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CSAIL & Nokia: Dial “C” for Collaboration
Photo: Jason Dorfman
Over the past four decades, CSAIL has partnered with numerous companies. Yet none of them have been quite like the Nokia and CSAIL collaboration known as Mobile Ecosystem 2012. In fact, CSAIL has worked with Nokia a number of times in the past, yet the current effort is still distinct. According to Arvind, Johnson Professor of Computer Science and Engineering and co-director of the partnership with Jamey Hicks of the Nokia Research Center Cambridge (NRCC), the collaboration enables the parties to accomplish things that neither would be able to do if working alone.
Working together for the benefit of all “This goes back to the idea that the collaboration with Nokia makes things possible that neither of us could accomplish by ourselves,” says Arvind. “We’re able to show them technical possibilities, and they can identify and help us test ways they can be applied. For example, Nokia has a database where customer service issues are stored. Combining our technologies with natural language processing, a Nokia representative could ask his phone to summarize all issues relating to battery life, and get a complete and accurate response very quickly.”
If current projects prove commercializable, Nokia phone users may someday be able to purchase items with a credit card simply by pressing a button on the phone; find specific files on their home and work computers through their phone – even if they can’t recall on which device the information they seek resides; and remotely deactivate a lost unit to ensure that secure information doesn’t end up in the wrong hands. The collaboration is now in the third year of a three-year agreement, and both Arvind and Hicks are confident the parties will renew their commitment.