IBM and Meta Launch the AI Alliance with MOC Alliance as Founding Member

December 5, 2023

By Margo Stanton, Hariri Institute for Computing

In a joint announcement this morning, IBM and Meta launched the AI Alliance, an international community of leading technology developers, researchers, and adopters collaborating to advance open, safe, responsible Artificial Intelligence (AI). The Mass Open Cloud (MOC) Alliance, housed at the Boston University Hariri Institute for Computing and Computational Science & Engineering, is a founding member of the AI Alliance.

The aim of the AI Alliance is to foster an open community and enable developers and researchers to accelerate responsible innovation in AI while ensuring scientific rigor, trust, safety, security, diversity, and economic competitiveness. By bringing together leading developers, scientists, academic institutions, companies, and other innovators, the AI Alliance will pool resources and knowledge to address safety concerns, while providing a platform for sharing and developing solutions that fit the needs of researchers, developers, and adopters around the world. 

“The MOC Alliance is delighted to be part of the AI Alliance,” says Orran Krieger, director of the MOC Alliance and professor of electrical & computer engineering and of computer science at Boston University. “The MOC Alliance’s open-source production cloud platform, with all the operations state and telemetry available to enable innovation, make it an exciting match for the AI Alliance’s mission of advancing open, transparent AI. We hope to both be a cost-effective platform for many of the research and non-profit users that are part of the AI Alliance, as well as a place where AI Alliance participants who are developing new tools and platforms can expose their innovation to our large community of existing AI researchers/users.”

MOC Alliance provides open-source production cloud services through the  New England Research Cloud (NERC). The NERC is a production cloud, operated by BU and Harvard Research IT, that supports VMs, containers, S3 storage, and an AI as a service platform. The NERC’s production services are built on the strong foundation of the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC), an intercollegiate high-performance computing facility and joint venture of Boston University, Harvard, MIT, Northeastern, and the University of Massachusetts system.

“The mission of the MOC Alliance, accelerating the pace of discovery and innovation in an open production research-focused cloud, is well suited to advance the goals of the AI Alliance,” says Yannis Paschalidis, director of the Hariri Institute for Computing and Computational Science & Engineering, and Distinguished Professor of Engineering. “By providing cost-effective open cloud services, tools, and space for innovation, the MOC Alliance is built to facilitate collaboration among AI researchers, builders, and adopters.”

Advances in AI technology will change how we live, learn, work and interact with one another. Currently, there are many organizations working independently to advance AI and create new opportunities through the technology. Facilitating more open and transparent innovation through collaboration will help the community innovate faster and more effectively.

A key goal of the AI Alliance is prioritizing safety, diversity, economic opportunity, and benefits to all. Through increased information sharing and transparency, the AI Alliance will identify and mitigate risks in AI products before the products are put into the world. The diverse range of institutions involved in the AI Alliance can help shape the future of AI.

The AI Alliance is action oriented and, as AI evolves, it will reflect the needs and complexities of today’s society. In bringing together a global, diverse community of developers, scientists, academic institutions, companies, and other innovators, the AI Alliance pools knowledge and resources to further advance AI and address safety concerns.

Learn more about the AI Alliance here.

About the MOC Alliance

The MOC Alliance is an active partnership between higher education, medical research centers, government, and industry designed to enable close collaboration between research, development, and operations in a series of interconnected projects.  The goal of this collaboration is to provide predictable low-cost resources and facilitator support for domain researchers, and more broadly, innovation in the public cloud. Housed at the Rafik B. Hariri Institute for Computing and Computational Science & Engineering, the MOC Alliance is operated by Boston University and Harvard University. Learn more about the MOC Alliance here.

About the Hariri Institute

An incubator and convergence accelerator in a university setting, the Rafik B. Hariri Institute for Computing and Computational Science & Engineering at Boston University initiates research convergence and accelerates integrated initiatives with social impact at the nexus of the computational and data sciences. The Institute’s multidisciplinary community consists of more than 400+ faculty affiliates, including thought leaders, problem solvers, scholars, and pioneers, who are leveraging the full power of computing, computational, and data-driven science and engineering to create new knowledge, solve hard problems, and create change on a national and international scale. Learn more about the Hariri Institute here.

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