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Intel pumps research funds into social computing

26 Jun 2012
intel itanium chip

Intel has opened a $12.5m research centre focused on social computing, partnering with a group of leading US universities.

The partnership marks the seventh research lab founded as part of the Intel's Science and Technology programme.

"Complementing Intel's acknowledged leadership in experience-driven innovation, we have formed a multidisciplinary community of Intel, faculty and graduate student researchers from diverse fields to bridge the gap between technical and social disciplines to better advance each others' work," said Intel chief technology officer Justin Rattner.

"This experience-driven approach can also be seen in technologies from across Intel Labs demonstrated here today, as well as our wildly successful inventions of the past. Past Intel Labs research has resulted in tangible products that impact our daily lives and our research today will enrich our future lives."

Intel is partnering with University of California-Irvine, Cornell, Georgia Tech, Indiana University and NYU to research the impact of social computing.

The partnership will delve into social computing research with a mixture of both technical and sociological academics. Intel hopes to find better ways to connect people using digital tools and discover the impact of social computing on the real world.

"Technology is profoundly entangled with our everyday lives. As researchers, we can't get a handle on what's going on by looking at technical factors alone," said UC Irvine professor and research centre co-lead Paul Dourish.

"We have to study them in concert with human, social and cultural aspects."

The company has rolled out $100 million through the programme which looks to encourage research and development in academia. All work done under the programmes banner will be open source, not owned by Intel.

Intel's announcement came at its annual Research@Intel event in which the company showcases its latest R&D developments. This year's lineup included Dynamic Surfaces, a product that would allow consumers to use the wall of their home as a touch-screen.

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James Dohnert

James is a freelance writer and editor. In addition to ClickZ, his work has appeared in publications like V3, The Commonwealth Club,, and Shonen Jump magazine. He studied Journalism at Weber State University.

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