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SMART launches new research group M3S to advance AI, automation and

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Singapore, 12 July 2023 – Singapore’s MIT-Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART), the research firm of MIT in Singapore, has launched a new interdisciplinary research group (IRG) aimed at addressing key social and institutional challenges around the rise of AI and emerging technologies, advancing progress in this area to create impactful value for Singapore and the world around it. Align with Singapore’s Smart Nation initiative and National AI Strategy, and as part of SMART’s commitment to foster collaborative research in Singapore that results in positive impacts on society, Mens, Manus and Machina – How AI Empowers People, Institutions and Cities in Singapore ( M3S ) will embark on an ambitious five-year venture supported by a multi-million dollar grant from the National Research Foundation (NRF) under its Campus for Research Excellence And Technological Enterprise (CREATE) program.

  • A five year multi-million dollar program supported by NRF under its CREATE program
  • A new interdisciplinary research group (IRG), SMART M3S, will bring together 17 MIT and Singapore professors to advance Singapore’s Smart Nation initiative over five years

  • SMART M3S’s research focus is designing technologies, training programs and institutions for successful human-machine collaboration in the workplace and beyond

  • The first of its kind, SMART M3S will integrate robotics and AI with human capital development, economic growth and public acceptance

Singapore, 12 July 2023 – Singapore’s MIT-Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART), the research firm of MIT in Singapore, has launched a new interdisciplinary research group (IRG) aimed at addressing key social and institutional challenges around the rise of AI and emerging technologies, advancing progress in this area to create impactful value for Singapore and the world around it. Align with Singapore’s Smart Nation initiative and National AI Strategy, and as part of SMART’s commitment to foster collaborative research in Singapore that results in positive impacts on society, Mens, Manus and Machina – How AI Empowers People, Institutions and Cities in Singapore ( M3S ) will embark on an ambitious five-year venture supported by a multi-million dollar grant from the National Research Foundation (NRF) under its Campus for Research Excellence And Technological Enterprise (CREATE) program.

Bringing together a team of 17 professors from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Singapore, SMART M3S will also draw expertise from local researchers from Singapore Management University (SMU), Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), National University Singapore (NUS) ), and the National Robotics Program (NRP).

As the smartest city in Asia, Singapore’s integration of AI, automation and robotics has been facilitated by the strategic use of data analytics, IoT technology and smart infrastructure. Amidst the rise of AI and machine learning, SMART M3S will contribute to Singapore’s AI ecosystem by focusing on human-machine relations, leveraging the city-state’s existing AI initiatives.

Mens, Manus and Machina (M3S) – inspired by MIT’s motto mens et manus (mind and hand) – reflects the research group’s aspiration to promote AI and the use of machines for practical applications; technology that is an extension of humans and augments their lives. SMART M3S, a world first, integrates research into robotics and AI with human development, economic growth, and public acceptance – an intersectional approach to sustainable transformation of how we work and live.

This interdisciplinary approach includes tackling key issues such as physical and digital interfaces between humans and machines, the foundations of machine learning, and understanding the implications of AI for the development of human and social capital. Other issues of focus include work on structuring human-machine teams in organizations and the evolving dynamics between humans and machines in resource allocation and workforce (as well as machine power) management.

The research undertaken will significantly advance the fields of soft robotics, brain interfaces, learning algorithms, task allocation, team building, model compression, sustainable technologies, acceptance of technology in the workplace, social acceptance of robotics and AI, and many more. The impact of AI on human well-being and productivity and how AI technologies can advance both areas will be key considerations for work on SMART M3S, as society navigates the transition towards a future enhanced by AI and machines.

Through interdisciplinary research, knowledge sharing and impactful collaboration, SMART M3S aims to redefine the boundaries of AI, automation and robotics to scientific, social and commercial impact. Work at M3S will explore the complex interactions between human capabilities, emerging technologies and the fabric of society, paving the way for designing inclusive, resilient and innovative solutions that empower individuals, institutions and cities in Singapore. SMART M3S, in collaboration with Singapore partners, will enhance Singapore’s ability to create forward-looking AI policies, strengthen Singapore’s economic position in AI, and support the training and mentoring of the local workforce on AI topics.

Since its inception in Singapore in 2007, SMART has pioneered innovations that have transformed and transformed fields such as autonomous driving, agriculture, microelectronics, cell therapy, mechanics and microfluidic platforms for biology and medical diagnostics, and antimicrobial resistance.

“As a species, humans have spent thousands of years learning how to work effectively with each other, but at the scale of human history, we are still newbies to computing and automation,” said Professor Jinhua Zhao, Professor at MIT and Lead Principal Investigator at SMART M3S. . “We focused on two questions at M3S: How do we design AI and Robotics technologies and train humans to build the skills and habits necessary to succeed in a robotics-intensive work environment? How do we adapt our social and business institutions to create the necessary incentives and safeguards to drive innovation and social welfare?”

SMART M3S is led by Lead Principal Investigator (PI) Professor Zhao and Co-lead PIs MIT Professor Daniela Rus and SMU Professor Archan Misra.

Professor Rus shared, “The M3S collaboration between MIT and Singapore, through SMART, will break new ground in our understanding of the impact of AI on the future of work. By leveraging our collective expertise and innovative spirit, we aim to advance the sophistication of AI and turn this technological advancement into an engine for human potential and societal progress.”

Professor Misra notes, “M3S is distinguished by its ambition to address the key challenges of human-AI synergy holistically, from both a scientific and social perspective. It will focus not only on technical breakthroughs that will enable human and machine workers and AI-enabled software to work interactively, but also on training and governance mechanisms that ensure that individuals and organizations adapt and thrive in these new jobs of the future. . I am very excited to partner with MIT on this important national priority, which aligns perfectly with SMU’s multi-disciplinary strategic research priority area of ​​Digital Transformation.”

Eugene A. Fitzgerald, CEO and Director of SMART, added, “Since 2007, SMART has pioneered impactful innovation across multiple fields, transforming industries such as self-driving, agriculture, cell therapy, microelectronics and medical diagnostics by bringing together some of the best products from MIT and Singapore. . With our newest interdisciplinary research group, SMART M3S, we continue our commitment to bring scientific, social and commercial impact to Singapore and beyond. A focus on a human-centric approach to AI advancement will contribute to Singapore being at the forefront of future jobs.”

Seeking to redefine the boundaries of AI, automation and robotics through interdisciplinary research, knowledge sharing and impactful collaboration, SMART M3S aims to design inclusive, resilient and innovative solutions that empower individuals, institutions and cities. By exploring the complex relationship between human capabilities, new technologies and the fabric of society, SMART M3S is envisioned to drive scientific, social and commercial impact in Singapore and beyond.

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