New institute uses Harvard’s breadth to take deep dive into intelligence
The new Kempner Institute for the Study of Natural and Artificial Intelligence at Harvard University was established on the premise that intelligence in natural and artificial systems is intimately interconnected: the next generation of artificial intelligence (AI) requires adopting principles that our brains use for fast, flexible, and natural reasoning, while understanding how our brains compute and reason requires theories developed for AI.
Guided by this premise, the institute is enlisting and training future generations of researchers to study intelligence from biological, cognitive, engineering, and computational perspectives. Its broad goal, which it will pursue within ethical frameworks and with a desire to improve the world, is to discover and increase scientific knowledge.
Established with a $500 million gift from Priscilla Chan, AB ’07, MD, and Mark Zuckerberg—co-founders and co-CEOs of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, which aims to build a more inclusive, just, and healthy future for everyone—the institute is committed to recruiting people from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. The gift will support 10 new faculty appointments, new computing infrastructure, and resources that will allow University students at all levels to study natural and artificial intelligence.