The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH) has opened a new research center for Artificial Intelligence. This is also intended to become an incubator for start-ups. The Managing Director of the new center is Alexander Ilic, who was previously National Head of Magic Leap Switzerland.



With its new ETH AI Center, ETH Zurich has created an innovative research center for Artificial Intelligence (AI). According to a press release, this is to be promoted by a core team of 29 professors from seven different departments. Moreover, a group of fellows will work out of the new center. These are select, international talents supported by way of a scholarship.

Managing Director of the new center is Alexander Ilic, who previously headed up Magic Leap Switzerland. The US company is known for its Mixed Reality goggles. In 2017, Magic Leap acquired Dacuda, a start-up founded by Ilic as a spin-off from ETH Zurich.

The ETH AI Center is intended to develop the foundations for new AI applications and work in conjunction with businesses. Moreover, the plan is for the center to become a start-up incubator in the field of AI. In an Open Lab, it should also facilitate joint research projects with international experts. To this end, the center will become part of the European AI research network ELLIS.

One of its tasks will also be to “intensify interdisciplinary dialogue with business, politics and society through the innovative and trust-​building advancement of artificial intelligence”, comments Detlef Günther, Vice President for Research at ETH Zurich. 

ETH researchers have already developed numerous AI applications that are being used across various sectors. One of its most recent developments is an AI app that is able to predict the onset of jaundice in new-born babies 48 hours before the first symptoms appear. This is of major significance due to the fact that with ever shorter hospital stays after birth, symptoms may then only emerge when parents have already returned home.

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