January 10, 2022
Oakland University Professor Khalid Malik has been awarded $92,500 by the Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization (MTRAC) Innovation Hub for Advanced Computing for his work on an Anti-Deep Fake technology and Deep Forgery Detector, which incorporates Deep Learning, Knowledge Graphs, and Natural Language Processing (NLP) technologies to detect visual deepfakes, as well as voice cloning.
“This funding will be quite helpful to take our current research work funded by the National Science Foundation to the next level,” said Malik, an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Oakland University. “Particularly, it will help us to focus more on translational aspects of our research.”
Dr. Malik’s project aims to develop a unified tool, a Deep Forgery Detector (DFD), to detect various audio-visual forgeries, including various types of deepfakes, that are used in the manipulation and/or falsification of digital multimedia.
“The value proposition of DFD development is its interdisciplinary approach that cuts across multiple areas: cyber security, Machine/Deep Learning, NLP, Knowledge Graphs, etc.,” Malik said. “This will provide a high impact across broad areas of forensic examination of multimedia evidence.”
The project was one of four selected by the MTRAC Innovation Hub for Advanced Computing and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to receive a combined $370,000 in funding awarded to researchers from Oakland University, Michigan Technological University, and Northern Michigan University. The projects aim to tackle Deep Tech opportunities in high impact sectors, such as Anti-Deep Fake technology, AI-based decision support, and next generation computing.
“We are excited to see impressive disruptive innovations and participation from so many Michigan universities for the third year of the program,” said Edward Kim, program director of MTRAC Innovation Hub for Advanced Computing. “The third cohort awardees are the proof that Deep Tech research are thriving in every Michigan research institution.
“The MTRAC Advanced Computing Innovation Hub is proud to be the earliest lab-to-market support platform dedicated for the innovators tackling some of the world’s greatest challenges,” Kim added.
Researchers presented their proposals to an oversight committee composed of leading technologists, successful tech entrepreneurs, industry partners and venture capitalists with a track record of commercializing and investing in frontier technologies. In addition to funding, the researchers will receive valuable mentorship support from the committee members as their projects progress toward commercialization.
“Although a significant amount of research is focused on deep tech innovations, additional capital and support for innovators are needed to help accelerate commercialization of these impressive technologies in Michigan,” said Doug Neal, managing director and co-founder of eLab Ventures and an oversight committee member.
“Working on transformative frontier technology requires risk taking and collaboration,” Neal said. “I applaud the MEDC and MTRAC Innovation Hub for Advanced Computing for providing very early-stage de-risking funds as well as a platform to foster collaboration across multiple sectors and industries.”
The four projects funded by the hub focus on transformational innovations that have the potential to bring disruptive solutions to the market in their respective fields. In addition to Dr. Malik’s work, funded projects include:
• A novel cooling technology that can deliver 2-3x cooling capacity for high powered CPUs and GPUs that enable AI and other Deep Tech innovations.
• An algorithm based on evolutionary computation that can evaluate every possible outcome in parallel to minimize substrate material waste.
• An AI-based noncontact sensing technology called Super-Resolution Acoustic Imaging (SURE-AI). The innovation can detect micro-defects in critical structures such as aircraft, bridges, and wind turbines.
“We are committed to fostering talent and technology commercialization within our state at the research level by creating collaboration opportunities that ultimately strengthen our entrepreneurial ecosystem and put Michigan at the forefront of the innovative technologies market,” said Denise Graves, university relations director at the MEDC. “While these research projects are still in their early stages, they show great promise. The funds and mentorship they receive from the MTRAC program are an important step to take these projects from concept to commercialization.”
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Oakland University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, a regional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education