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Artificial intelligence research center launched at the University of Alabama

A new, innovative artificial intelligence research center will soon go live at the University of Alabama.

Housed in the College of Engineering, the Alabama Center for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence has largely been made possible thanks to a $2 million donation in honor of former chair of the department of computer science, Dr. Marvin A. Griffin.

“The launch of the ALA-AI marks a transformative moment in AI research and education here at The University of Alabama and for our state, showcasing UA’s unwavering dedication to excellence, innovation, world-class education and in being at the forefront of the research and development of cutting-edge technologies,” said Dr. Clifford Henderson, Dean of the College of Engineering.

According to the university, the center will serve to unify new and existing work across campus, expanding research, education and outreach activities related to the development and application of artificial intelligence.

Dr. Jiaqi Gong, associate professor of computer science, is the inaugural director of the state of the art center.

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“The establishment of ALA-AI signifies a monumental leap forward in the realm of AI research and education at UA,” Gong said. “Through interdisciplinary collaboration and innovative initiatives, we aim to address the most pressing challenges and opportunities in AI, shaping a brighter future for Alabama and beyond through its responsible development and application.”

Dr. Sergei Gleyzer, associate professor of physics and astronomy, and Dr. Hee Yun Lee, distinguished professor and endowed academic chair in the School of Social Work, have been appointed as co-directors of the center.

ALA-AI will focus on five fundamental themes for study:

  • Advancing the science of AI and its machine-learning methodologies
  • Promoting human-centered applications of AI that benefit society
  • Ensuring the ethical development, dissemination and utilization of AI technologies
  • Cultivating a workforce and society that is proficient in AI through lifelong learning initiatives
  • Fostering a vibrant AI research and education community, nurturing unique collaborations between academia and industry

Austen Shipley is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on X @ShipleyAusten

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