HERE establishes “groundbreaking” AI Research Institute

ITS (UK) member HERE Technologies, a global leader in mapping and location platform services, today announced the establishment of the new international Institute for Advanced Research in Artificial Intelligence (IARAI), with the facility to be located in Vienna.

The IARAI will be the world’s first global machine-learning research institute to use industrial-scale geolocation data, and as an independent institution, the IARAI will conduct research in machine learning that will deepen the location intelligence needed to build an autonomous world— heightened location awareness for autonomous vehicles, more accurate, self-healing maps, better traffic prediction models and optimized fleet management and city infrastructure. HERE will cooperate closely with the institute by providing its unique datasets and expertise. This groundbreaking initiative will give HERE greater access to emerging technological capabilities in the company’s core field of interest, developed on its data.

AI algorithms can extract complex patterns from vast numbers of data points, and in so doing, are able to self-correct and learn patterns. By applying these algorithms to location data, the IARAI is poised to tackle the most pressing location-based problems in industry and society.

Over a five-year period, HERE will provide the institute with more than €25 million in critical financial assistance to support the IARAI’s development, including funding for the physical space and research positions. The current focus is on the international recruitment to create a research team of approximately 30 people.

The IARAI will be helmed by two renowned experts in machine learning and data science respectively: Dr. Sepp Hochreiter, an artificial intelligence pioneer and inventor of the long short-term memory (LSTM) neural network framework, from Johannes Kepler University in Linz, and Dr. David Kreil, a leader in data science, from Boku University in Vienna.

“The IARAI is our gateway to build the next generation of location services, from self-healing maps to high-level automation, through leading-edge AI research,” said Peter Kürpick, the newly appointed Chief Technology Officer at HERE Technologies. “HERE sits on unique data and mapping assets. By focussing on deep learning and the large-scale testing of that data, the institute will expand our understanding of how location can be represented through neural networks, the core components that will fuel these next-level location services. We are thrilled to partner with Drs. Hochreiter and Kreil to tap into the potential of these technologies.”

“The unique data and expertise that HERE offers for open academic research is a game-changer for the construction of realistic AI models,” said Dr. Hochreiter. “This openness made HERE a very attractive partner for the IARAI.”

“The IARAI and HERE bring together, for the first time, the wider scientific community and real-world location data on a grand scale,” said Dr. Kreil. “This raises unique opportunities for academic research and industrial applications.”

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