Photo courtesy of Johns Hopkins University.

Johns Hopkins University and Amazon are partnering on a new initiative to make advancements in artificial intelligence (AI).

The JHU + Amazon Initiative for Interactive AI (AI2AI) will focus on machine learning, computer vision, natural language understanding, and speech processing.

The five-year, Amazon-funded initiative will support fellowships, collaborative research projects led by Hopkins faculty, and research events and activities to accelerate AI research in the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. region.

“Hopkins is already renowned for its pioneering work in these areas of AI, and working with Amazon researchers will accelerate the timetable for the next big strides,” said Sanjeev Khudanpur, an associate professor at Hopkins’ Whiting School of Engineering, in a statement.

“AI has tremendous potential to enhance human abilities, and to reach it, AI of the future will interact with humans the same way we naturally interact with each other,” he said.

The initiative will build on Hopkins’ existing AI research at centers such as the Mathematical Institute for Data Science, Center for Imaging Science, and Laboratory for Computational Sensing and Robotics.

“Computer vision and machine learning are transforming the way in which humans shop, share content, and interact with each other,” said René Vidal, a professor and director of the Mathematical Institute for Data Science, in a statement.

“This partnership will lead to new collaborations between JHU and Amazon scientists that will help translate cutting-edge advances in deep learning and visual recognition into algorithms that help humans interact with the world,” he said.