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RPI looking to invest $25 million in new AI initiative

Editor's Note: This article was meant to be published on January 17, 2024.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced last Monday a new state proposal, the Empire AI consortium. The proposal is a $400 million public-private partnership “to secure New York's place at the forefront of the artificial intelligence transformation.”

The consortium will be made up of six universities: Columbia University, Cornell University, New York University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the State University of New York, and the City University of New York. Additional private funding will come from the Simons Foundation and Bloomberg's co-founder Tom Secunda. RPI, Columbia, Cornell, and NYU will each contribute $25 million to the initiative, according to the New York Times. The state will provide a grant and other funding of up to $275 million.

The consortium will create an AI center in Upstate New York. The University of Buffalo is under consideration for the center.

President Martin A. Schmidt ’81 was quoted in the press release saying, “Since our founding 200 years ago, our mission at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has been to advance technological discovery for the benefit of all. Now, in the century to come and as an inaugural member of Empire AI, we will continue that mission by further exploring how artificial intelligence can improve everyone’s lives. We applaud Governor Hochul’s vision to bring together the state’s foremost research institutions to realize tangible applications of AI that are pioneering, powerful and safe.”