The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is partnering with a Chinese artificial intelligence company as it begins to research breakthroughs that can impact healthcare, imaging and other technologies to improve the human condition.

MIT says the alliance with Beijing-based SenseTime is the first in its MIT Intelligence Quest, launched in February. The technology school’s initiative seeks to leverage its strengths in brain and cognitive science and computer science to advance research into human and machine intelligence.

In particular, the MIT-SenseTime Alliance on Artificial Intelligence, as it is formally called, expects to study areas such as medical imaging, robotics, human intelligence-inspired algorithms and computer vision.

MIT executives say an essential element of its MIT Intelligent Quest initiative is forging connections with innovative companies and individuals who share MIT’s passion for work in intelligence.

SenseTime was founded by MIT alumnus Xiao-ou Tang and specializes in computer vision and deep learning technologies. The company says SenseTime has worked with more than 400 leading customers and partners to solve real-world problems. Among its current projects are intelligent medical treatment, deep learning hardware and optimization and autonomous driving.

MIT operates a Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, MIT Media Lab, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Center for Brains, Minds and Machines and the MIT Institute for Data, Systems and Society.

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