in mind, including being able to detect cancer well before we do now.”


The MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab website specifies four key pillars of research: AI algorithms, physics of AI, application of AI to industries, and advancing shared prosperity through AI.

“The establishment of the new joint lab also builds on the joint multi-year collaboration announced by IBM and MIT’s Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences last September that aimed to create AI that can better understand sight and sound the way humans do,” reports International Business Times.

According to the MIT release, “a distinct objective of the new lab is to encourage MIT faculty and students to launch companies that will focus on commercializing AI inventions and technologies that are developed at the lab. The lab’s scientists also will publish their work, contribute to the release of open source material, and foster an adherence to the ethical application of AI.”

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