June 07, 2017

Yahoo! LABS Announces $10 Million Partnership

Yahoo! LABS Announces $10 Million Partnership

Yahoo and Carnegie Mellon University Partner to Advance Personalization and Mobile Technologies

Yahoo! Inc. and Carnegie Mellon University announced a five-year, $10 million partnership highlighted by an industry-first mobile toolkit that will enable CMU researchers to easily experiment with Yahoo’s real-time data services, letting them test new ways that machine learning and interface technologies can improve personalized user experiences.

The InMind Project will be directed at CMU by Dr. Tom Mitchell, Fredkin University Professor of Computer Science and Machine Learning and Head of the Machine Learning Department, and by Dr. Justine Cassell, the Charles M. Geschke Director of the Human-Computer Interaction Institute.

“The InMind program provides unique new opportunities for the outstanding faculty and students at CMU to partner with Yahoo and its talented scientists and engineers to potentially further the frontiers of mobile applications and technologies,” said CMU President Dr. Subra Suresh. “This partnership is a clear demonstration, in the tradition of CMU, of how scholarly scientific research combined with industry relevance and perspectives could advance technologies that have a global social impact.”

Tom Mitchell interview at KDKA.

"Our Region's Business" video interview with Justine Cassell & Tom Mitchell

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with the exceptional faculty and students at Carnegie Mellon, which has established itself as a premier institution for machine learning and user interface technologies,” said Dr. Ron Brachman, Chief Scientist and Head of Yahoo Labs. “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 personalization research and create a better user experience.”

The mobile toolkit serves as the infrastructure for a living laboratory for researchers to explore new approaches to understanding human behavior by using machine learning algorithms to more accurately predict user needs and intentions. It is also expected to enable the development of new personalization techniques and interfaces to provide a more compelling user experience. Members of the CMU community who opt-in to use the experimental mobile software will provide researchers access to real user data and the opportunity to rapidly iterate on the technologies.

The partnership, named Project InMind, also includes a new Yahoo-sponsored fellowship program at CMU. The program will provide financial and research support to School of Computer Science students and faculty members. Yahoo Fellows will have the opportunity to pursue research in disciplines such as machine learning, mobile technologies, human-computer interaction, personalization, novel interaction techniques, and natural language processing, with annual financial support from Yahoo and mentorship from world-class computer scientists at Yahoo Labs and CMU.

“This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for our students and faculty to work directly with a team of leading-edge researchers from Yahoo Labs on technologies that could benefit hundreds of millions of mobile users,” said Dr. Randal E. Bryant, University Professor and Dean of the School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University. “The overall commitment in this new partnership is a testament to our shared desire to advance the science of machine learning, user interfaces, and mobile technologies.”

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article, February 12, 2014