Intelligent Computer Systems Research Institute

Areas of Focus

Research Interests

The Institute has four major research interests: The Validation and Verification of Intelligent Systems; The Theory and Role of Blockchain; Emergent Technologies, and Ethics of Systems and Human Interaction. These four areas intersect uniquely.

Validation and Verification of Intelligent Systems

Research Lead: Robert Plant, PhD
The validation of a system, ensuring it meets the needs of the use function, and the verification, confirming that the system executes as per the design specification, are foundational to all software. The role of V&V in Intelligent Systems is fundamental to their use. Ensuring V&V in AI is particularly challenging compared to traditional enterprise or safety-critical systems that rely on ‘hard-wired’ processes.
The ICSRI has been a leader in V&V since the 1990’s, developing frameworks for correctness within symbolic systems. More recently, focus has shifted to Machine Learning and Large Language Models, known for intelligent performance but also noted for their fragility. Consequently, AI researchers are exploring the integration of Neural models with Symbolic models, aiming to increase performance and reduce development overheads. This integration is a dynamic area of V&V research, as members of the Institute aim to enhance the understanding of risk error in Hybrid AI systems.

Theory and Application of Blockchain

Research Lead: Ola Henfridsson, PhD
Blockchain technologies have evolved into a global infrastructure, comprising tokens, miners, smart contracts, and regulation. Located at the Miami Herbert Business School, University of Miami, the Institute capitalizes on its South Florida location, a hub of Blockchain and FinTech activity. Leveraging insights from practitioners and fellow academics, the Institute’s members focus on developing theoretical frameworks and conducting case study research on Blockchain technology. The Institute organized the first research conference on “Business of Blockchain Technology” in 2022, with the second planned for May 2024.

Emerging Technologies

Research Lead: Kevin Hong, PhD
In the realm of Intelligent digital systems, the Institute’s members dedicate themselves to theorizing, designing, and empirically evaluating these systems. Areas such as Digital Platforms are key, given the growth of platform businesses like Facebook, Spotify, Reddit, and Dating Apps. Researchers examine phenomena such as incentives, information asymmetries, algorithms, and disclosures within platforms to benefit operators, service providers, consumers, and society. Additionally, the Institute focuses on AI's implications for business, workforce, education, and healthcare. This includes applications of machine learning techniques and strategic adoption of emerging technologies. Other areas of interest include Quantum Computing, Genetic DNA Computing, and Distributed Computing.

Ethics of Systems and Human Interaction

Research Lead: Stuart L. Pardau, J.D
Central to human-centric computing is the ethical basis of systems, their use, and applicability. With a strong tradition in business ethics research, the Miami Herbert Business School continues to explore AI systems within the context of law, business utility, and labor economics. Key questions include: "Will the AI-centered job search and application process be ‘fair and accurate’?" and "Will I lose my job to AI?". These pressing issues are central to the study of ethics in systems and human interaction. More broadly, ethical dilemmas like AI decision-making for autonomous vehicles or AI "taking over" power grids or nuclear arsenals, once fictional, are now urgent realities. Thus, the research and study of ethics in systems and human interaction have never been more vital.