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New Artificial Intelligence Hub At CMU Aims To Make Pittsburgh A World Leader In AI

Koji Sasahara
AP, File
Pepper, a Japanese-made humanoid robot, is capable of empathy via artificial intelligence from IBM. CMU hopes the creation of a new AI hub will help it become a world leader in artificial intelligence.

Faculty and staff from several schools at Carnegie Mellon University are joining forces in an effort to accelerate the science of Artificial Intelligence.

University leaders said they hope that by pulling together more than 100 faculty through the creation of CMU AI, it will maintain the university’s role as a leader in the field.

CMU School of Computer Science dean Andrew Moore said the “confederation” of faculty and students from various disciplines, which will allow the school to offer what he calls “full stack” education and research.

“That means [the students] need to be able to hang out and work on projects in labs not just with the technology experts on specific parts of AI, like machine learning or computer vision, but they have seen examples of putting everything together,” Moore said.

Moore said the university has been able to build great AI systems that combine technologies from several different disciplines. However, they have been dependent on individual faculty members and students with a special vision.

“Were relying on the fact tat we’ve got a few smart faculty and students who’ve got the way to do this sitting in their head,” Moore said.  “It’s almost an art rather than a technology. By creating CMU AI, we’re going to turn this into a technology stack so we can educate eventually hundreds of thousands of people to be able to assemble these large robot systems.”

The idea was born about a year ago when a group of potential students told him they were impressed by CMU but they wanted to learn about artificial intelligence, not just its parts.

Artificial Intelligence is slowly becoming a part of our every day lives, and Moore said the nation needs this type of confederation to lead the way. He said the mix of educators, researchers and commercial endeavors, such as Uber, in Pittsburgh puts the city in a unique position to be the world’s leader.