IBM announced today that it will inaugurate in Brazil the first Latin American Artificial Intelligence research center to join the IBM IA Horizons Network, a network created by the company in 2016 for collaboration between universities, students and researchers of the company.
The center will be the second in the world outside the United States to work with a collaborative system of open innovation, that is, proposing scientific and technological development through partnerships between development agencies, companies and universities.
The project will be carried out in partnership with the Foundation for Research Support of the State of São Paulo (FAPESP) and will receive an investment of US $ 20 million (R $ 74.2 million) over ten years of the institutions.
Another US $ 10 million (R $ 37.1 million) will be in the hands of a Brazilian university, which must be selected in the coming months to participate and host the laboratory facilities, as well as to ensure teachers, technicians and administrators to manage the center.
“The center will be the first focused on Latin American artificial intelligence in a model that integrates universities and is collaborative,” Ulisses Mello, director of IBM Research Brazil.
Mello said that with IBM’s leadership in the industry, many research projects in the area have already been funded in Brazil, but this is the first time that a venture will be dedicated to developing initiatives that use technologies in favor of “real problems.”
According to him, each center has “a kind of vocation”, and that of Brazil will be “to solve problems inherent to the economy and productivity” with expertise in areas such as natural resources, agribusiness, and health.
“Brazil has a vocation for research in natural resources and, mainly, agriculture. Our laboratory has been working for more than three years with digital agriculture, because it already has a large volume of data on the subject, which is an important economic area for the country, for example.”
Among the research areas of the venture will be natural resources, agribusiness, environment, finance and health, as well as the development of advanced artificial intelligence algorithms, which expand the machine learning capability in which IBM has been leading globally since the creation of the famous robot Watson, with which the company has already implemented solutions in 80 countries.