CMU Puts AI To Work in New NSF-funded Institutes

Carnegie Mellon University researchers will contribute to four of the 11 new National Artificial Intelligence Research Institutes announced today by the National Science Foundation. Focused on AI-based technologies, these new institutes, which will each receive $20 million in funding over five years, will advance technology in fields ranging from agriculture to wireless networks.

The wide reach of these institutes illustrates the role AI will play in the next wave of transformational innovation and as a tool for improving daily life. CMU’s inclusion in these efforts to expand the use of AI underscores the university’s depth and breadth of expertise in the field, spanning deep learning, robotics, interaction, ethics and engineering. The university is one of the birthplaces of AI and continues to push its boundaries.


Reid Simmons, a research professor in the Robotics Institute (RI) and the Computer Science Department (CSD), will lead CMU’s involvement in the AI Institute for Collaborative Assistance and Responsive Interaction for Networked Groups (AI-CARING), which seeks to develop AI systems for caregiving environments.

AI-CARING will be led by the Georgia Institute of Technology with partial funding from Amazon and Google. The institute will initially focus on assisting in the care of the elderly by seeking to understand and manage the interaction between humans and AI agents. Researchers will develop methods to teach AI systems to learn a person’s needs, preferences and caregiving network, and enable the systems to adapt as those change over time. The tasks will involve not only coordinating a variety of AI agents — like voice-controlled assistants, smart devices or chatbots — but also managing human caregivers ranging from medical and assistance providers to family.

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