Written by 9:36 am AI, Education

**Enhancing New York’s Future with University-Led AI Innovation**

With an incredible community of scholars on the cutting edge of our generation’s greatest advanceme…

With a vibrant community of intellectuals at the forefront of cutting-edge advancements, New York’s prestigious universities are poised to take the lead in advancing and overseeing artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, shaping the future of AI with the brightest minds in the state.

The opportunity at hand lies in Empire AI—a groundbreaking proposal designed to establish a cutting-edge AI computing facility in Buffalo. This innovative endeavor aims to facilitate collaboration among New York’s top research institutions, enhancing the state’s competitive edge in the global AI arena. The goal is to spearhead safe, inclusive, and accessible AI research and development that will positively impact every sector of New York’s economy. However, the realization of this vision hinges on our state leaders’ commitment to including this proposal in the final budget agreement this year.

Backed by the support of two-thirds of New Yorkers, Empire AI would grant institutions like ours access to computing resources that are typically costly and challenging to procure in New York. Spearheaded by a coalition of public and private universities across the state and bolstered by philanthropic supporters like Tom Secunda and the Simons Foundation, this initiative stands out as the first of its kind, focusing on the public good and overseen by educational institutions. This starkly contrasts with existing projects funded by private entities serving their own interests.

As leading academic institutions in New York, we take pride in hosting some of the most formidable AI research teams in the nation. Together, our faculty and students will pioneer innovative AI algorithms, models, and tools, uncover groundbreaking scientific and engineering breakthroughs, and leverage AI to address enduring societal issues spanning climate change, healthcare, and food security.

Guided by our humanistic values, we are committed to developing AI technology in an equitable and ethical manner. Through our shared dedication to pushing the boundaries of research, our institutions stand on the brink of unprecedented AI advancements.

Our universities offer a unique perspective on AI safety, ethics, and policy by convening experts from diverse disciplines encompassing technology, science, engineering, arts, humanities, medicine, law, and policy. With the collaborative resources and computational capabilities of an interconnected AI research center, we can pioneer responsible, impactful, and equitable innovation that positions New York as the premier hub of AI technology in the United States.

Empire AI has the potential to revolutionize higher education enrollment in New York City and statewide, empowering our institutions to attract the brightest talents nationwide to drive AI research breakthroughs. By becoming a focal point of AI innovation and activity, we can cultivate a talent pipeline for our students to engage in the AI economy, generate new jobs in unexplored industries, and foster the growth of AI-powered enterprises in New York.

This burgeoning AI ecosystem will, in turn, draw more talent, startups, and businesses to our state, establishing New York as a magnet for AI innovation for years to come.

To equip our students for the future workforce, it is imperative to provide them with access to state-of-the-art technology. Through AI development, we can cultivate a workforce equipped with the skills vital for our evolving economy, enabling advancements in healthcare, economic prosperity, crime prevention, climate change mitigation, and cybersecurity—areas that can benefit greatly from the insights of impartial academic researchers.

At a time when academics face barriers to AI research due to cost constraints, access to these computing resources is indispensable. The core mission of higher education—to disseminate knowledge, foster innovation, and drive social mobility—positions universities as ideal stewards of AI’s potential for the common good. With Empire AI, New York’s enduring legacy of innovation will continue to thrive.

Investing in AI research is an investment in New York’s future, and we trust that our elected officials will recognize and endorse the immense potential and promise of Empire AI in the upcoming state budget deliberations.

Bala, Dean of the Cornell Ann S. Bowers College of Computing and Information Science; Morrisett, Jack and Rilla Neafsey Dean and Vice Provost, Cornell Tech; Brumberg, Interim President, The City University of New York Graduate Center; Bloom, Chief Research Officer and Vice Provost for Research, New York University; Wing, Executive Vice President for Research and Professor of Computer Science, Columbia University.

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Tags: , Last modified: March 18, 2024
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