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Groundbreaking Initiative Will Position New York as National Leader in AI Research & Technology Development

Empire AI Ensures Access to World-Class Computing Power is Available to New York’s Leading Academic Experts

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Binghamton, NY – Southern Tier elected officials joined Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger and members of the Empire AI consortium, including Bloomberg co-founder Thomas Secunda and Cornell Ann S. Bowers College of Computing and Information Science Dean Kavita Bala, today in support of Empire AI, a bold and first-in-the-nation initiative that will position New York as the national frontrunner in responsible Artificial Intelligence (AI) innovation. Empire AI will allow New York’s research institutions to pioneer safe, equitable, and accessible AI research and development that will benefit every corner of New York’s economy. 

In January, Governor Kathy Hochul unveiled her proposal to create a consortium, named Empire AI, that will launch a state-of-the-art artificial intelligence computing center in Buffalo. The center will be used by New York’s leading institutions to promote responsible research and development, create jobs, and unlock AI opportunities focused on public good. The Consortium comprises the State University of New York, the City University of New York, Columbia University, Cornell University, New York University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the Flatiron Institute. 

“AI is continuing to evolve in our state and beyond. With Empire AI, we are ensuring that our higher education institutions have the resources they need to make New York the worldwide leader in responsible AI research and development. I look forward to seeing the tremendous impact that it has on the Southern Tier and NY. Thank you to Governor Hochul for helping our state to take the lead on this important development,” said New York State Senator Lea Webb.

“The proposed Empire AI initiative will position New York at the center of responsible AI research and development. New York’s world class research institutions at SUNY, Cornell, and others in the consortium, are ready to take advantage of the countless opportunities this initiative will provide. I’d like to thank Governor Hochul and fellow BU alum Tom Secunda from Bloomberg LP for their efforts to move this groundbreaking effort forward,” said New York State Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo.

“As a Binghamton University alum, I am proud to see my colleagues standing together at my former school to push for innovations in AI technology that I hope will create cutting edge efficiencies in high energy intensive industries as well as comprehensive research to ensure energy efficiencies in AI technology itself. With Empire AI, we will provide colleges and universities like Binghamton and Cornell with the support they need to become leaders in responsible AI innovation. Creating a center of AI in a state dedicated to strong environmental protections is critical to ensure responsible technology investments. I look forward to watching this one-of-a-kind consortium develop under Governor Hochul’s leadership,” said New York State Assemblywoman Anna Kelles.

“The Empire AI initiative proposed by Governor Hochul is the bold vision we need to position New York at the forefront of the artificial intelligence industry. This investment is crucial for our state to advance responsible AI research and development that has tremendous potential to improve the lives of all New Yorkers. The opportunity is right in front of us to transform the future of New York and the nation for the better – we must not let it pass us by. I’m proud to join Governor Hochul, Senator Webb, Assemblywoman Lupardo and our colleagues today in support of Empire AI,” said Bloomberg LP Co-Founder and Vice Chairman Tom Secunda.

The Empire AI consortium will be leading the development for responsible AI that is focused on the public good. In the majority of cases, projects like these are funded by private entities and serve private interests. Empire AI will be the first project of its kind geared toward the public and overseen by educational institutions, and it will place New York in the driver’s seat for future AI development. 

Through its partnership with New York’s leading colleges and universities, Empire AI will also help to prepare the workforce of the future by championing skills and talent that will future-proof the jobs New York’s economy will rely on, taking the national lead on building and attracting the next generation of tech talent in New York. 

“Binghamton University sees tremendous potential for exciting research, education and economic development opportunities related to the Empire AI initiative. Having access to an upstate computing center of this caliber will give a boost to efforts at our campus in vitally important subjects ranging from healthcare to information security. Faculty researchers at Binghamton have a particular interest in using AI to characterize and help treat mental health disorders, to improve our understanding of social behavior and to address the problems associated with misinformation and disinformation. Artificial intelligence is also an area of strategic importance to us as we hire outstanding research faculty across several departments,” said Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger.

“The pace of AI innovation is driving the need for a staggering amount of compute power—for universities as well as industry. Investment in a computing facility will attract the best AI researchers to Cornell and our partner institutions in New York. Cornell is at the forefront of AI innovation, and Empire AI will further fuel our research in trustworthy and safe AI that benefits society, and drives the frontiers of scientific discovery, medicine, and sustainability. We applaud Governor Hochul’s foresight in supporting this critical investment towards research, education and public good across New York State,” said Cornell Ann S. Bowers College of Computing and Information Science Dean Kavita Bala. 


About Empire AI

Empire AI is a proposed consortium that would be created to launch a state-of-the-art Artificial Intelligence computing center in Buffalo. The consortium is comprised of several higher education institutions including SUNY, CUNY, Columbia University, Cornell University, NYU, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), as well as philanthropic backers such as Tom Secunda and the Simons Foundation. Intended to promote responsible research and development, create jobs, and unlock AI opportunities focused on public good in New York, this initiative will bridge the gap between private funding and public interest through investments in both sectors to accelerate the development of AI centered in public interest for the state. 

Additional information can be found HERE


Published: Mar 1, 2024 | Last Modified: Mar 28, 2024


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