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From the College of Natural Sciences
UT Austin Selected as Home of National AI Institute Focused on Machine Learning

UT Austin Selected as Home of National AI Institute Focused on Machine Learning

The NSF AI Institute for Foundations of Machine Learning and the Machine Learning Laboratory will be administratively housed in the Gates-Dell Complex at The University of Texas at Austin. Photo credit: Vivian Abagiu/University of Texas at Austin.

The National Science Foundation has selected The University of Texas at Austin to lead the NSF AI Institute for Foundations of Machine Learning, bolstering the university's existing strengths in this emerging field. Machine learning is the technology that drives AI systems, enabling them to acquire knowledge and make predictions in complex environments. This technology has the potential to transform everything from transportation to entertainment to health care.

Computer Scientists Explore How Artificial Agents Collaborate on a Shared Task

Computer Scientists Explore How Artificial Agents Collaborate on a Shared Task

There's an (albeit cliché) saying that says that two heads are better than one. Unsurprisingly, this idiom extends to artificial agents. In the field of AI, researchers have been working to understand how to make independent agents, who may have different goals, work together in an environment to complete a shared task. Three researchers in the Department of Computer Science, graduate student Ishan Durugkar, recent doctoral alumnus Elad Liebman, and professor Peter Stone, have been working to solve this problem. 

Investigating How to Make Robots Better Team Members

Investigating How to Make Robots Better Team Members

Imagine that you are a robot in a hospital: composed of bolts and bits, running on code, and surrounded by humans. It's your first day on the job, and your task is to help your new human teammates—the hospital's employees—do their job more effectively and efficiently. Mainly, you're fetching things. You've never met the employees before, and don't know how they handle their tasks. How do you know when to ask for instructions? At what point does asking too many questions become disruptive?

Kristen Grauman Named Finalist in 2020 Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists

Kristen Grauman Named Finalist in 2020 Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists

University of Texas at Austin computer science researcher Kristen Grauman was selected as a finalist for the 2020 Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists.

Researchers Design Evolutionary Algorithms for Neural Networks

Researchers Design Evolutionary Algorithms for Neural Networks

Texas Computer Science graduate students Garrett Bingham and William Macke, under the advisement of professor Risto Miikkulainen, are contributing to the improvement of AI with their research. Their paper, entitled "Evolutionary Optimization of Deep Learning Activation Functions" was accepted into the 2020 Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference. The work concerns the evolutionary optimization of activation functions as a potential means of improving neural networks, which may ultimately lead to the creation of smarter and more accurate AI.

New Partnership Aims to Demystify Artificial Intelligence “Black Boxes”

New Partnership Aims to Demystify Artificial Intelligence “Black Boxes”

Isil Dillig (left) and Swarat Chaudhuri are part of a new, multi-institution initiative aimed at better understanding what happens inside artificial intelligence "black boxes."

The promise of artificial intelligence to solve problems in drug design, discover how babies learn language, and make progress in many other areas has been stymied by the inability of humans to understand what's going on inside AI systems.

The Next 50 Years: An A.I. Designed to Make Life Better (Audio)

The Next 50 Years: An A.I. Designed to Make Life Better (Audio)

Artificial intelligence is becoming more and more a part of our daily lives. But will AI have mostly positive or negative impacts on society?

Joydeep Biswas Builds Robots to Navigate the Real World

Joydeep Biswas Builds Robots to Navigate the Real World

The Biswas lab demos robotic cars at campus events like the college donor brunch and Explore UT.

Joydeep Biswas leads the Autonomous Mobile Robotics Laboratory (AMRL) at UT, where he and other researchers work on building mobile service robots that assist humans in everyday environments. The lab investigates programs and algorithms that enable these robots to better navigate changing conditions, incorporate human assistance and recover from failures intelligently.

Building Industry Bridges: Computer Scientist Tackles New Role for Sony, While Leading at UT

Building Industry Bridges: Computer Scientist Tackles New Role for Sony, While Leading at UT

Peter Stone has been tapped by Sony Corp. to head up the U.S. branch of its new global artificial intelligence research division, called Sony AI. Photo credit: University of Texas at Austin.

In a sign of the highly competitive environment for top talent in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), the Sony Corporation this week tapped Peter Stone, a faculty member in the College of Natural Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin, to lead the newly established Sony AI in the United States.

UT Austin Launches Institute to Harness the Data Revolution

UT Austin Launches Institute to Harness the Data Revolution

Research from UT Austin professors and TRIPODS members Alex Dimakis and Eric Price shows that it is possible to learn a deep generative model that dreams images of human faces (right panel), trained by observing only occluded images (left panel). The middle panel shows a previous approach for solving this problem, that fails. [Figure from: AmbientGAN: Generative models from lossy measurements, by A. Bora, E. Price and A.G. Dimakis, ICLR 2018.]

Advances in machine learning are announced every day, but efforts to fundamentally rethink the core algorithms of AI are rare.