CMU Joins $110M U.S.-Japan Partnership To Accelerate AI Innovation

Kelly SaavedraWednesday, April 10, 2024

Pictured above: From left to right, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, CMU President Farnam Jahanian, Arm CEO Rene Haas, Keio University Vice President for Research Masayuki Amagai, Microsoft Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Takeshi Numoto and Japanese Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Moriyama Masahito.

Carnegie Mellon University and Keio University have announced they will join forces with one another and with industry partners to boost AI-focused research and workforce development in the United States and Japan. The partnership is one of two new university partnerships between the two countries in the area of artificial intelligence announced in Washington, D.C., April 9 at an event hosted by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo.

The collaboration joins two universities with outstanding AI programs and forward-looking leaders with leading technology companies committed to providing funding and resources aimed at solving real-world problems. 

CMU President Farnam Jahanian was in Washington, D.C., for the signing ceremony held in the Department of Commerce's Research Library, during which the University of Washington and the University of Tsukuba agreed to a similar collaboration.

"This new partnership is global in its scope and single-minded in its purpose to advance AI research and impact," Jahanian said. "It's an opportunity that is tailor-made for Carnegie Mellon University and possible thanks to the leadership of Secretary Raimondo and Ambassador Emanuel. I am immensely proud of CMU faculty and students whose talents and brilliance have inspired this partnership, and, together, we are grateful for the chance to work closely with our partners at Keio University, Arm, Microsoft and SoftBank Group, as well as with companies across Japan, to usher in a new era of global innovation in AI."

CMU has been increasingly called upon for its AI expertise by public and private sector partners since the birth of the field. The university is a world hub for talent in realizing the transformative potential of AI and ensuring its safe and secure use for the benefit of humankind. Efforts in this field are intentionally interdisciplinary at CMU, spanning all colleges across the university not only to advance the frontiers of science and technology but also to tackle important AI policy and societal implications.

"Pennsylvania is a global leader in AI development and innovation — thanks in large part to leading institutions like Carnegie Mellon University that have long embraced the promise of new technologies and harnessed their power to transform the way people live and work," said Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro. "Artificial Intelligence is already impacting every sector of our economy — and government leaders need to lean into its innovation to adapt to the rapidly changing technology market ethically and responsibly. That's the approach we've taken in Pennsylvania and why the Commonwealth has partnered with Carnegie Mellon to develop best practices for governing generative AI. This new partnership between Carnegie Mellon University and Keio University will build on Pennsylvania's and the United States' global leadership in AI technology — and will empower our workforce, lean into innovation and capitalize on economic opportunity."

This work will center on specific research themes, including multimodal and multi-lingual learning, AI for robots, autonomous AI symbiosis with humans, life sciences and AI for scientific discovery. The partnership is expected to create interdisciplinary collaboration across academic departments, faculties and students, and include joint research projects, workshops and knowledge-sharing seminars between CMU and Keio researchers. 

The partnerships between Carnegie Mellon and Keio universities and between the universities of Washington and Tsukuba will be supported by $110 million in combined private sector investment from several American companies and a consortium of nine Japanese companies. CMU will receive funding and collaboration from Arm, Microsoft and SoftBank Group.

"Establishing AI research collaborations and industry partnerships on topics that align so closely with the research that's underway at CMU are essential for making progress in advancing the best possible impacts of AI on people's lives," said Martial Hebert, dean of CMU's School of Computer Science. "I'm excited for our faculty, researchers and students to start working with colleagues at Keio University who share our vision for AI development in some important areas of computer science and AI research."

The agreement between CMU and Keio positions CMU faculty, researchers and students to work with their counterparts at Keio to leverage shared strengths in AI and the computer sciences to promote innovation, strengthen private sector performance, and advance their respective academic and research missions.

"Keio University has taken a leading role in Japan in AI research as well in robotics and image processing," said Kohei Itoh, president of Keio University. "We are very excited to be moving on to the next stage in our research by forming a US-Japan collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University, a globally renowned research institute in the field of AI."

A related effort involves the University of Washington and the University of Tsukuba. Together, these collaborations will leverage private sector investment from several global companies, including Amazon, Arm, Microsoft, NVIDIA and SoftBank Group, as well as a consortium of Japanese companies.

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Aaron Aupperlee | 412-268-9068 |