Zuckerman Fund for AI Revolution

New Fund Helps US-Israel Research Ties Drive the Global Artificial Intelligence Revolution

The Zuckerman Fund for Interdisciplinary Research in Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence taps into talent at multiple campuses of Israel’s AI research leader, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology

With the fast-growing Artificial Intelligence (AI) sector and its associated fields poised to change the world as we know it, a newly launched fund is leveraging the power of U.S.-Israel collaboration to produce groundbreaking interdisciplinary research that seeks to place Israel at the center of the global AI map.

Introduced today during an event at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, the Zuckerman Fund for Interdisciplinary Research in Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence will support up to six research projects annually that are conducted between researchers affiliated with at least two faculties at the Technion’s main campus in Israel as well as the Jacobs TechnionCornell Institute in New York. The projects will focus on applied research in the sectors which are increasingly influenced by AI, including health and medicine, financial technology, autonomous vehicles, home, and industrial robots, smart environments, agricultural technology, and defense and homeland security.

The Technion is home to the greatest proportion (28 percent) of the 270 researchers in the fields of AI, data science, and smart robotics working across Israel’s universities and colleges, according to a recent report compiled by the Samuel Neaman Institute for National Policy Research at the request of the Israeli Ministry of Science’s National Council for Research and Development. The report found that the top three interests of the Israeli researchers are machine learning, AI, autonomous systems, and smart robotics, with their other interests spanning human-computer interaction, natural language processing, computer vision, data mining, distributed systems/computing, big data, multi-agent systems, neural networks, and reinforcement learning. 

“We are utilizing both the domestic and global resources of Israel’s AI research leader, the Technion, as a game-changing platform for positioning the ‘start-up nation’ at the forefront of the global AI revolution,” said James Gertler, a trustee of the Zuckerman Institute and Zuckerman Family Foundation, a founding supporter of the AI fund. “The time for this fund is now because the future is now.”

 “Supporting tomorrow’s technological solutions through today’s research is a crucial manifestation of our vision that philanthropy’s ultimate goal is the betterment of society as a whole,” said Eric Gertler, a trustee of the Zuckerman Institute. “Joint innovation in AI and other high-tech areas also forms the bedrock of the next frontier in the U.S.-Israel relationship. We hope that others follow our lead in paving the way for stronger American-Israeli ties through collaborative research.”

Prof. Boaz Golany, Technion’s Vice President for Resource Development and External Relations who also coordinates the Zuckerman STEM Leadership Program on behalf of the Technion, Tel Aviv University, The Hebrew University and the Weizmann Institute added: “we are grateful to our partners at the Zuckerman Institute for their continuous support of our pursuit of academic excellence.  By focusing on AI, an area in which the Technion already has a global leadership position, the Zuckerman Institute will play an important role in boosting our research capabilities in AI.” “I am certain that the fruits of the research projects that will be supported through this new fund will yield great benefits not only to Israel and its major ally – the USA – but also to the rest of the world” stated Prof. Golany.

Mr. Oren Gershon, Inference Group & Site Manager, Artificial Intelligence Products Group (AIPG) at Intel, thanked the Zuckerman Institute for their support of the ML&IS Center where Intel has been a partner over the last year and added that given the significant research results already achieved in the last few months, Intel has decided to extend its support to the program (originally committed to 18 months) for another period well into 2020 .        

About the Zuckerman Fund for Interdisciplinary Research in Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence

The Zuckerman Fund for Interdisciplinary Research in Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence is an initiative of the Zuckerman Institute, which was created for charitable, scientific, literary and educational purposes. Mort Zuckerman is an American businessman, who serves as Chairman Emeritus of Boston Properties — one of the largest real estate companies in the United States. Mort Zuckerman launched the Zuckerman STEM Leadership program in 2016 to support future generations of STEM leaders in Israel and the United States and build strong academic bonds between the countries.