Thursday, May 30, 2024

UTSA joins federal consortium to advance AI safety

UTSA joins federal consortium to advance AI safety

MARCH 6, 2024 — UTSA has joined the U.S. Artificial Intelligence Safety Institute Consortium (AISIC), an organization established by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), to bring together government, university and industry researchers, AI creators and users, and community groups to support the development and deployment of trustworthy and safe AI.

UTSA’s inclusion in the national consortium is a testament to its expertise in artificial intelligence, data science, computing and cybersecurity as well as its robust educational programs to develop career-ready Roadrunners who are prepared to succeed in the growing artificial intelligence workforce.

“We are proud to collaborate with this consortium to help lead the way in these cutting-edge fields and to continue to expand the university’s collective expertise for the benefit of the institution and our UTSA students,” said Heather Shipley, interim provost and executive vice president for academic affairs.

The AISIC includes more than 200 member organizations and institutions that are on the frontlines of researching, developing and/or leveraging AI systems to positively transform society. These entities represent the nation’s largest companies and innovative startups, creators of the world’s most advanced AI systems and hardware and representatives from professions with deep engagement in AI’s use today.

“The university’s combined assets, particularly within the School of Data Science and the National Security Collaboration Center, position UTSA to play a crucial role in advancing the mission of the consortium,” said Jianwei Niu, interim executive director of the School of Data Science and interim dean of University College.

Niu noted that David Mongeau, former founding director of the SDS, was instrumental in leading UTSA’s efforts to join the AISIC along with SDS core faculty and project leads Adel Alaeddini, professor of mechanical engineering and SDS associate director for academic programs, Gabriela Ciocarlie, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, and Paul Rad, associate professor of computer science and SDS associate director of research.

The AISIC aims to advance AI safety by bringing together government, academia and industry to develop and deploy trustworthy and safe AI systems. Through collaboration and guidance, the consortium seeks to set standards, promote AI development practices and cultivate a skilled AI workforce.

“The U.S. government has a significant role to play in setting the standards and developing the tools we need to mitigate the risks and harness the immense potential of artificial intelligence,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “President Biden directed us to pull every lever to accomplish two key goals: set safety standards and protect our innovation ecosystem. That’s precisely what the U.S. AI Safety Institute Consortium is set up to help us do.”

The SDS is the only school of its kind at a Tier One, Hispanic Serving Institution. The school was established to educate top data scientists for Texas’ workforce while leading the nation in data-intensive research. Its commitment to excellence, innovation and community engagement makes it a hub for data-driven and AI-powered solutions and a driving force in the ever-evolving data and AI landscape.

The full list of consortium participants is available here.
Learn more about the UTSA School of Data Science.

UTSA is home to the MATRIX AI Consortium, marking its most expansive interdisciplinary research initiative to date. Bringing together over 70 scientists and AI experts from UTSA, UT Health San Antonio, the Southwest Research Institute and the wider San Antonio region, MATRIX is at the forefront of pioneering transdisciplinary AI solutions. Focused on four key research thrusts — Machine Learning and Deployment, Augmenting Human Capabilities, Neuro-Inspired AI and Trustworthy AI — and strategically partnering with industry leaders and federal research labs, MATRIX is tackling significant AI challenges while addressing the nation’s growing need for interdisciplinary AI research talent.

With multiple dedicated research centers and a plethora of collaborative projects, MATRIX is the primary hub for advancing AI research at UTSA and in San Antonio. 

Last fall, UTSA and UT Health San Antonio jointly launched the first known program in the United States to combine medicine and artificial intelligence. Their MD/MS in Artificial Intelligence is a five-year program that enables physicians trained in San Antonio to uniquely lead in the practical use of artificial intelligence to improve diagnostic and treatment outcomes.

The university is also in the planning stages to create a new college in AI, computing, cyber and data science.

Christopher Reichert

UTSA Today is produced by University Strategic Communications,
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of The University of Texas at San Antonio.

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The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.

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