MIT to open college for AI: 5 things to know

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The Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge plans to open a college for artificial intelligence backed by a planned investment of $1 billion, The New York Times reports.

Here are five things to know about the college, dubbed the MIT Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing:

1. MIT plans to open the college at the start of the 2019 fall semester. The college would first be housed in other buildings, before moving into its own space in 2022. The college will create 50 new faculty positions, offer fellowships for graduate students and grant degrees, although MIT has not determined the specific types of degrees.

2. The mission of the new college, according to MIT President L. Rafael Reif, PhD, is to create a new educational structure that supports what he calls "the bilinguals of the future" — students and faculty who apply computing skills to other fields, such as chemistry, politics or history.

3. To break down existing academic silos, half of the college's 50 faculty positions will focus on advanced computer science, while the other half will be jointly appointed to other departments across MIT. Efforts like these will help the university "rewire how we hire and promote faculty," MIT Provost Martin Schmidt, PhD, told NYT.

4. The AI college's mission was primarily shaped by conversations between Stephen A. Schwarzman, the the principal donor and CEO of the private equity firm Blackstone Group, and Dr. Reif. Mr. Schwarzman's donation, which represents the linchpin gift for the college, totaled $350 million.

5. MIT has raised two-thirds of its $1 billion fundraising goal so far, according to an announcement the university made Oct. 15.

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