MIT is investing $1 billion in an AI college

Since the beginning of the AI ​​boom in the early 2010s, there has been a corresponding drought in AI developers and researchers with talent. The way to solve this is to educate more of them, and today, MIT announced a $ 1 billion initiative to do just that: it will establish a new computer school to train the next generation of machine learning experts.

It is important to note that the university is not only on the training of artificial intelligence skills. Instead, it will focus on what MIT president L. Rafael Reif calls "the bilinguals of the future." With that, it refers to students in fields such as biology, chemistry, physics, politics, history and linguistics who also know how to apply machine learning to these disciplines. (Presumably, Reif feels safe borrowing the term "bilingual" because, in the future, AI will do all the translation anyway.)

Two-thirds of the $ 1 planned The one billion dollar commitment has so far been raised, with $ 350 million coming from Stephen A. Schwarzman, CEO of private equity firm Blackstone. The new school will be named after Schwarzman, and will include 50 new teaching positions, half of which will focus exclusively on information technology, while the rest are jointly designated by the school and other MIT departments. The start of the university is scheduled for September 2019, and its new building is scheduled to be completed in 2022.

MIT is also considering the university as an ethically minded company; one of its declared objectives is to investigate "ethical considerations relevant to computing and artificial intelligence". It is a frequent criticism of contemporary artificial intelligence efforts that researchers sometimes ignore the history and lessons of the fields they are trying to "interrupt". Greater collaboration should help.

"As computing reconfigures our world, MIT aims to help ensure that it does so for the good of all," Reif said in a press release. "The MIT Schwarzman College of Computing will be a global center for computer research and education, and an intellectual foundry for new and powerful artificial intelligence tools. Equally important, the College will equip students and researchers in any discipline to use computer science and artificial intelligence to advance their disciplines and vice versa, as well as to think critically about the human impact of their work. "

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