MIT-Pillar AI Collective announces first seed grant recipients | MIT News

The MIT-Pillar AI Collective has introduced its first six grant recipients. College students, alumni, and postdocs engaged on a broad vary of matters in synthetic intelligence, machine studying, and information science will obtain funding and help for analysis initiatives that might translate into commercially viable merchandise or firms. These grants are supposed to assist college students discover industrial purposes for his or her analysis, and ultimately drive that commercialization by the creation of a startup.

“These great college students and postdocs are engaged on initiatives which have the potential to be actually transformative throughout a various vary of industries. It’s thrilling to assume that the novel analysis these groups are conducting may result in the founding of startups that revolutionize every little thing from drug supply to video conferencing,” says Anantha Chandrakasan, dean of the Faculty of Engineering and the Vannevar Bush Professor of Electrical Engineering and Laptop Science.

Launched in September 2022, the MIT-Pillar AI Collective is a pilot program funded by a $1 million present from Pillar VC that goals to domesticate potential entrepreneurs and drive innovation in areas associated to AI. Administered by the MIT Deshpande Middle for Technological Innovation, the AI Collective facilities available on the market discovery course of, advancing initiatives by market analysis, buyer discovery, and prototyping. Graduate college students and postdocs supported by this system work towards the event of minimal viable merchandise.

“Along with funding, the MIT-Pillar AI Collective offers grant recipients with mentorship and steerage. With the speedy development of AI applied sciences, one of these help is essential to make sure college students and postdocs are in a position to entry the sources required to maneuver shortly on this fast-pace atmosphere,” says Jinane Abounadi, managing director of the MIT-Pillar AI Collective.

The six inaugural recipients will obtain help in figuring out key milestones and recommendation from skilled entrepreneurs. The AI Collective assists seed grant recipients in gathering suggestions from potential end-users, in addition to getting insights from early-stage traders. This system additionally organizes group occasions, together with a “Founder Talks” speaker collection, and different team-building actions.   

“Every one in every of these grant recipients displays an entrepreneurial spirit. It’s thrilling to offer help and steerage as they begin a journey that might sooner or later see them as founders and leaders of profitable firms,” provides Jamie Goldstein ’89, founding father of Pillar VC.

The primary cohort of grant recipients embrace the next initiatives:

Predictive question interface

Abdullah Alomar SM ’21, a PhD candidate learning electrical engineering and pc science, is constructing a predictive question interface for time collection databases to raised forecast demand and monetary information. This user-friendly interface might help alleviate a few of the bottlenecks and points associated to unwieldy information engineering processes whereas offering state-of-the-art statistical accuracy. Alomar is suggested by Devavrat Shah, the Andrew (1956) and Erna Viterbi Professor at MIT.

Design of light-activated medication

Simon Axelrod, a PhD candidate learning chemical physics at Harvard College, is combining AI with physics simulations to design light-activated medication that might scale back uncomfortable side effects and enhance effectiveness. Sufferers would obtain an inactive type of a drug, which is then activated by mild in a selected space of the physique containing diseased tissue. This localized use of photoactive medication would reduce the uncomfortable side effects from medication focusing on wholesome cells. Axelrod is creating novel computational fashions that predict properties of photoactive medication with excessive velocity and accuracy, permitting researchers to give attention to solely the highest-quality drug candidates. He’s suggested by Rafael Gomez-Bombarelli, the Jeffrey Cheah Profession Improvement Chair in Engineering within the MIT Division of Supplies Science and Engineering. 

Low-cost 3D notion

Arjun Balasingam, a PhD scholar in electrical engineering and pc science and a member of the Laptop Science and Synthetic Intelligence Laboratory’s (CSAIL) Networks and Cellular Methods group, is creating a know-how, referred to as MobiSee, that permits real-time 3D reconstruction in difficult dynamic environments. MobiSee makes use of self-supervised AI strategies together with video and lidar to offer low-cost, state-of-the-art 3D notion on client cellular gadgets like smartphones. This know-how may have far-reaching purposes throughout blended actuality, navigation, security, and sports activities streaming, along with unlocking alternatives for brand spanking new real-time and immersive experiences. He’s suggested by Hari Balakrishnan, the Fujitsu Professor of Laptop Science and Synthetic Intelligence at MIT and member of CSAIL.

Sleep therapeutics

Guillermo Bernal SM ’14, PhD ’23, a current PhD graduate in media arts and sciences, is creating a sleep therapeutic platform that might allow sleep specialists and researchers to conduct strong sleep research and develop remedy plans remotely, whereas the affected person is comfy of their dwelling. Referred to as Fascia, the three-part system consists of a polysomnogram with a sleep masks type issue that collects information, a hub that permits researchers to offer stimulation and suggestions through olfactory, auditory, and visible stimuli, and an internet portal that permits researchers to learn a affected person’s alerts in actual time with machine studying evaluation. Bernal was suggested by Pattie Maes, professor of media arts and sciences on the MIT Media Lab.

Autonomous manufacturing meeting with human-like tactile notion

Michael Foshey, a mechanical engineer and challenge supervisor with MIT CSAIL’s Computational Design and Fabrication Group, is creating an AI-enabled tactile notion system that can be utilized to provide robots human-like dexterity. With this new know-how platform, Foshey and his staff hope to allow industry-changing purposes in manufacturing. At present, meeting duties in manufacturing are largely achieved by hand and are usually repetitive and tedious. Because of this, these jobs are being largely left unfilled. These labor shortages may cause provide chain shortages and will increase in the price of manufacturing. Foshey’s new know-how platform goals to deal with this by automating meeting duties to scale back reliance on handbook labor. Foshey is supervised by Wojciech Matusik, MIT professor {of electrical} engineering and pc science and member of CSAIL.  

Generative AI for video conferencing

Vibhaalakshmi Sivaraman SM ’19, a PhD candidate in electrical engineering and pc science who’s a member of CSAIL’s Networking and Cellular Methods Group, is creating a generative know-how, Gemino, to facilitate video conferencing in high-latency and low-bandwidth community environments. Gemino is a neural compression system for video conferencing that overcomes the robustness issues and compute complexity challenges that restrict present face-image-synthesis fashions. This know-how may allow sustained video conferencing calls in areas and situations that can’t reliably help video calls as we speak. Sivaraman is suggested by Mohammad Alizadeh, MIT affiliate professor {of electrical} engineering and pc science and member of CSAIL. 

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