U. Michigan Professor Jason Mars Partners With University of Moratuwa in Sri Lanka

New outreach program brings the latest in machine-learning to Sri Lanka's burgeoning tech space

ANN ARBOR, Mich., March 22, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — University of Moratuwa today announced a partnership with Dr. Jason Mars, professor of computer science at University of Michigan and founder of Jaseci Labs, a leading end-to-end open-source technology company for bleeding edge AI. This partnership will provide the latest in AI education to Sri Lankan students marking Mars’ latest outreach efforts to bring AI literacy and education to students around the world.

The partnership comes at a time when fascination with GPT-4 and ChatGPT, generative AI technologies that uses deep learning to produce human-like text, has reached a peak with artificial intelligence definitively poised to be the defining technology of the next decade. “This collaboration will help lay the foundation for a Sri Lankan Silicon Valley, empowering our students to become entrepreneurs and innovators who can create their own technologies and sell them to the world,” states Logeeshan Velmanickam, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Electrical Engineering University of Moratuwa. The eight-week program will teach students how to build sophisticated AI tools on their own in an effort to democratize innovation and bring advancements in AI to the larger world.

“All you need to learn this sophisticated technology is a computer and an inquisitive mind,” said Dr. Jason Mars, Founder and CEO of Jaseci Labs. “With the right direction, young people anywhere in the world can be taught how to build AI products. I’ve always believed there are no borders when it comes to technology and with this program, we can demonstrate why that’s true.”

The partnership with the University of Moratuwa Sri Lanka, widely known as the Stanford of Sri Lanka, comes at a time when the region is experiencing an explosion in its native technology sector. The Sri Lankan IT-BPM industry employs over 80,000 executives and is on track to reach $5 billion in exports by 2022.

The collaboration between Jaseci Labs and the University of Moratuwa stands to supercharge this budding sector and give young Sri Lankans the skills they need to compete in the rapidly expanding world of machine learning and AI.

“The technology underpinning things like Chat-GPT is actually public—it’s the models that are expensive to train,” Mars said. “By cutting those models down to a reasonable size, we can teach people all over the world how to build sophisticated AI products without spending tons of money. This technology deserves to be as widely dispersed and accessible as possible, and by putting the tools to make it in the hands of students across the world, we can speed up the rate of innovation and ensure the spoils of AI are evenly distributed across the planet.”

Last year, Mars ran a similar program in Guyana, with spectacular results: the young engineers who enlisted were able to build incredible products in a matter of months and are now putting their skills to use for companies all over the world.

“Ultimately, we want to develop entrepreneurs and founders in Sri Lanka. We want these young people to create their own technologies and sell them to the world,” Mars said. “The energy and talent is already there—all we need to do is guide them in the right direction.”

Jaseci’s partnership with the University of Moratuwa stands to help upskill Sri Lankan students and empower them to find top-level jobs on the global market while also helping to lay the foundation for a Sri Lankan Silicon Valley. Dr. Jason Mars, CEO and Founder of Jaseci Labs, also recently attended the AI Guest Lecture Series Inauguration Ceremony at the University of Moratuwa.

About University of Moratuwa
University of Moratuwa is one of Sri Lanka’s top public higher education institutions. It prides itself in being a hub of innovation and creativity and the curriculum of the university takes a futuristic approach. Backed by a faculty that is dedicated towards delivering excellence in education, with the right infrastructure in place to facilitate a seamless learning experience, and a research program that has made a significant contribution towards the global knowledge bank, the university is a fully equipped hub in delivering excellence to its students and to the society as a whole.

About Jaseci Labs
Jaseci Labs provides cutting-edge AI that is readily available for use, eliminates the need for devops, streamlines backend development, enables a lone frontend developer to swiftly create backend and AI code, and deploy extensible AI applications. Jason Mars – founder of Jaseci Labs and seasoned entrepreneur with over two decades of industry expertise in helping clients leverage advanced technology. Mars is also a Professor of AI at the University of Michigan where he directs Clarity Lab, a cutting-edge educational hub for such topics as AI, large scale computing, and programming languages.