Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) announced new plans today to reshape the future of artificial intelligence (AI) and computing. The university is investing $1 billion to tackle global opportunities and challenges from computing and AI.

According to the university, this is the largest investment made by an American academic institution, and this will help make the United States a leader in this area.

“As computing reshapes our world, MIT intends to help make sure it does so for the good of all,” said L. Rafael Reif, president of MIT. “In keeping with the scope of this challenge, we are reshaping MIT.”

MIT will establish the Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing, thanks to a $350 million foundational gift from Stephen Schwarzman, chairman, CEO and co-founder of the global investment firm Blackstone. On top of the the $350 million, MIT has raised $300 million in support of the college, totaling $650 million of the $1 billion required for the college. As part of the new college, MIT will work to:

  • Bring computing and AI to all fields of studies
  • Create 50 new faculty positions across its campus and departments
  • Provide a collaborative education, research and innovation structure to its five schools
  • Educate studies in every discipline on how to use and develop AI and computing solutions responsibility
  • And transform education and research in public policy and ethical considerations

“The MIT Schwarzman College of Computing will constitute both a global center for computing research and education, and an intellectual foundry for powerful new AI tools. Just as important, the College will equip students and researchers in any discipline to use computing and AI to advance their disciplines and vice-versa, as well as to think critically about the human impact of their work. With uncommon insight and generosity, Mr. Schwarzman is enabling a bold agenda that will lead to a better world. I am deeply grateful for his commitment to our shared vision,” Reif said.

The MIT Schwarzman College of Computing is expected to open in September of 2019, with the contribution of a new building scheduled to be completed in 2022. Twenty-five new faculty positions will be created to advance computing within the college and the other 25 will be added to the college and across MIT departments. In addition, a new deanship will be established for the college, MIT explained.

“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,” Mr. Schwarzman says. “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.”