Artificial Intelligence: A $500M Gift From Priscilla Chan And Mark Zuckerberg Funds New Harvard Institute

Harvard on Tuesday launched a new institute to integrate natural and artificial intelligence.

A gift of $500 million from Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg, announced Tuesday by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), will fund the Kempner Institute for the Study of Natural and Artificial Intelligence, launched by Harvard University the same day. It represents a new University-wide initiative standing at the intersection of neuroscience and artificial intelligence, seeking fundamental principles that underlie both human and machine intelligence. (The Harvard Gazette)

The Institute has been named in honor of Zuckerberg’s mother, Karen Kempner Zuckerberg, and her parents (i.e. Zuckerberg’s grandparents — Sidney and Gertrude Kempner).

The announcement by CZI said the Kempner Institute will study intelligence in both natural and artificial systems because the two fields are intimately interconnected.

Kempner Institute: Next gen AI

“The next generation of artificial intelligence requires using principles that our brains use for fast, flexible natural reasoning, and understanding how our brains compute and reason requires theories developed for AI,” CZI said.

Larry Bacow, President Harvard University, said the Kempner Institute would bring together approaches and expertise in biological and cognitive science with machine learning, statistics, and computer science.

The Institute would “make real progress in understanding how the human brain works to improve how we address disease, create new therapies, and advance our understanding of the human body and the world more broadly,” Bacow added.

The Institute would be led by headed by Bernardo Sabatini, the Alice and Rodman W. Moorhead III Professor of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School, and Sham Kakade, who in January will become a Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science and Statistics at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and a professor in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

The Kempner Institute is expected to open by the end of 2022.

Related Story: Artificial Intelligence – NVIDIA To Build AI Supercomputer For Healthcare

Image of Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan in Prague in 2013: Wikimedia Commons

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