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U of South Carolina to open “smart data” artificial intelligence institute

By David Schwartz
Published: June 11th, 2019

Later this summer, the University of South Carolina will open an institute dedicated to studying and developing artificial intelligence technologies. The institute aims to use its AI research to help develop “self-improving” and customized programs for social workers, pharmacists, teachers and more.

To do that, “The AI Institute plans to enlist philosophers, ethicists, public policy experts, and lawyers dedicated to exploring the societal impact of AI technology, both the good and the unintended negative outcomes,” according to a university press release. “For example, some have expressed concern that autonomous vehicles could soon put tens of thousands of truck drivers out of work.”

The institute will cost USC roughly $5 million over the next five years, spokesman Jeff Stensland said, but the offset to that expense will come from new sponsored research deals. The institute will be led by renowned computer scientist Amit Sheth.

“The university’s decision to start a university-wide institute — (which) would be one-of-a-kind in the Southeast — the tremendous interest across all the colleges on the campus in using AI, the nearby presence of natural industry partners, and potential to develop a world-class presence in AI implementation and applications made this a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for all involved in this initiative,” Sheth commented.

The university currently has 45 faculty who are already working on some sort of AI-related research. USC will hire as many as 10 more AI researchers and faculty, the school noted.

Source: The State

Posted under: University-Industry Engagement Week

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