New Initiative Elevates Cornell to Leader in AI

Cornell is launching a bold new artificial intelligence initiative that will expand faculty into both core areas and a nearly limitless domain influenced by advances in AI.

The initiative, a revolutionary new collaboration launched by AI scientists across the university, aims to enhance Cornell’s reputation as a leader in AI research and includes AI development, education and ethics. It will deepen university-wide collaboration in the development, application and implications of AI in related and AI-affected areas.

Kavita Bala, dean of Cornell N S Bowers College of Computing and Information Science, said, “We want to build a community around AI because we believe strong collaboration at the university will be incredibly valuable over the next decade of development in this area. ” , and Chief Dean of the Initiative at the Cornell Faculty AI Town Hall, held approximately November 22.

Bala, Greg Morissette, Jack and Rila with Nefsey Dean and Cornell Tech’s Vice Provost; Lyndon Archer, Joseph Silbert’s Dean of Engineering; and Ray Jayawardene, Harold Tanner Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; Also other initiatives revealed the details of the group’s organizational work and vision over the past few months. More than 100 Cornell faculties representing 11 college and university units participate in the Virtual City Hall.

Artificial intelligence, a broad and thriving subfield of computer science that includes machine learning, computer vision and natural language processing, is changing the world – from businesses and society to our daily lives. Globally, AI represents a new frontier in technological innovation, and the US plans to lead the way: Through the Innovation and Competition Act of 2021, the US will step up to new AI research and development over the next five years. Will promise $250 billion. development initiative.

“AI systems can now hear, see and understand us,” said Bart Selman, professor of computer science, co-chair of the initiative and co-leader of the Computing Community Consortium’s 20-year Artificial Intelligence Roadmap, released in 2019. We can start a conversation with these systems, and the systems can start a conversation with us.”

Citing Cornell’s current strengths in AI – from machine learning and core AI to areas such as cognitive science, behavioral science, robotics, optimization, medicine and sustainability, Bala said the university is well positioned to develop and refine AI. is in. By taking advantage of our extensive interdisciplinary collaboration.

The Radical Collaboration Initiative was launched in 2016 by the Provost’s Office at Cornell to foster interdisciplinary research partnerships.

“If recent trends are any guide, the intersection of AI and engineering will have a lasting impact on all disciplines in the College of Engineering,” Archer said. “Collaboration at Cornell is one of our distinguishing strengths, and this partnership is exciting because it provides an opportunity to define these intersections that add the greatest value to our students.”

“The College of Arts and Sciences – with faculty expertise in a wide range of disciplines – has a lot to offer and also a lot to build upon as part of the radical AI collaboration,” Jayawardene said. “From philosophy to physics, and from neuroscience to public policy, our scientists are not only concerned with shaping, researching, and using AI, but also dealing with its profound implications.”

Morissette said AI has been a central focus and main force at Cornell.

“What we’re going to focus on here in New York is translational applications of AI in key strategic areas,” such as healthcare and medicine, he said. In addition, Cornell Tech’s newly established Urban Tech Hub — the Jacobs Technion—located at the Cornell Institute — and the Tech, Media and Democracy Initiative are two other areas where AI can play a significant role, he said.

Cornell informatics and informatics professor Thorsten Joachims is in a unique position to lead what is called “human-attached AI,” where AI systems are developed and designed to serve humans and humanity in a sustainable way. went.

“We need to think about AI not only in terms of accuracy, but also in terms of usability, fairness, accountability and transparency,” said Joachims, chair of the initiative’s research vision subcommittee. “The vision we have is broad, drawing on Cornell’s extensive expertise and applying it to AI.”

“This is a great opportunity for Cornell to define what AI education will look like,” said Kylian Weinberger, professor of computer science and co-chair of the initiative. “We have to act quickly, but above all, we have to do it right.”

A recent interdisciplinary collaboration on the Ithaca campus, Cornell Tech and Weill Cornell Medicine, has used AI to inform issues ranging from sustainable agriculture and urban design to cancer detection and precision behavioral health.

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