The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has announced a $350 million commitment from private equity mogul Stephen A. Schwarzman to establish a college of computing.
Part of a new $1 billion university-wide effort to address global opportunities and challenges presented by the prevalence of computing and the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), the Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing will serve as an interdisciplinary campus hub for work in computer science, AI, data science, and related fields. MIT has secured an additional $300 million in pledges from other donors for the effort, bringing the total raised to date to $650 million.
To open in the fall of 2019, the college will work to bring the power of computing and AI to all fields of study at MIT; create fifty faculty positions, twenty-five within the college and twenty-five jointly with other departments, nearly doubling MIT's academic capability in computing and AI; provide MIT's five schools with a shared structure for collaborative education, research, and innovation in computing and AI; educate students in every discipline to responsibly use and develop AI and computing technologies; and transform education and research in public policy and ethical considerations relevant to computing and AI. Construction of a building for the college is scheduled to be completed in 2022.
In addition to developing new curricula designed to connect computer science and AI with other disciplines, the college will provide undergraduate research opportunities, graduate fellowships, and a faculty seed-grant program; host a fellowship program and forum designed to engage distinguished individuals from other universities, government, industry, and journalism; and encourage scientists, engineers, and social scientists to collaborate on analyses of emerging technology and research that will serve industry, policy makers, and the broader research community.
"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," said Schwarzman, co-founder, chair, and CEO of global asset management firm Blackstone. "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. MIT's initiative will help America solve these challenges and continue to lead on computing and AI throughout the twenty-first century and beyond."
(Photo credit: Blackstone)