Open-source oriented RISELab emerges at UC Berkeley to make apps smarter & more secure

5-year collaborative research lab taking open source approach, backed by Amazon Web Services, Google, IBM, VMware and more

UC Berkeley on Monday launched a five-year research collaborative dubbed RISELab that will focus on enabling apps and machines that can interact with the environment around them securely and in real-time.

The RISELab (Real-time Intelligence with Secure Execution) is backed by a slew of big name tech and financial firms: Amazon Web Services, Ant Financial, Capital One, Ericsson, GE Digital, Google, Huawei, Intel, IBM, Microsoft and VMWare. 

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RISELab succeeds AMPLab, which focused on the intersection of Algorithms, Machines and People, with projects in areas such as cloud computing, crowdsourcing and machine learning. Among its claims to fame: open source projects such as Apache Spark and startup Alluxio (formerly Tachyon), which offers a memory-centric distributed storage system.

RISELab is led by Ion Stoica, co-founder of Apache Spark cloud company Databricks and another startup called Conviva. The lab’s mission is to tackle “a longstanding grand challenge in computing: to enable machines to rapidly take intelligent actions based on real-time data and context from the world around them. This technology has applications wherever computing decisions need to interact with the world in real time, ranging from earthquake warning systems, to coordinating fleets of self-driving cars and drones, to cybersecurity and real-time financial services,” he said in a statement. Stoica actually spoke publicly about RISELab as far back as October.

Among the projects with funky names in the works at RISELab: Allegro (analysis and rewriting tool for relational queries), Arx (rich database system that encrypts data) and Clipper (general-purpose, low-latency prediction serving system).

RISELab is housed in Soda Hall in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences within the College of Engineering. 

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