IIT Kharagpur is setting up a Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Artificial Intelligence (AI) research with alumni support. This was announced by the Director, Prof. P P Chakrabarti on the occasion of Foundation Day, on August 18, 2017, in a press conference.
Though AI — that has been slowly redefining computer science research along with cloud computing — is a part of the existing academic courses, it lacks facilities for dedicated and stand-alone research, says a report by the Times of India. The Institute has been exploring AI algorithms and machine learning to help deal with planning issues and complex data. The centre is expected to provide a boost to such research, states the report.
The activities of the centre will include the following:
Excellence in AI research Applied artificial intelligence through projects by partnering with government and industry Specialized courses on various aspects of AI and applications including executive courses, Research based entrepreneurship
“The Centre will be linked to the supercomputing facility, cloud computing etc. Additionally, we want to do some really good projects in climate change and AI, big projects on healthcare and AI so that will require augmented funds,” added Prof. Chakrabarti.
"The activities of the centre will target excellence in applied AI on several domains especially in the domain of retail, biomedical domain, and the financial domain. The centre will also focus on development and application of natural language and speech technologies. The centre will be involved in important mission projects in the area of climate studies and oil and gas" said Prof. Sudeshna Sarkar, Head of the Dept. of Computer Science and Engineering.
The initial core group of faculty for the centre are from Computer Science & Engineering but it is envisaged that the centre will include faculty across various departments and will be involved in various interdisciplinary projects.
The activities of the centre will include offering various AI related courses including outreach courses. The centre plans to set up infrastructure to enable working on various AI related projects. We plan to involve students at all levels for the research and activities of the centre including undergraduate students.
For CoE in AI, the institute requires Rs 20 crore to get started for the core infrastructure. Prof. Chakrabarti opined that research work on the project had begun. “We are working out the framework and building up the big picture and small aspects of the research have started. So it will consist of research and it will consist of new kind of programmes,” he added.