A new artificial intelligence consortium that will include the University of Illinois has made fighting the COVID-19 pandemic its first order of business.
The C3.ai Digital Transformation Institute, chaired by Thomas Siebel (BA ’75, history; MBA ’83; MS ’85, computer science) and co-managed by the U of I and the University of California, Berkeley, aims to accelerate the application of artificial intelligence in business, government, and society. The institute will occupy space in a new building scheduled to be constructed by 2022 on the site of Illini Hall.
The institute has already pledged to fund research proposals related to COVID-19, including applying machine learning and other artificial intelligence methods to mitigate the spread of the pandemic; genome-specific COVID-19 medical protocols, biomedical informatics methods for drug design and repurposing; design and sharing of clinical trials; improving societal resilience in response to the pandemic; data analytics for COVID-19 research harnessing private and sensitive data; and other topics.
“The C3.ai Digital Transformation Institute is a consortium of leading scientists, researchers, innovators, and executives from academia and industry, joining forces to accelerate the social and economic benefits of digital transformation,” said Siebel, chairman and CEO of C3.ai, in a release from the company. “We have the opportunity through public-private partnership to change the course of a global pandemic,” Siebel continued. “I cannot imagine a more important use of AI.”
Researchers have until May 1 to apply for the funding. Interested individuals can learn more at C3DTI.ai.
The institute’s Illinois offices will initially be located in the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, but then the institute will be one of several units housed in the new Illini Hall, which is being constructed in conjunction with the renovation of Altgeld Hall to increase capacity, modernize learning spaces, and encourage innovation in data science, mathematics, and statistics. The departments of Mathematics and Statistics will use space in the new building.