Two of the biggest three-letter acronyms in technology are teaming up, again. Today IBM and MIT announced a new joint project to research artificial intelligence, such as developing better algorithms and to foster AI startups. IBM is dropping $240 million, over 10 years, into the MIT–IBM Watson AI Lab. The lab, which IBM says opens “immediately,” will eventually house more than 100 scientists, professors, and students. (It’s currently taking job applications for posts such as research staffer and software engineer.) They will collaborate with staffers at IBM’s Watson Health and Watson Security centers, also in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Research will include both the software of AI, such as new algorithms and neural networks, and also the hardware, such as applying quantum computing to speeding up machine learning processes. The lab will be something of an incubator, too. In a statement, IBM says that it will encourage MIT profs and students to launch AI startups. This isn’t the first tie-up between MIT and IBM. The AI Lab is just a few blocks from the Broad Institute, a cancer research center run by MIT and Harvard, where IBM is funding AI and genomics research. IBM also collaborates with the university’s Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences to develop machine vision AI.