NTU to invest S$8m in research lab for AI, big data analytics

NTU to invest S$8m in research lab for AI, big data analytics

NTU prof and IntelliK software
Professor Ong Yew Soon, who led the development of the IntelliK software. (Photo: NTU) 

SINGAPORE: The Nanyang Technological University (NTU) on Friday (Apr 28) said it will invest S$8 million over the next three years in a new research centre for big data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI).

The research centre, named Data Science and Artificial Intelligence Research Centre (DSAIR), will have 60 scientists and researchers and will be jointly headed by Professor Chee Yeow Meng, chair of NTU's School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, and Professor Ong Yew Soon, chair of its School of Computer Science and Engineering, the press release said.

In fact, Prof Ong is leading a team that has developed a prototype software that allows individuals to develop "sophisticated and visually appealing" games without knowledge of computer programming. 

The software, called IntelliK, has a simple drag-and-drop user interface and an automatic coding module that will work in the background to enable AI features. Using these, lay users can create games with avatars that have personalised sets of unique behaviours without doing any complex coding, NTU said.

This can significantly reduce both the cost and time needed for game developments, it added. 

Additionally, the centre is partnering international tech companies such as PayPal and Nvidia.

With PayPal, Masters and PhD students from NTU are working with the payments company on financial technology topics that will "not only strengthen the existing tools in the financial industry, but also create and enable the next generation of payment systems as well as new types of systems", it said.

The Nvidia partnership sees the centre being equipped with two DGX-1 systems - the chipmaker's most advanced computing system for deep learning. 

Problems easily done by a five-year-old child, such as image recognition, understanding the context of an image and producing text descriptions of it, can only be tackled using deep learning - a computation model which mimics the neural network in the human brain, NTU explained. 

Among the projects being explored with Nvidia is the development of a deep learning model that helps developers find software bugs and vulnerabilities in complex computing systems, so as to ensure the quality and security of their software, the varsity said. 

Source: CNA/kk

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