The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) today announced its plans to reshape for the future through a new $1 billion initiative committed to bringing computing and artificial intelligence (AI) to all students at the university.
The investment includes the new MIT Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing—opening in September 2019—which will act as a hub for work in computer science, AI, data science, and related fields. Fifty new faculty positions will be created across MIT departments.
“As computing reshapes our world, MIT intends to help make sure it does so for the good of all,” said MIT President L. Rafael Reif in a news release. “In keeping with the scope of this challenge, we are reshaping MIT. 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.”
The new college was made possible by a donation of $350 million from Stephen Schwarzman, CEO, and co-founder of investment firm Blackstone.
“With the ability to bring together the best minds in AI research, development, and ethics, higher education is uniquely situated to be the incubator for solving these challenges in ways the private and public sectors cannot,” said Schwarzman. “Our hope is that this ambitious initiative serves as a clarion call to our government that massive financial investment in AI is necessary to ensure that America has a leading voice in shaping the future of these powerful and transformative technologies.”
The announcment comes just weeks after Sen. Kamala Harris penned a letter with several other members of Congress stating that federal agencies must address the biases artificial intelligence can produce.