MIT to push the rise of AI with new college, $1B funding

The Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing will be dedicated to research in computer science, AI, data science and related fields.

Gordon Gottsegen CNET contributor
Gordon Gottsegen is a tech writer who has experience working at publications like Wired. He loves testing out new gadgets and complaining about them. He is the ghost of all failed Kickstarters.
Gordon Gottsegen
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MIT is creating a new computing college within the university.

Christopher Harting/MIT

On Monday, MIT announced that it's spearheading the evolution of artificial intelligence by committing $1 billion to fund AI and computing research.

In the announcement, MIT details its new Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing, which is slated to open in September 2019. The college is named after the CEO and co-founder of Blackstone, a private equity firm. Schwarzman donated $350 million to MIT to make the new college possible.

The Schwarzman College of Computing is intended to be "an interdisciplinary hub" for work in computer science, artificial intelligence, data science and related fields. The research conducted there will focus on breakthroughs in AI, as well as its ethical applications.

MIT said it will educate students "in every discipline" to use and develop AI responsibly. The new college will also provide a structure for collaborative AI research and innovation across MIT's five schools. 

Artificial intelligence, and related technologies like deep learning and machine learning, are being used more and more in our daily lives. It has manifested in the rise of smart assistants and connected homes, as well as advancements in tech that border on science fiction -- like Google Duplex.

Schwarzman shared a few words about AI in the MIT announcement:

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. 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 21st century and beyond.

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First published Oct. 15, 10:22 a.m. PT.
Update, 1:28 p.m. PT: Adds more details from MIT.