$50M research center established to concentrate on ‘experiential’ AI

Northeastern University in Boston has announced the launch of a new research hub focused on ensuring AI systems help rather than replace humans working in healthcare, cybersecurity and sustainability.

The school will hire up to 30 faculty members to staff the center, called the Institute for Experiential Artificial Intelligence, sinking an initial $50 million into the effort.

The new instructors will build on Northeastern’s existing base of teaching personnel with AI expertise, bringing the workforce to 50 or so across departments such as computing, digital humanities, law and materials science.

The institute will also partner with business, government and other external organizations to develop new technologies and applications aimed at placing human skills and intelligence “at the forefront of artificial intelligence development, from the earliest design steps to the final implementation,” according to internal coverage posted by the school’s news division.  

Northeastern already offers a curriculum called humanics, which “integrates technological, data and human literacies into learning in order to prepare people to do what intelligent machines cannot: create, collaborate and empathize,” the school states.

This curriculum, like the new institute, is part of Northeastern’s plan to comprehensively implement AI by 2025.

“Experiential AI is highly relevant to our mission,” says Carla Brodley, PhD, dean of Northeastern’s Khoury College of Computer Sciences.