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Researchers to Employ AI to Develop the Internet of Future

A research team was recently awarded a grant of $20 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop the internet of the future.

UMass Amherst Distinguished University Professor Jim Kurose. Image Credit: University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Jim Kurose, Distinguished University Professor in the College of Information and Computer Sciences and associate chancellor for partnerships and innovation, from the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass Amherst), was part of the research.

The grant will support the AI Institute for Future Edge Networks and Distributed Intelligence (AI-EDGE) and is headed by Ness Shroff, professor of electrical and computer engineering and computer science and engineering at the Ohio State University.

The funding extends support to a core team of 30 researchers from 11 collaborating educational institutions, four global software companies, and three Department of Defense laboratories.

AI-EDGE comes under one of 11 new NSF-funded Artificial Intelligence Research Institutes, operating to “design future generations of wireless edge networks that are highly efficient, reliable, robust and secure and facilitate solving long-standing distributed AI challenges.”

According to Kurose an “edge network” is simply the network that every individual connects to.

The internet is a network of networks, and every time you surf the internet using a wireless connection, you start at the edge. That’s where you connect.

Jim Kurose, Distinguished University Professor, College of Information and Computer Sciences, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Hundreds of millions of such edge networks are available and they have only been increasing in numbers with providers ready to offer 5G access, and 6G expected soon.

The difficulty arises in ensuring the best control and management of these networks in offering high-performance, safe, and robust service. This is the place where the role of artificial intelligence (AI) comes into play.

Similar to the internet, AI is also moving outwards from a centralized, core location. Apart from using AI for networking to resolve the issues related to speed, security, and reliability, the team is also assisting in networking AI and improving the technology where it can perform better.

Were looking for anywhere from 10 times to 100 times better performance, along with better robustness and security, than the best these networks can offer today.

Jim Kurose, Distinguished University Professor, College of Information and Computer Sciences, University of Massachusetts Amherst

More speed and information imply that more data can be utilized to make a better decision.

My research will focus on how you monitor and make sense of all the incoming data, in real-time, to ensure that performance and security remain robust.

Jim Kurose, Distinguished University Professor, College of Information and Computer Sciences, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Furthermore, Kurose will co-lead the effort of the team in widening participation. He will be supporting middle- and high-school students, concentrating on under-represented groups, to guide them into the field of AI. Also, he is planning to initiate a Women in AI program, which will be open to girls and women from kindergarten to graduate school.


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