Artificial Intelligence

New MIT College of Computing to Boost AI Research Across the Institution

digital brain

A new College of Computing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will focus on the global opportunities and challenges of computing and the rise of artificial intelligence. The Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing, made possible by a $350 million gift from Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman, will nearly double MIT's academic capabilities in computing and AI, adding 50 new faculty positions within the college and jointly with other departments across the institution.

The college will give MIT's five schools a shared infrastructure for collaborative education, research and innovation in computing and AI. A key goal: to teach all MIT students the foundations of computing broadly and through integrated curricula. And on the research side, the college will also enable advances in AI research in a wide range of MIT departments, labs, centers and initiatives, as well as build on the research already taking place through the MIT-IBM Watson Lab.

"The MIT Schwarzman College of Computing will constitute both a global center for computing research and education, and an intellectual foundry for powerful new AI tools," said MIT President L. Rafael Reif. "Just as important, the College will equip students and researchers in any discipline to use computing and AI to advance their disciplines and vice-versa, as well as to think critically about the human impact of their work."

The college will also host forums to engage national leaders from all fields to examine the anticipated outcomes of advances in AI and machine learning and to help shape policies surrounding the ethics of AI. Other planned initiatives include undergraduate research opportunities, grade fellowships in ethics and AI, a seed-grant program for faculty, and more.

"Advances in computing — and in AI in particular — have increasing power to alter the fabric of society," commented Schwarzman. "But left unchecked, these technologies could ultimately hurt more people than they help. We need to do everything we can to ensure all Americans can share in AI's development. Universities are best positioned for fostering an environment in which everyone can embrace — not fear — the transformations ahead."

The College of Computing is scheduled to open in Sept. 2019, with a new building for the college slated for completion in 2022. A new deanship will also be established for the college. More information about the MIT College of Computing can be found here.

About the Author

Sara Friedman is a reporter/producer for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe covering education policy and a wide range of other public-sector IT topics.

Friedman is a graduate of Ithaca College, where she studied journalism, politics and international communications.

Friedman can be contacted at sfriedman@1105media.com or follow her on Twitter @SaraEFriedman.

Click here for previous articles by Friedman.


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