Collaborating with Amazon for Life-Changing Solutions

Spring 2022

Amazon and Johns Hopkins University are teaming up to harness the power of artificial intelligence. The new JHU + Amazon Initiative for Interactive AI, housed in the Whiting School of Engineering and involving multiple Whiting School-based research centers and institutes, will leverage Johns Hopkins’ world-class expertise in interactive AI to build groundbreaking technologies in machine learning, computer vision, natural language understanding, and speech processing. 

Sanjeev Khudanpur, an expert in these areas and associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, will serve as the initiative’s founding director. “Hopkins is already renowned for its pioneering work in these areas of AI, and working with Amazon researchers will accelerate the timetable for the next big strides. I often compare humans and AI to Luke Skywalker and R2-D2 in Star Wars: They’re able to accomplish amazing feats in a tiny X-wing fighter because they interact effectively to align their complementary strengths,” Khudanpur says. 

Ed Schlesinger, Benjamin T. Rome Dean of the Whiting School of Engineering, says: “We are very excited to work with Amazon. We value the challenges they bring to us and the life-changing potential of the solutions we will create together.” 

Prem Natarajan, Amazon’s Alexa AI vice president of natural language understanding, says the partnership underscores Amazon’s commitment to addressing the greatest challenges in AI. “This initiative brings together the top talent at Amazon and Johns Hopkins. These advances will power the next generation of interactive AI experiences across a wide variety of domains—from home productivity to entertainment to health.”