Backed by Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google and DeepMind, SiteGround and $100 million from the Bulgarian government, a new institute will open up in Sofia, Bulgaria in September to advance state-of-the-art Artificial Intelligence (AI) and computing at large through open research.
The Institute aims to establish a world-class research centre, a tipping point in efforts to create a competitive high-tech economy that attracts, develops, and retains talent. INSAIT, the new Institute for Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence and Technology will offer research facilities and compensation on a par with global scientific research centres.
Created in partnership with two of the world’s leading technology universities, ETH Zurich and EPFL Lausanne, it is supervised and advised by world-renowned scientists from ETH Zurich, EPFL, IST Austria, MIT, UC Berkeley, Yale, Princeton, and the Technion.
So, what will the world-class research and educational institute offer? Programmes spanning the foundations and applications of artificial intelligence and computer science, including machine learning, natural language processing, computer vision, information security, programming languages, formal methods, quantum computing, and computer architecture, among others.
Until now, the brain drain has thwarted innovation in Eastern Europe, with highly qualified people moving to the West to study and advance their careers. Around 30,000 Bulgarian people leave the country every year in search of better prospects. As the first research centre in the region to provide world-class research environments and globally competitive salaries, INSAIT will offer attractive career prospects in a burgeoning industry, attracting researchers from abroad and encouraging top young talent to stay in the country, a step that will have significant economic and social impact in Eastern Europe.
Prof. Martin Vechev, INSAIT’s architect and scientist in the field of computer science and professor, ETH Zurich said: “Eastern Europe is full of bright scientific minds – but too often, people’s aspirations are limited due to lack of facilities, funding and support. This has resulted in a ‘brain drain’ away from Eastern Europe, a systemic problem that is discouraging innovation. INSAIT is placed to reverse this trend and compete on a worldwide scale.”
Byron Cook, vice president, AWS said: “At AWS we are committed to help individuals acquire new skills they need for the jobs of tomorrow. With the launch of INSAIT in Sofia, we look forward to equipping the future workforce with advanced automated reasoning skills and research, and helping foster a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship that will benefit society as a whole.”
Jeff Dean, senior fellow, Google, said: “Eastern Europe has an incredible talent pool of computer scientists and engineers, and we want to help INSAIT become a world-class facility, attracting top researchers from within the region and further afield.”