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Pakistani and Turkish academics are working together to tackle common problems with AI

Collaborative AI projects to tackle common problems

Pakistani and Turkish scientists have embarked on joint projects to tackle shared problems using emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI). This collaboration stems from an agreement between Pakistan’s Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology (GIKI) and Ondokuz Mayis University in Turkiye’s Black Sea province of Samsun.

Formalize the partnership

In January, the two institutions virtually signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). This led to the first formal visit to the Turkish university by Masroor Hussain, head of GIKI’s Department of Computer Engineering and Data Science. During this visit, four to five potential collaborative projects using AI in computer and agricultural engineering were identified.

Origin of the collaboration

The joint project was initiated by Agha Adeel Saadat, an American of Pakistani descent. Agha visited several Turkish cities together with two friends before establishing the university collaboration. “This partnership provides us with exciting opportunities for international collaboration and the development of commercially viable solutions to address local challenges,” Hussain told Anadolu.

Emphasis on exchange and experience

Ilkay Erken, director of international collaborations at Ondokuz Mayis University, emphasized that the MoU serves as an overarching protocol for the exchange of students and faculty between departments. “We plan to start these exchanges from the upcoming academic session in September and expect some results next year,” Erken said.

Bridging technology and culture

Agha emphasized the importance of connections in the digital age for understanding cultures and traditions. “Collaboration in science and technology is a powerful way to achieve this,” he explained. Emerging technologies enable Pakistani and Turkish academia to collaborate in solving common problems, thereby strengthening ties.

Focus on language models

Hussain said the collaboration aims to develop Large Language Models (LLMs) to enable seamless digital translation between Urdu and Turkish. “These LLMs will bridge the language barrier, which is the main hurdle we are currently facing,” he noted. Agha agreed, saying this collaboration will address shared challenges and promote a more integrated regional community.

Support and financing

The projects are expected to receive funding from the universities, with additional support from the Türkiye Scientific and Technological Research Council (TUBITAK) and the Pakistan Science Foundation.

Strategic location and shared values

Agha explained the choice of the Turkish university and the Pakistani institute for cooperation. “Connectivity between the Black Sea region and Pakistan is limited, but the people are hospitable and share cultural values ​​with Pakistan,” he said. This collaboration marks a significant step in leveraging AI to solve common problems, enhancing both technological and cultural ties between Pakistan and Turkiye.

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