Amazon and the Max Planck Society today announced the establishment of the first German Science Hub in Tübingen. The main goal of this science cooperation is to advance research in Germany in subfields of artificial intelligence (AI), in particular causality, computer vision and machine learning, to develop secure and trustworthy concepts for the future and thus to strengthen Germany as a technology location. Amazon is providing nearly 700,000 euros for this purpose in the first year. The cooperation is initially scheduled to run for five years.
The framework agreement between the two parties lays the foundation for simplified free research collaborations, reduces administrative hurdles and regulates intellectual property issues. It initially includes the four Max Planck Institutes for Intelligent Systems, for Software Systems, for Informatics and for Biological Cybernetics, and is open to other Max Planck Institutes.
As part of the cooperation, Amazon supports the financing and implementation of research projects as well as the education and training of talented doctoral students. In addition, scientists from the Max Planck Society are given the opportunity to work at Amazon in the form of a part-time job, thereby gaining deeper insights into application-related research that will benefit their academic work. The collaboration of interdisciplinary researchers from business and academia brings together diverse perspectives and practices that will drive innovation.
First projects on avatar generation and AI and causality
The first projects on which researchers from Amazon and the Max Planck Society are working together have already been planned: In a project by Amazon Fashion and the Max Planck Institute for Informatics in Saarbrücken, a digital 3D image of a person is to be created in order to quickly capture their size and body shape in different clothing. The challenge so far is to be able to distinguish the clothes from the body. This improves the virtual shopping experience, for example, and thus helps to avoid returns.