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Here Technologies to fund a $28 million research institute that applies machine learning to geolocation data

Here Technologies, the company behind the popular mapping and location platform, has revealed that it’s investing €25 million ($28 million) in a new machine learning research institute that will crunch geolocation data on an industrial scale. The Institute for Advanced Research in Artificial Intelligence (IARAI), as it will be known, will be based in Vienna, Austria. Here stresses that despite its financial backing, the institute will be an independent entity, led by Dr. Sepp Hochreiter, a professor at Johannes Kepler University’s Institute for Machine Learning; and Dr. David Kreil, a data science lead at Vienna’s Boku University.

Here is one of the world’s major mapping platforms alongside Google Maps and TomTom, emerging as a result of Nokia’s $8 billion acquisition of digital map data company Navteq in 2007. Nokia rebranded Nokia Maps as Here in 2012, before selling the unit for $3 billion to a consortium of German car manufacturers three years later. Though Here does offer some consumer-facing applications of a similar vein to Google Maps, third-party licensing is its core business.
Here hasn’t given any indication as to when the IARAI will be open for business, but when it does, its core raison d’être will be to bring more location awareness to the burgeoning autonomous vehicle industry, enabling more accurate maps that update in real time, improve traffic predictions, and offer municipalities better data for their building projects, says Venture Beat.

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