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Clemson BOT approves $1.38M budget for new human AI center

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Clemson News // Courtesy
The overall goal of the new initiative is to ensure the progress of AI technology in line with ethics.

Clemson University is stepping into the forefront of artificial intelligence research with the establishment of the Center for Human-Artificial Intelligence (CU-CHAI), which is slated to open its doors in fall 2024.

The initiative, approved by the Clemson University Board of Trustees during its Winter Quarterly Meeting held in Charleston, South Carolina, on Feb. 1-2, aims to delve deep into the dynamics of human interaction with AI technology. Leading CU-CHAI as the director of the data science lab, AI expert Nathan McNeese, the McQueen Quattlebaum assistant professor in human computing, will oversee this exploration of how humans and AI can coexist and collaborate effectively.

The primary goal of the center is to ensure the progress of AI technology is headed in a direction designed to benefit humanity, thereby improving lives both within the Clemson community and beyond through extensive research.

Provost Bob Jones presented the CU-CHAI updates on Feb. 1, reminding the board of the implications of this research and how it can address the growing concerns over workforce replacement and the negative social impacts of AI.

The first five years of the initiative will cost the university $1.38 million in initial investments and will be housed within the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences.

The global artificial intelligence market size is expected to increase by 2591.8 billion dollars by 2032, according to data from Spherical Insights LLP shared with Yahoo Finance.

CU-CHAI is expected to sustain itself by its second year, Jones said. In addition, it is projected to yield a substantial influx of grants and revenue streams.

Clemson aims to build upon its existing strengths in human computing while addressing the evolving challenges and opportunities presented by AI, according to McNeese. With a focus on collaboration, innovation and societal impact, CU-CHAI is positioned to chart new frontiers in the realm of human-AI interaction, shaping the future of technology and education.

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Kailyn Kelly, Senior Reporter
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