AI2 intends to contribute to the development of the society by merging interests and expertise of the academic sector with the private sector’s agenda. The initiative intends to promote collaboration from two perspectives. From the industry point of view, we will be a means of accessing the academia, providing a highly qualified pool of experts. Our goal is to establish partnerships with players in the private sector that understand the fundamental importance of supporting state-of-the-art initiatives in AI and are committed to its use for positive change in society. From a researcher’s point of view, we will provide an effective legal infrastructure to establish collaboration agreements with the private sector to access a steady financial support beyond the public investment in the universities.
We also acknowledge that a significant amount of the relevant research is being done by the private sector, which benefits from a more active management profile and from the agile allocation of resources. In that scenario, instead of competing for the recruitment of best minds, an academy-industry partnership presents a win-win scenario. This joint-venture, putting together the best expertise from both sides, can contribute to the fundamental research on AI and to the innovation ecosystem, and can be beneficial to all parts involved and to society as a whole.
AI2 creates an environment that guarantees the academic autonomy of our associates and provides governance mechanisms to make decisions based on consensus. An essential component of this environment is the capacity to attract and retain the best talent available. During joint projects, the activities are mentored by the senior researchers and AI2 will provide support with the necessary human resources by offering fellowships and positions with outstanding academic freedom and visibility.
AI2 is headquartered in São Paulo, Brazil, with an office dedicated to legal, accounting and management matters. We operate as a network of coworking spaces located in the different universities, research institutes and companies, all of them connected via an always-on videoconference service. Agreements between AI2 and the academic institutions will allow the use of their premises and computing infrastructure. This shared space allows the day-to- day coexistence of researchers who are working on different projects and continually exchanging their expertise in different AI applications. Our goal is to reach all states in Brazil and also start collaborations with institutes from abroad.
We already count on more than 50 associated researchers coming from a dozen of Brazilian universities and institutes such as the three state universities of São Paulo (USP, UNESP and Unicamp), Federal universities (UFABC, Unifesp, UTFPR), the National Laboratory for Scientific Computing (LNCC), the Technological Institute of Aeronautics (ITA) and several private universities (Escola Superior de Engenharia e Gestão, Centro Universitário FEI, Instituto Mauá de Tecnologia, Mackenzie Presbyterian University). The governance of AI2 includes a Board of Trustees with seven members from the academia and the productive sector, a Scientific Council, a Supervisory Board and an Executive Board and Superintendents of Accounting, HR and Compliance, and Marketing and Communications.
The AI2 associates have an extensive background on the most diverse AI subareas, ranging from machine learning to logics, including computer vision, automatic planning and optimization. We have a long history of applying this knowledge on real-world applications such as environmental monitoring, sales intelligence, gas and oil engineering, business management, cognitive systems, and robotics (service robots, human-robot interaction). This academic expertise in association with the productive sector will not only bring new solutions to problems affecting the society, but it will also leverage the fundamental research in those areas.
Besides the development of common projects involving the academia and productive sector, an important branch of AI2 initiative is to promote the training and education, in different levels, with a special attention towards the low-income students. We will also provide the necessary means for the researchers to create spinoffs based on the intellectual property they generate. We also support startups by providing administrative, legal and financial advice.
We intend to open several new positions and our job policy is committed to the principles of equal opportunity, inclusivity, and diversity. Women remain underrepresented in STEM careers and we encourage their application for AI2 positions. We welcome applications from qualified candidates with any sexual orientation and members of minority groups.