UMD Hosts Industrial AI Forum

UMD Hosts Industrial AI Forum

UMD Hosts Industrial AI Forum

Clark Distinguished Chair Jay Lee, director of the Industrial AI Center, addressed the Industrial AI Forum on Tuesday (December 28).
Clark Distinguished Chair Jay Lee, director of the Industrial AI Center, addressed the Industrial AI Forum on Tuesday (December 28).

How is artificial intelligence (AI) reshaping industry, and what needs to be done to deliver fully on its potential? A landmark event at the University of Maryland’s A. James Clark School of Engineering provided an opportunity to address these questions.

The Industrial Artificial Intelligence Forum, held on Tuesday (November 28) drew representatives of academia, industry, government, non-profit agencies, and international organizations, including the Brookings Institution, Intel, McKinsey and Company, Mitsubishi, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the National Science Foundation, NVIDIA, and the World Economic Forum. During moderated panel discussions, presentations, and poster sessions, they shared ideas about the development and deployment of industrial AI systems, the challenges involved, and the standards being implemented to guide the transition, among other topics.

The event also showcased the Industrial AI Center, a pioneering research and educational hub now housed at the Clark School’s mechanical engineering department.

Clark Distinguished Chair Jay Lee, who joined the UMD mechanical engineering faculty in 2022,  is at the helm of the center, and has been spearheading the development of an Industrial AI Data Foundry intended to provide the robust, industry-specific data foundation needed to support AI applications with speed, scale, and systematic discipline.

“Historically, AI has focused on data in and of itself—that is, on bringing in large amounts of data and then using it to train the machine," Lee said. "In the context of industry, though, we need to do more than that. We need to ensure that the data is useful and usable, that it is relevant to the context and the purpose, and that it’s sufficient and high-quality data.”

Panel discussions focused, respectively, on government, global, and industry perspectives regarding AI, and on research highlights in the field of industrial AI. Safety and national security concerns were also addressed.

In a forum session moderated by UMD Distinguished University Professor Ming C. Lin, the directors and heads of UMD centers conducting AI-related research detailed ongoing and future areas of research. 

Presenters in this session included UMD civil and environmental engineering chair Nii Attoh-Okine, who directs the Digital Cyber and Railway Engineering Operations Center (DCREOC); Michael H. Azarian, research scientist at the Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering;  Cinzia Cirillo, interim director of the Maryland Transportation Institute; Katrina Groth, associate director of the Center for Risk and Reliability; Clark Distinguished Chair Deb Niemeier, director of the Center for Disaster Resilience; Maryland Robotics Center Director Derek Paley; and Institute for Systems Research director Ankur Srivastava.

Samuel Graham, Jr., dean of the Clark School, and Amitabh Varshney, dean of the college of computer, mathematics, and natural sciences, delivered opening remarks at the event along with UMD mechanical engineering chair Balakumar Balachandran. The forum was followed on November 29 by a meeting of the Industrial Advisory Board, which includes Industrial AI Center members and pending members.

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“Historically, AI has focused on data in and of itself—that is, on bringing in large amounts of data and then using it to train the machine. In the context of industry, though, we need to do more than that. We need to ensure that the data is useful and usable, that it is relevant to the context and the purpose, and that it’s sufficient and high-quality data.”

Clark Distinguished Chair and Industrial AI Center Director Jay Lee.



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