Max Planck Institute for Informatics and Google are Expanding their Strategic Research Partnership on AI

The Max Planck Institute for Informatics and Google deepen their strategic research partnership. With additional financial support from the U.S. IT company, the "Saarbrücken Research Center for Visual Computing, Interaction and Artificial Intelligence (VIA)", which was only launched in November 2022 at the MPI in Saarbrücken, is establishing a new research area "Vision and Language Models (VLMs)", led by Professor Bernt Schiele. This was presented by the Max Planck Directors Bernt Schiele and Christian Theobalt together with Google representatives to Saarland Minister President, Anke Rehlinger, during her visit to Google's headquarters in London.

Schiele has been Scientific Director at the Max Planck Institute for Informatics and Professor at Saarland University since 2010. He will bring his expertise in computer vision and machine learning to the VIA Center. His team will advance the state of the art in vision and language models (VLMs), with a particular focus on zero-shot learning, self-supervised learning, novel pre-training methods and generative AI. Aspects such as the development of AI security techniques for these models and their application to 3D data will also be part of the planned research activities and collaboration with Google.

Prof. Dr. Christian Theobalt, Scientific Director at the Saarbrücken Max Planck Institute for Informatics, Professor at Saarland University and Founding Director of the VIA Center, says: "I am very pleased that Bernt Schiele, an internationally highly esteemed colleague, is joining the VIA team and will make a significant contribution to our research. The VIA Center has already published numerous top-tier results and is now well on its way to continuing these successes."

Dr. Shahram Izadi, VP & GM of Google AR/XR, said: "We are excited about this extended collaboration with Max Planck VIA and Bernt Schiele, which marks a key step in further advancing Augmented Reality research. "

Saarland Minister President, Anke Rehlinger, who also discussed the opportunities of AI for new jobs with Google representatives during her visit to London, said of the research partnership between the MPI and Google: "Innovation requires exchange and cooperation. The collaboration between Google and the Max Planck Institute for Informatics in Saarbrücken, which is already bearing fruit, also thrives on this. The fact that this relatively new cooperation is already being expanded shows the potential for innovation in Saarland."

The "Saarbrücken Research Center for Visual Computing, Interaction and Artificial Intelligence (VIA)" conducts basic research in pioneering areas of computer graphics, computer vision, and human-machine interaction at the interface of artificial intelligence and machine learning. Google and the Max Planck Institute for Informatics implement joint research projects at VIA and publish about them. The center works closely with Saarland University and the numerous internationally renowned computer science research institutions on the Saarland Informatics Campus. The Saarbrücken location is one of the world's leaders in the areas of computer graphics, computer vision, human-machine interaction, and artificial intelligence.

In the short period of its existence, scientists from the Saarbrücken Research Center for Visual Computing, Interaction and Artificial Intelligence have published at leading global computer science conferences and, for example, have been able to make a fundamental contribution to the explainability of image-generating artificial intelligences with a research project that received much attention in the international press.

For further information, please visit:
https://www.via-center.science

About Max Planck Institute for Informatics

The Max Planck Institute for Informatics in Saarbrücken is one of the world’s leading research institutes in computer science. Since the Institute’s establishment in 1990, it has researched the mathematical foundations of information technology in the areas of algorithms and complexity as well as logic of programming. At the same time, researchers at the Institute have developed new algorithms for various application areas such as databases and information systems, program verification, and bioinformatics. Basic research in visual computing, i.e., computer graphics and computer vision, at the intersection of artificial intelligence and machine learning, has also become an important focus of the Institute. With publications at the highest level and the education of excellent young researchers, the MPI for Informatics plays a major part in advancing basic research in computer science.

About Google

Google's mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. Through products and platforms like Search, Maps, Gmail, Android, Google Play, Google Cloud, Chrome, and YouTube, Google plays a meaningful role in the daily lives of billions of people and has become one of the most widely-known companies in the world. Google is a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc.

About Saarland Informatics Campus

900 scientists (including 400 PhD students) and approx. 2500 students from more than 80 nations make the Saarland Informatics Campus (SIC) one of the leading locations for computer science in Germany and Europe. Four world-renowned research institutes, namely the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), the Max Planck Institute for Informatics, the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems, and the Center for Bioinformatics, along with Saarland University and its three departments and 24 degree programs, together cover the entire spectrum of computer science.

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