Kornbluth administration provides seed fund for Artificial Intelligence research

Over a dozen research teams obtained funding from the Institute

In an email to the MIT community on March 28, President Sally Kornbluth wrote that her administration funded 16 research teams from across all six schools of the Institute to explore the impact of generative artificial intelligence (AI). 

These funding developments were a continuation of an initiative her administration began previously in the fall of 2023, where 27 AI research teams were provided with early funds to craft high-impact papers that according to an article by MIT News, “explores generative AI’s potential applications and impact across areas ranging from climate and the environment to education, health care, companionship, music, and literature.”

In the September round of funding, 75 proposals were submitted; in this current round, 53 proposals were shared. The proposals were then reviewed by 19 faculty members from a range of departments, with the committee prioritizing submissions that had implications “beyond the technology sphere.” The research groups received amounts from $50,000 to $70,000 and were tasked to write a 10-page report on their findings.

Kornbluth wrote that funding was provided to these groups “to develop impact papers that would articulate effective roadmaps, policy recommendations, and calls for action across the broad domain of generative AI and its effects on society.” She also shared 25 preprints of the first round’s groups to the Institute community, which were published online under MIT Open Publishing Services program. Once the papers of the second round groups are ready, Kornbluth wrote that they will follow-up with a similar announcement.

Preprints are research manuscripts that have not undergone the traditional peer-review process to be published in an academic journal. However, Kornbluth assured the Institute’s community that although these papers have not been peer-reviewed, they “have been read by selected MIT experts.” She elected to share these papers early because the field is “moving so fast” and because the “impacts are so consequential.”

Kornbluth expressed her gratitude to those “who submitted ideas and developed the current round of impact papers.” She further wrote that “this collection offers a glimpse of a wide range of brilliant MIT minds at work on some of the most daunting challenges of our time” and that “exploring such frontiers is what the world counts on MIT for!”