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MIT Schwarzman College of Computing and the Singapore Defense Science and Technology Agency award funding to 13 AI-focused projects.

As part of a new collaboration to advance and support AI research, the MIT Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing and the Defense Science and Technology Agency in Singapore are awarding funding to 13 projects led by researchers within the college that target one or more of the following themes: trustworthy AI, enhancing human cognition in complex environments, and AI for everyone. The 13 research projects selected are highlighted below.


“Computationally-Supported Role-playing for Social Perspective Taking” by D. Fox Harrell, professor of digital media and artificial intelligences. Drawing on computer science and social science approaches, this project aims to create tools, techniques, and methods to model social phenomena for users of computer-supported role-playing systems — online gaming, augmented reality, and virtual reality — to better understand the perspectives of others with different social identities.


“Audio Forensics” by James Glass, senior research scientist. The ongoing improvements in capabilities that manipulate or generate multi-media content such as speech, images, and video are resulting in ever-more natural and realistic “deepfake” content that is increasingly difficult to discern from the real thing. In a project led by Glass, researchers are developing a set of deep learning models that can be used to identify manipulated or synthetic speech content, as well as detect the nature of deepfakes to help analysts better understand the underlying objective of the manipulation and how much effort is required to create the fake content.


“Analytics-Guided Communication to Counteract Filter Bubbles and Echo Chambers” by Deb Roy, professor of media arts and sciences. Social media technologies that promised to open up our worlds have instead driven us algorithmically into cocoons of homogeneity. Roy and his team are developing language models and methods to counteract the effects of these technologies that has exacerbated socioeconomic divides and limited exposure to different perspectives, curbing opportunities for users to learn from others who may not necessarily look, think, or live like them.


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