NEWS13 February 2014

Yahoo, Carnegie Mellon agree $10m mobile research partnership

News North America Technology

US — Yahoo and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) have agreed a $10m, five-year partnership to test new ways that machine learning and interface technologies can improve personalised user experiences.

Called Project InMind, the partnership hands CMU researchers access to a “mobile toolkit” which will allow them to experiment with Yahoo’s real-time data services.

The partners expect the mobile toolkit to serves as “the infrastructure for a living laboratory for researchers to explore new approaches to understanding human behaviour by using machine learning algorithms to more accurately predict user needs and intentions”. 

“It is also expected to enable the development of new personalisation techniques and interfaces to provide a more compelling user experience,” according to a statement.

The project will be directed at CMU by Tom Mitchell, Fredkin University professor of computer science and machine learning and head of the machine learning department, and by Justine Cassell, the Charles M. Geschke director of the Human-Computer Interaction Institute.

Ron Brachman, chief scientist and head of Yahoo Labs, said: “By creating a way for Carnegie Mellon University researchers to work directly with Yahoo software and infrastructure, we hope to speed up the pace of mobile and personalisation research and create a better user experience.”

The partnership also includes a new Yahoo-sponsored fellowship programme at CMU, which will provide financial and research support to computer science students and faculty members.

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