Friday, April 9, 2021

Pakistani Academics Win Google Research Award For AI Paper on Machine Perception

Dr. Mohsen Ali and Dr. Izza Aftab have won Google Research Scholar Award 2021, according to an announcement on Google AI Blog. Dr. Ali is an assistant professor of computer science at the Information Technology University (ITU) in Lahore, Pakistan while Dr. Aftab is an assistant professor of economics at the same university. 

Google Research Award Recipients Professors Izza Aftab & Mohsen Ali. Source: Izza Aftab


The Google Award is for a joint paper authored by the two Pakistani professors. It is entitled "Is Economics From Afar Domain Generalizable?". This research deals with the challenges of assessing economic indicators through machine learning. The paper shows how such indicators for a region can be developed from satellite imagery and geo-spatial datasets as an alternative to the on-site collection of administrative data that is done annually or biennially. This data helps design policy interventions, and paints a geo-spatial picture of economic well-being in developing countries like Pakistan. The findings from this project can aid governments and businesses.        

"Economics From Afar". Source: Dr. Mohsen Ali

Dr. Izza Aftab's interests include theory and modeling of firm level innovation in developing countries, the Economics of climate change, and role of Big Data in informing Public Policy. Dr. Mohsen Ali's research interests include solving theoretical and practical problems entailing Computer Vision, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning, specifically on the problems related to image co-segmentation, remote sensing, medical imaging and affective computing, according to ITU website.

 Google introduced the Research Scholar Program in March 2020. It is "an effort focused on developing collaborations with new professors and encouraging the formation of long-term relationships with the academic community", according to Google AI Blog. In response to a call to compete for the research award, Google received research papers from faculty who are working on cutting edge research across many research areas in computer science, including machine learning, human-computer interaction, health research, systems and more. Participants represented 50 universities in 15 countries, mainly in America and Europe but a few from Asia as well.   

1 comment:

Fahad said...


Mashallah this is a great news Sir.