MIT and Liberty Mutual Insurance today announced a $25 million, five-year collaboration to support artificial intelligence research in computer vision, computer language understanding, data privacy and security, and risk-aware decision making, among other topics. 

The new collaboration launched today at a meeting between leadership from both institutions, including Liberty Mutual Chairman and CEO David Long and MIT President Rafael L. Reif. The collaboration will span MIT’s five schools and be led by MIT’s Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing through the Quest for Intelligence, MIT’s research initiative focusing on the science and engineering of intelligence. 

“With the Quest, MIT is working to accelerate progress on techniques and technologies that can help countless industries seize the transformative opportunities of AI. Our collaboration with Liberty Mutual will advance research in an interdisciplinary, problem-focused way that will feel very familiar to our community,” says Reif.

“AI tools and technologies are reshaping industry, and insurance is no exception,” says Antonio Torralba, director of the Quest for Intelligence and a professor of computer science and electrical engineering. “We look forward to working with Liberty Mutual to develop methods to make AI systems fair, secure, transparent, and more risk-aware.”

Based in Boston, Liberty Mutual employs 50,000 people globally, holds $126 billion in assets, and is the fourth largest U.S. insurer for property loss and damage, and other liabilities. The collaboration with MIT is designed to produce a range of intelligence tools and technologies. 

“We are excited to embark on this project with MIT and look forward to leveraging their leading AI research to identify, develop, and ultimately operationalize several transformational AI-enabled solutions,” says Long, of Liberty Mutual. “Through this collaboration we intend to challenge the insurance industry status quo and be at the forefront of AI breakthroughs.”

Research topics under discussion include efforts to make decision-making algorithms transparent to customers and regulators, use computer vision to reduce crashes by identifying dangerous driving conditions and roadways, further protect the anonymity and security of personal data, use computer language understanding to analyze insurance claims to speed processing and compensation, and structure investment portfolios.

“We are excited to be working with Liberty Mutual and hope that this represents the first of many such collaborations that will help us advance the science of machine learning and natural intelligence,” says Michael Sipser, dean of the MIT School of Science and the Donner Professor of Mathematics.

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