Artificial Intelligence

MIT announces $1B AI college to tackle talent gap for machine learning pros

MIT plans to open a college that will breed the next generation of computing professionals professionals, combining liberal arts with technical knowledge.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is investing $1 billion into an artificial intelligence (AI)-focused university, according to a letter in MIT News on Monday. The creation of the institution is based on the rise of computing and AI in the tech world, and the subsequent demand for tech talent that follows, said the letter.

Based on a $350 million gift from Stephen A. Schwarzman, chairman, CEO, and co-founder of Blackstone, the new college has been named the MIT Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing, said the letter. The college will bring in a new dean and 50 new faculty positions, added the letter.

SEE: Artificial intelligence: Trends, obstacles, and potential wins (Tech Pro Research)

The College will produce students fluent in computing, AI, and their own desired disciplines, said the letter. MIT's mission for the new college was outlined in the announcement:

  • Foster breakthroughs in computing, particularly AI—actively informed by the wisdom of other disciplines.
  • Deliver the power of AI tools to researchers in every field.
  • Advance pioneering work on AI's ethical use and societal impact.

The idea for the new college began over a year ago, when a huge influx of students pursued majors involving computing, said the letter. This college is an improvement from a general computer science degree, however, as college focuses more on AI and machine learning expertise, and is also able to take on a larger amount of students. With such significant interest and demand for tech talent in the professional sphere, the Executive Committee of the MIT Corporation started morphing thoughts into plans, said the letter.

In the letter, MIT president L. Rafael Reif highlighted a new turning point in AI: "In this pivotal AI moment, society has never needed the liberal arts—the path to wise, responsible citizenship—more than it does now. It is time to educate a new generation of technologists in the public interest," he wrote.

While the new college is still in its infant stages, the MIT Corporation and its Executive Committee are calling upon faculty, students, and alumni to share their thoughts and ideas through a variety of upcoming forums. Click here for more information.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • MIT is investing $1 billion into its new Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing, a new college focusing on AI and computing education.
  • The new college aims to address the talent gap and demand for AI in the professional world, as well as engage the rising interest of computing skills in its students.

Also see

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Image: iStockphoto/peterspiro

About Macy Bayern

Macy Bayern is an Associate Staff Writer for TechRepublic. A recent graduate from the University of Texas at Austin's Liberal Arts Honors Program, Macy covers tech news and trends.

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