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21/06/2019 - 11:13

ANITI - Artificial and Natural Intelligence Toulouse Institute

ANITI - Artificial and Natural Intelligence Toulouse Institute

The interdisciplinary institute in artificial intelligence of Toulouse, named the Artificial and Natural Intelligence Toulouse Institute (ANITI), has been selected to be one of four institutes spearheading research on AI in France. The challenge is to make Toulouse one of the world leaders in artificial intelligence in research, education, innovation and economic development. The strategic application sectors targeted by the project are mobility and transportation, and robotics/cobotics for the industry of the future.

The ambition of the ANITI project is to develop a new generation of artificial intelligence called hybrid AI, combining data-driven machine learning techniques with symbolic and formal methods for expressing properties and constraints and carrying out logical reasoning. This approach will provide better guarantees in terms of reliability, robustness and the ability to explain and interpret the results of the algorithms used, while ensuring social acceptability and economic viability. Such guarantees are required by many applications targeted by the project, such as autonomous vehicles of the future. Starting operations this autumn, ANITI will bring together more than 200 researchers from universities, engineering schools, scientific and technological research organizations, and about thirty companies in the Toulouse region.

Scientific Project

The scientific project is structured around three integrative programs (IPs), which will develop innovative solutions to address challenges raised by our application domains using theoretical advances in core AI scientific areas.

  • Acceptability, Fair representative data for AI

This IP addresses various facets of the acceptability of systems integrating AI algorithms from social, economical, legal or ethical points of view. This includes issues about data that can affect AI algorithms. We will propose new ways of handling data to address data bottlenecks and data biases that can hamper AI systems.

  • Certifiable AI toward autonomous critical Systems

This IP will develop new methods, models and tools based on hybrid AI, to support the design and validation of critical autonomous systems for which strong guarantees are required, (e.g., by certification authorities in aeronautics). This program will strengthen and implement the momentum initiated by the IRT-Saint Exupéry on this topic.

  • Assistants for design, decision, and optimized Industry processes

This IP will develop new AI methods to aid human decisions. This program will design advanced AI assistants to increase the performance of design, decision and industrial production related activities. This will lead to i) the design of cognitive assistants with advanced dialogue and interaction skills, ii) the monitoring of complex systems in order to model their behaviour, predict their evolution, and anticipate corrective actions, and iii) the design of autonomous mobile robots with the ability to interact with humans, cognitively and physically, to perform complex tasks in a collaborative manner.

In total, the project aims to fund more than thirty research chairs, of which about ten would be supported by researchers from international laboratories and universities (e.g. MIT or Brown University in the United States). The project will also promote international mobility and collaboration to attract outstanding students and the best experts to address the challenges tackled by the project.

Education and Training Project

The ambition is to become a world leader in hybrid AI education and to double the number of students trained in AI by 2023. Aniti will start at high school to increase AI awareness among high school students, especially girls. The efforts at the high school level will increase flow of students in undergraduate programs providing mathematical and computer skills at the BA level, one of ANITI’s priorities. AI modules throughout BA programs will be added and new advanced programs will be created. At the Master's and PhD level, Aniti will create a new AI Graduate school, focusing on hybrid AI, with worldwide visibility to attract talented students.

The project will also address the lack and urgent need in industry for AI qualified personnel, by developing apprenticeship programs and devoting significant effort to continuing education. A single portal entry for continuing education for the Toulouse site will be offered, with programs tailored to different levels from managerial awareness to data scientist familiarity even expertise in hybrid AI. The solutions will be adaptable to SMEs as well as big industrial groups. Finally, several actions to disseminate AI scientific culture will be planned, drawing on local strengths.

Economic Development Project

ANITI will set up interfaces with key players in the innovation and technology transfer ecosystem to promote the results from research projects and study the opportunities for exploiting and using these results. The aim is to foster the creation of disruptive technologies paving the way for new economic prospects for partners. The project intends to drive the creation of around one hundred startups for student entrepreneurs, industrial players and academics between now and 2023. Lastly, ANITI will also allocate resources to the transfer of integrative programme results to industrial partners, particularly SMEs, with the support of our partners clusters (Aerospace Valley, etc.).

ANITI is coordinated by the University of Toulouse: Université fédérale Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées within the framework of France's « Investing for the Future – PIA3 » program with the support of the Occitanie Region, the Toulouse Metropole, and the SATT Toulouse Tech Transfer.

+ 50 partners

Actia Automotive, Aerospace Valley, AIRBUS, Altran, Atos Integration, Brainkey, Caisse d’Épargne, Capgemini, CERFACS, CGI, Centre hospitalier universitaire de Toulouse, CLS, CNES, CNRS, Continental, CS Systèmes d’information, EDF, ENAC, Groupe BRL, Groupe Renault, IBM, ICAM, IMT Mines d’Albi, Inra, INSA Toulouse, Inserm, INU CHAMPOLLION, IRD, IRT Saint-Exupéry, ISAE-SUPAERO, IVADO, Latécoère, Liebherr, Linagora, Météo-France, NXP, ONERA, Pierre-Fabre, Quantmetry, Qwant, Scalian, Siemens, Sopra Steria, Syngenta, TBS, Terranis, THALES, Toulouse INP, Toulouse INP-ENIT, Université fédérale Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées, Université Toulouse Capitole, Université Toulouse – Jean Jaurès, Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier.