São Paulo's Fapesp to support cognitive computing

Bnamericas Published: Wednesday, May 18, 2016

São Paulo research support foundation Fapesp wants to finance projects in the field of cognitive computing, in which advanced algorithms are capable of making machines "learn" patterns and approach the "human" way of thinking and reasoning.

To achieve that Fapesp has inked an agreement with IBM Brasil for investments of US$500,000 over the next 10 years in projects related to this area to be carried out by university and research institutes in São Paulo state.

A peer review committee co-chaired by Fapeso and IBM Brasil's Research Laboratory will evaluate and select the projects submitted in response to public proposals. The US company has had an R&D lab in Brazil since 2011.

Each proposal will focus on specific topics related to cognitive computing, such as artificial intelligence, natural language processing and big data analysis, IBM said.

IBM's Watson is considered the world's first open 'machine-learning' platforms.

In February, IBM announced a partnership with Central American and Caribbean technology distributor GBM Corporation to form Cognitiva, a company designed to accelerate the use of cognitive computing in Latin America.

Watson is now being used in a couple of projects in Latin America - mostly in banks - and is learning Japanese, Arabic, English, Spanish and Portuguese.

Founded in 1962, Fapesp's resources come from the transfer of 1% of the tax revenues to which the state is entitled.

In 2015, the entity disbursed 1.2bn reais (US$340mn) to support scientific and technological research projects.

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