NUS boosts capabilities in AI, data science

The National University of Singapore (NUS) will reposition an existing research institute that conducts interactive and digital media research to give a sharper focus on building strong capabilities and expertise in artificial intelligence (AI), big data analytics.

The move will also affect applied research in areas such as augmented reality, virtual reality, Internet of Things and media technologies.

In line with this strategic realignment, the former Interactive and Digital Media Institute (IDMI) has been renamed the NUS Smart Systems Institute (SSI).

 SSI will be an integral part of NUS’ Smart Nation Research Cluster, which was established in 2016 to support Singapore’s Smart Nat; on Initiative by developing deep and strategic capabilities in data science, optimisation, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence.

According to Ho Teck Hua, NUS deputy president (Research & Technology), NUS established the Interactive and Digital Media Institute in 2007 to support the national effort to push the development of interactive and digital media (IDM) technology and industry in Singapore.

“Over the last decade, the institute has developed strong capabilities beyond IDM, in many areas in computer science including AI,” said Ho. “It is therefore timely to reposition the institute with a new name and to sharpen its focus for the Smart Nation Initiative.”

Ho said this realignment of NUS’ strategic research resources will open up new opportunities for the university to carry out high-impact research as well as develop innovative solutions relating to digital economy and in doing so, improve the quality of life of Singaporeans and the community at large.

Located on the NUS Kent Ridge Campus, SSI is home to three international research centres - Keio-NUS CUTE (Connective Ubiquitous Technology for Embodiments) Center; NUS-Tsinghua Extreme Search Centre (NExT); and Sensor-enhanced Social Media (SeSaMe) Centre which is a collaboration between NUS and Zhejiang University of China. 

The institute also comprises three research laboratories – Social Robotics Lab, Ambience Intelligence Lab and the Living Lab where extensive sensor research and deployment as well as test-bedding activities are conducted.