New Partnership for Scientific Computing

ICTP announces new prize for Artificial Intelligence research, sponsored by IBM
New Partnership for Scientific Computing
Alessandro Curioni, Vice President of IBM Research Europe and Africa, and Atish Dabholkar, ICTP Director, sign a Memorandum of Understanding to establish prizes for Artificial Intelligence.

Ongoing progress in Artificial Intelligence (AI) holds the potential to transform science and help humanity solve complex global challenges. Recognizing the impact that research in AI is going to have on science and society at large, ICTP has launched a new prize for researchers in AI – the ‘AI for Science’ Prize, aimed at acknowledging major contributions in this field.

Alessandro Curioni, Vice President of IBM Research Europe and Africa, announced IBM’s intent to sponsor the prize for five years – until the end of 2029. The sponsorship initiative is aligned with IBM’s  efforts with the AI Alliance, a global organisation launched in December 2023 by IBM and Meta, which ICTP has also joined. Curioni made the announcement during his welcome remarks at the International Symposium on the Future of Scientific Computing: A Global Perspective, organized by ICTP in Trieste on 27 May 2024.

The prize will be awarded to scientists or research teams who have made significant contributions to an open approach to AI and science, recognizing the excellence and originality of their approach to research, subject to participation terms and eligibility requirements. The intent of the prize is to recognize outstanding scientific contributions of individuals and/or teams in theory, algorithms, or applications related to an open approach to AI.

The prize, which will include a monetary award, will first be awarded in 2025.

“AI has become imperative for humans – to keep moving science and technology forward, keep helping us to come up with new solutions to the world’s numerous problems, and assist us in nearly all areas of life. The need for the benefits of cutting-edge AI is particularly urgent in emerging economies. This prize can help AI researchers come up with new technologies, new solutions to make the world a better place,” said Curioni.

“The launch of this prize reflects a growing interest at ICTP in activities on AI, quantum and high performance computing and a clear need to make the latest developments on these topics broadly accessible to the global scientific community. This is in line with ICTP’s role in the AI Alliance, recently launched by IBM and Meta,” ICTP Director Atish Dabholkar commented.

At the same event, Curioni also announced IBM’s intent to sponsor annual schools and  workshops in the field of AI, for five years. The proposed aim of the activities is for participants to exchange ideas, learn from experts, collaborate on cutting-edge research projects and interact with the AI prize recipient. The workshops and schools may feature lectures, hands-on tutorials, and networking sessions, with the goal of fostering interdisciplinary collaboration and knowledge dissemination.

The parties have signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding regarding both the award and the schools sponsorship. Statements regarding IBM's future direction and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice, and represent goals and objectives only.

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