MCB faculty Venki Murthy has been named a primary investigator in a new joint project between Harvard’s Center for Brain Science, where Murthy serves as Paul J. Finnegan Family Director of the center, and NTT Research, Inc.’s PHI Lab (Physics and Informatics Laboratories).
According to their website, PHI Lab’s mission is to “to rethink “computation” within the fundamental principles of quantum physics and brain science and to develop hardware and software simultaneously.” The new joint project with the Center for Brain Sciences is the latest in a string of collaborations with scientists in basic research.
“I am very excited about this collaborative project with NTT Research and their research scientist, Gautam Reddy,” says Murthy. “This joint project will allow us to expand on our work on neural circuits and behavior in mice to thinking about biologically-inspired algorithms for navigation by intelligent agents more generally. I am particularly enthusiastic about this collaboration since Gautam will bring his strong theoretical and computational insights. This new direction for us is timely, given the massive interest in many quarters in the relation between animal and machine intelligence, as evidenced by Harvard’s own new Kempner Institute.”
Murthy is also a member of the steering committee of the recently-launched Kempner Institute for Natural and Artificial Intelligence. Funded by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), the Kemper Institute is tasked with studying the mechanisms that underpin intelligence and adapting those mechanisms for use in AI and computational systems. Neurobiology labs like Murthy’s will be a key part of both the Kempner Institute and projects such as the new CBS-NTT Research collaboration.