The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) today announced they will invest US$1 billion into a new college for artificial intelligence. The MIT Stephen A. 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 College will open in September 2019 with 50 new faculty positions in computer science and a new deanship dedicated to AI, data science, computing, and so on. It will double MIT’s capability in computing and AI, empowering five MIT schools with advanced AI research efforts, imparting necessary AI knowledge throughout the institute, and developing new hybrid curriculums involving AI and other disciplines.
MIT says it is opening the AI college in response to local and global trends: “MIT students are choosing in record numbers to study computer science, and departments across the Institute are creating joint majors with computer science and hiring faculty with expertise in computing. And externally, the digital fraction of the global economy has been growing much faster than the economy as a whole — and computing and AI are increasingly woven into every part of the global economy.”
The College is named after its main donator, Blackstone Chairman, CEO and Co-founder Stephen A. Schwarzman, who gifted US$350 million toward the its foundation. Blackstone is the world’s largest alternative investment firm with approximately $440 billion in assets under management. MIT raised an additional US$300 million from various sources to initiate the project and is seeking further fundraising to see it through. The projected US$1 billion total is being billed as the single largest investment in computing and AI by an American academic institution.