Emory University Launching AI Learning Center This Fall

Atlanta-based Emory University is gearing up to open the virtual doors of its new Center for Artificial Intelligence Learning for the Fall 2023 semester.

The new center, Emory said, “will promote AI literacy across all units of the campus and provide co-curricular learning opportunities that equip the Emory community with the skills needed to thrive in a technology-focused future.

The university is aiming to spread the impact of the new AI Center across its entire community.

“The Center is designed to be the locus of community for those interested in AI’s application to their area of interest, and to make AI learning ubiquitous on campus for all of Emory, no matter their area of study or status as a student, staff, alum or faculty member,” it said.

“By infusing AI throughout the university’s pedagogy and providing an environment in which all members of Emory University can collaborate on AI research and education, it will function as a home base for AI scholarship and training,” the university said.

To achieve that kind of wide impact, the gameplan for the AI Center is to focus on several key areas including skill-building, support services, experiential learning and community building.

On the infrastructure front, Emory has plans to create physical learning space for the AI Center, but to get things off the ground will begin the effort with online programming that will make content and instruction available to Emory audiences outside of the Atlanta area. The AI Center’s plans also call for hiring permanent staff including a director and coordinator, and to create a website that will serve as a central hub for programming information.

Co-leading the new AI Center are Cliff Carrubba, chair of the Department of Quantitative Theory and Methods in Emory College of Arts and Sciences, and Lance Waller, professor in the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics in the Rollins School of Public Health.

“As we continue to hire new faculty and expand academic programs in the AI space, the Center for AI Learning will be essential to creating a tech-savvy community,” said Ravi Bellamkonda, who is Emory University’s provost and executive vice president for academic affairs.

“It will be a nerve center that empowers our scholars and encourages collaboration in a new technological era,” he said. “It’s not just for scientists and AI researchers — it’s for everyone. AI touches us all, so we all have a part to play in harnessing its power to improve the human condition.”

The AI Center’s planned coursework features basic level learning under the heading of general AI literacy – such as cloud computing and AI ethics – all the way up to more advanced topics including data visualization and modeling, neural networks and bioinformatics.

Also foundational to the AI Center’s work will be partnerships with corporations, nonprofits, government, and research labs to create experiential learning opportunities. “These sponsored projects will allow students to explore the many and varied career paths that AI knowledge can open for them,” the university said.

“By facilitating education, research and community, the Center for AI Learning will make Emory University a destination for students looking to use AI to solve problems and answer questions in service of humanity,” said Waller. “It will enhance the ability of Emory faculty to do work at the leading edge of AI and provide a venue for an intellectual community that crosses departments, schools, and beyond to the professional world.”