The Massachusetts Institute of Technology announces what it calls the single largest investment in computing and artificial intelligence by an American academic institution, a $1 billion initiative to help position the U.S. to lead the world in preparing for the rapid evolution of computing and AI.
At its heart will be a new MIT College of Computing, made possible by a $350 million gift from Stephen Schwarzman, chairman, CEO and co-founder of Blackstone, a major global asset manager.
Headquartered in a new building on MIT’s campus, the new college will be an interdisciplinary hub for work in computer science, AI, data science and related fields.
MIT says the college will reorient MIT to bring the power of computing and AI to all fields of study at the university, allowing the future of computing and AI to be shaped by insights from all other disciplines.
It will create 50 faculty positions located both within the college and jointly with other MIT departments, nearly doubling the Cambridge university’s academic capability in computing and AI.
“As computing reshapes our world, MIT intends to help make sure it does so for the good of all,” MIT President L. Rafael Reif says in a statement. “In keeping with the scope of this challenge, we are reshaping MIT.
“There is no more important opportunity or challenge facing our nation than to responsibly harness the power of artificial intelligence so that we remain competitive globally and achieve breakthroughs that will improve our entire society.
“We face fundamental questions about how to ensure that technological advancements benefit all – especially those most vulnerable to the radical changes AI will inevitably bring to the nature of the workforce.”
The college is slated to open in September 2019, with construction of the building for the college scheduled to be completed in 2022.
Ford Foundation President Darren Walker says there is no doubt artificial intelligence and automation will impact every facet of society.
“We must utilize these important technologies to shape our world for the better and harness their power as a force for social good,” Walker says.