Teaching Machines Human-Like Intelligence

Focused Research Program

Our Focus

The goal of the Teaching Machines Human-Like Intelligence FRP is to create convergence around foundational research in artificial intelligence (AI) at BU through a year-long series of intensive discussions, working groups and seminars, with the ultimate goal of coalescing around research directions for future funding. This program seeks to strengthen the synergy and collaboration opportunities among researchers involved in cutting-edge development of AI methods and initiate impactful AI projects.

Focused Research Program led by:

  • Venkatesh Saligrama: Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, ENG
  • Kate Saenko: Associate Professor, Computer Science, CAS

Research Thrusts

1. Learning with Limited Supervision

This thrust enables convergence around several research directions related to learning with limited supervision. These directions include low-shot learning, meta-learning, weakly supervised learning, and learning to select subsets. The unifying theme is reducing the amount of supervised, i.e., manually annotated, data that is required for machines to learn new tasks, where in-situ or in-vivo data collection is limited or impossible.


2. Safety and Open-World Robustness

This thrust unites researchers pursuing research on the topics of safety, robustness and generalization of AI systems in open-world scenarios to look at several questions that arise when an AI system is faced with non-i.i.d data and must generalize, adapt, or guarantee safety.


3. Resource Efficient Learning

This thrust develops efficient learning algorithms, or in other words, builds training algorithms that require the least computer time (or any other resource such as latency or feature costs) to achieve the best possible accuracy.


4. AI for Assistive Applications and Natural Interfaces

This thrust will pursue suitable assistive technology applications through augmentation of AI technology to enable humans to better perform challenging tasks.

FRP Virtual Event

Friday, March 24th
Jose del R. Millan, Professor, The University of Texas at Austin
Access the recorded talk here.
Patrick Carrington, Assistant Professor, Carnegie Mellon University
Access the recorded talk here.
Sagib Shaikh, Software Engineering Manager and Project Lead for Seeing Al, Microsoft
Access the recorded talk here.
Maja Mataric, Distinguished Professor, University of Southern California
Access the recorded talk here.

How to get involved?

For program specific inquiries and questions, please contact Venkatesh Saligrama (srv@bu.edu) and/or Kate Saenko (saenko@bu.edu)

Faculty interested in submitting a Focused Research Programs proposal are strongly encouraged to discuss their ideas with the Hariri Institute’s Director, Yannis Paschalidis (yannisp@bu.edu). 

To learn more details about the Hariri Institute’s Focused Research Programs, visit here.