Amazon and MIT research symposium focused on cutting-edge technology
Attendees explored new avenues of research in areas including robotics and conversational AI via roundtables moderated by researchers from Amazon.
In October of 2021, Amazon and MIT announced the establishment of the Science Hub. That collaboration, which aims to ensure the benefits of AI and robotics innovation are shared broadly, includes funding to accelerate AI and robotics research in ways that make that research more accessible.
To that end, in December 2022, the Science Hub hosted its annual fall symposium. The event brought together Amazon researchers, MIT faculty, administrative leaders, postdocs, and doctoral students from across the institution. Attendees learned about current collaborations between MIT and Amazon, heard from the 2022 Amazon Fellows, and explored new avenues of research in areas including robotics and conversational AI via roundtables moderated by researchers from Amazon and MIT.
“This event brought us together to continue addressing key invention challenges in diverse areas including robotics, conversational AI, video understanding, databases and distributed systems,” said Rohit Prasad, senior vice president and head scientist of Alexa. “As we conclude a successful first year and begin our second year, I am proud of what has been accomplished so quickly, and excited to see how the Science Hub's activities in 2023 will continue shaping the future of technology.”
Attendees heard from a wide variety of speakers, including Cindy Barnhart, MIT Provost; Aude Oliva, senior research scientist, director of strategic industry engagement in the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing; and Tye Brady, Amazon Robotics chief technologist.
"It is always intellectually stimulating and rewarding to bring together faculty, researchers, and colleagues from across campus to present and discuss topics of mutual interest,” noted Barnhart, who is also the Ford Foundation Professor and Professor of Operations Research, Sloan School of Management.
“It was electric to have so many bright minds in the room at the same time,” Brady, an MIT alumnus, agreed. “In addition to the sharing of cutting-edge research in technology, we were able to connect with each other to better understand and improve how academia and industry can work together. I am so pleased with how much we have accomplished in a relatively short time frame.”
The day included talks from researchers on a wide variety of research topics, including robotics, conversational AI, content understanding and generation, video understanding, and databases and distributed systems.
“Listening and learning about all the amazing research projects underway as a result of the Science Hub is extremely exciting,” Oliva said.