Global mapping and location platform services company HERE is opening an international Institute for Advanced Research in Artificial Intelligence in Vienna – the world’s first global machine-learning research institute to use industrial-scale geolocation data.
HERE says that, as an independent institution, the IARAI will conduct research in machine learning that will “deepen the location intelligence needed to build an autonomous world— heightened location awareness for autonomous vehicles, more accurate, self-healing maps, better traffic prediction models and optimised fleet management and city infrastructure”. HERE adds it will cooperate closely with the institute by providing its datasets and expertise and in return will get greater access to emerging technological capabilities in the company’s core field of interest, developed on its data.
The company adds that AI algorithms can extract complex patterns from vast numbers of data points, and in so doing, are able to self-correct and learn patterns. By applying these algorithms to location data, the IARAI is poised to tackle the most pressing location-based problems in industry and society.
Over a five-year period, HERE will provide the institute with more than €25 million (£22 million, US$28.2 million) in critical financial assistance to support the IARAI’s development, including funding for the physical space and research positions. It says the current focus is on the international recruitment to create a research team of approximately 30 people.
The IARAI will be led by Dr Sepp Hochreiter, an artificial intelligence pioneer and inventor of the long short-term memory (LSTM) neural network framework, from Johannes Kepler University in Linz, and Dr David Kreil, a leader in data science, from Boku University in Vienna.
“The IARAI is our gateway to build the next generation of location services, from self-healing maps to high-level automation, through leading-edge AI research,” explained Peter Kürpick, the newly appointed Chief Technology Officer at HERE Technologies. “HERE sits on unique data and mapping assets. By focussing on deep learning and the large-scale testing of that data, the institute will expand our understanding of how location can be represented through neural networks, the core components that will fuel these next-level location services. We are thrilled to partner with Drs. Hochreiter and Kreil to tap into the potential of these technologies.”
“The unique data and expertise that HERE offers for open academic research is a game-changer for the construction of realistic AI models,” said Dr Hochreiter. “This openness made HERE a very attractive partner for the IARAI.”
“The IARAI and HERE bring together, for the first time, the wider scientific community and real-world location data on a grand scale,” added Dr Kreil. “This raises unique opportunities for academic research and industrial applications.”