University of São Paulo wins tender for Brazil's largest AI research center

The facility will be jointly run by the university alongside IBM and São Paulo research foundation FAPESP

The University of São Paulo (USP) has won the tender to be the home of what is billed as the largest artificial intelligence (AI) research hub to be based in Brazil.

Total investment in the center will reach $20 million over the next 10 years, to be split between USP, who will contribute with $1 million yearly while partners IBM and São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP), who will co-run the center, will contribute with $500,000 each.

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USP will pay for the costs related to the physical set-up of the space, as well as lecturers and staff to run the center, while IBM and FAPESP will carry out periodic reviews. The center will be part of the university's existing innovation center.

This follows the announcement of the hub in February, which will be the first Latin American institution of IBM's AI Horizons Network.

The center will focus on various markets but special attention will be given to areas such as agribusiness, financial services, and healthcare.

Technology areas the new center is interested in include Natural Language Processing and deep learning, industrial applications for AI and the acceleration of AI-based systems that can process reading, processing and interacting in Portuguese.

It is expected that the teams involved with the center will be carrying out research that can stand out internationally. The center will also seek to facilitate the creation of new businesses and turn AI research into products and services.