On Sept. 14, Zhejiang University (ZJU) announced the Convergence Research Project for Brain Research and Artificial Intelligence (AI), referred to as Intelligence Convergence (IC). This is the first project launched in the Innovation 2030，a key university-wide strategic framework to advance the construction of “Double First-Class” Initiative. Rooted in the broad spectrum of disciplines of the institution, ZJU IC will explore the convergence and integration between brain research and AI，as well as accelerate the innovation and development of natural sciences and humanities.
The quest of brain research is to uncover the nature of brain cognition, consciousness and intelligence. AI is committed to the realization of machine-borne intelligence. Brain research employs AI to investigate the correspondence and feedback connections between brain functions and its structures, while AI realizes machine intelligence and its applications on the basis of human cognition mechanisms. The development of these two fields are undergoing continuous trend of crossvergence and convergence.
Centering on these two areas -human intelligence and machine intelligence-, ZJU IC will promote their cross exploration and deep integration to deliver great technological innovations, address complex societal issues, reshape the national industrial system and enhance China’s core competitiveness. Through ZJU Intelligence Convergence, our scientific understanding of the nature of intelligence will be broadened and the exploitation of brain functions expanded. Technologically, the fruits from ZJU IC will be extensively applied in areas, such as diagnosis and therapy for brain diseases, smart healthcare, smart city, digital economy and education, to advance the development of smart industry and healthcare.
The Project draws on the academic prowess of ZJU in brain research and AI, backed by strong research infrastructure and our renowned experts and young talented faculty in neuroscience, cognitive science，AI, computer science，control science, nanomaterials, life science, clinic medicine and psychological science. ZJU IC will mainly power the evolution of several scientific frontiers, such as brain and cognition research, next generation AI and human-machine interface. The convergence research between brain research+ and AI+ strives for major breakthroughs in basic theories and technologies that propel the shift of research paradigm and produce disruptive innovation for the benefits of the society.
The future implementation of ZJU IC will be integrated into an inclusive and dynamic innovation ecosystem. Our faculty and students with diverse background will participate in and thrive with the IC. Administrative structures that foster collaborative research and applications are already in place to strengthen the cross-disciplinary interactions and promote efficiency. With a shared sense of purpose, ZJU’s broad partnerships across the globe and alumni network will be engaged together to forward the progress of Intelligence Convergence.