The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, considered by some to be the world’s foremost institution in fields of science, mathematics and engineering, has taken a bold new step for the advancement of artificial intelligence (AI).
As the world approaches a new age where AI plays a critical role in every part of life, MIT intends to be at the forefront of new breakthroughs. With a commitment of a billion dollars, the institute is founding a new school dedicated to AI learning and research: the Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing.
MIT administrators are positioning the college to transform every facet of MIT. A new dean will be appointed for the college and 50 new faculty members will be hired for the school. There will be 25 faculty for advanced computing and another 25 for collaborative education between the college and other departments throughout MIT.
Technology company IBM has taken interest in the new addition to MIT. IBM’s Watson AI Lab will gain greater research momentum from the expanding efforts to educate MIT students in the field of artificial intelligence. Consequently, IBM plans to increase collaborative projects between the school and the computing company.
MIT has taken a strong ethical stance for the new expansion of AI research and education. As society becomes more aware of the potential dangers of intelligent machines, MIT is placing more emphasis on safeguarding humanity as it develops more advanced AI capabilities.
The new college was made possible by a gift of $350 million from Stephen A. Schwarzman, the chairman of Blackstone. Schwarzman’s firm is one of the largest investment companies in the world, controlling about $440 billion in assets.
Mr. Schwarzman is a philanthropist who has supported many areas of society, including culture, education and the arts. Two years ago, he donated $150 million to establish the Schwarzman Center at Yale University, and in 2013 he established a large scholarship program in China.
Of the $1 billion funds that are required to complete the college, MIT has appropriated $300 million on top of the $350 million from Schwarzman. The administration is still pursuing efforts to acquire the remaining $350 million that is needed to complete the project.
The college will open in September of next year, and a new building for the school will be completed in 2022.