UF announces Artificial Intelligence Academic Initiative Center

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In its latest step to promote artificial intelligence (AI) and data science and integrate AI across the curriculum, the University of Florida has announced it will create an Artificial Intelligence Academic Initiative Center.

The new center, led by Associate Provost for Strategic Initiatives David Reed, will be the campus focal point for academic activity at the university related to AI and data science, including the coordination and development of programs and certificates; the identification of opportunities for faculty and students to engage with AI; the co-organization of seminars and conferences; the development of an AI Scholars program; and partnerships with UF’s Career Connections Center, the Florida College System and private industry that will promote an AI-ready workforce and help businesses integrate AI into their current processes.

The launch of the center, dubbed (AI)^2 will also align with the university’s once-per-decade re-accreditation process and will play a critical role in the comprehensive work plan the university will submit to its accreditor.

“As the university’s commitment to AI becomes increasingly ingrained into campus culture and our AI-across-the-curriculum effort continues to expand, it is clear our campus would greatly benefit from one central office that can help manage these efforts and provide resources and support,” said Reed, who has helped lead campus efforts on AI since its inception in 2020. “I’m excited for us to take this next step and move our AI initiative to the next level.”

The center will also support UF’s efforts to develop a national workforce trained in AI and its applications as well as the university’s commitment to increase the United States’ national competitiveness in an area the federal government deems high-need. Among other initiatives, UF is working with the State University System of Florida and the Southeastern Conference to promote AI training and workforce development and to provide opportunities for research. UF has made HiPerGator, one of the country’s most powerful supercomputers, widely available for teachers to use in the classroom as well as researchers who wish to tap into its vast capabilities.

“As the first university in the country to integrate AI and its applications across its curriculum, UF is in a unique position to create a national model,” said Joe Glover, UF’s provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “With AI and data science increasingly a part of our day-to-day lives, we are embracing an unprecedented opportunity to expand the impact of our institution and to lead in an area of national and global importance.”

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