C4AI Center for Artificial Intelligence

Mission:

To produce advanced research in Artificial Intelligence in Brazil, disseminate and debate its main results, train students and professionals, and transfer the technology to society.

Vision:

To be a world-class center of excellence in Artificial Intelligence and an essential organization for the scientific community and the society in Brazil.

The Center for Artificial Intelligence (C4AI) of the University of São Paulo, sponsored by IBM and FAPESP, is committed to state-of-art research in Artificial Intelligence (AI), exploring both foundational issues and applied research. The C4AI also supports studies on the social and economic impact of AI and carries activities aimed at technology transfer and knowledge diffusion, looking for ways to improve human well- being and to increase diversity and inclusion.

The C4AI was established in 2020 through a large grant by IBM and FAPESP. The host institution is the Universidade de São Paulo, operating with partnering institutions ITA, PUC-SP and FEI. The Universidade de São Paulo matches the funding by supporting personnel and providing space for the C4AI activities.

The C4AI is headquartered at InovaUSP, a space for multidisciplinary research and innovation at the heart of the Butantã campus of the Universidade de São Paulo. A second facility is located at the ICMC-USP in São Carlos.

The C4AI is based on the belief that the next level of AI performance can only be attained by emphasizing the combination of machine learning, decision making, knowledge representation and reasoning, and also by increasing collaboration between these core areas and applications. The connection between core AI research and application areas works both ways: the core AI research addresses large scale problems in the selected application areas and is informed by the scale challenges in those application areas.

The C4AI is a member of IBM’s AI Horizons Network (AIHN), created in 2016 to promote collaboration amongst leading universities around the world to accelerate the research and applications of AI.

The C4AI is part of the Engineering Research Centers Program of FAPESP where long-term funding is directed to key broad themes.

Research activities in the C4AI are organized around five Great Challenges that combine fundamental aspects of artificial intelligence with applications in selected fields such as agribusiness, climate, and health. The current challenges are:

  1. NLP 2 - Resources to Bring NLP of Portuguese to State-of-Art
  2. KEML – Knowledge-Enhanced Machine Learning for Reasoning on Ocean Data
  3. AgriBio - Causal Multicriteria Decision Making in Food Production Networks
  4. GOML - Graph-Oriented Machine Learning for Stroke Diagnosis and Rehabilitation
  5. AI Humanity - AI in Emerging Countries: Public Policies and the Future of Work

In addition, the C4AI has an Outreach team which looks at technology dissemination and education of AI within society. The C4AI provides educational content and tailor-made training material related to AI technology and has special programs aiming at diversity and inclusion.

Also, the C4AI has an Impact team aiming to foster the use of AI in enterprises and the growth and creation of AI technology providers in Brazil. The goal is to become an active player in the AI ecosystem and contribute to its advancement by removing barriers and promoting open source and data.

The C4AI is also establishing three advisory boards to help it achieve its goals and strive for excellence: the International Scientific board, to evaluate the quality of the scientific production of the center; the Industry and Society board, to improve the connection and synergy with the economic and societal ecosystem; and the Diversity and Inclusion board, to address the under-representation of specific groups in AI.