Artificial Intelligence’s seemingly limitless possibilities are changing the way we live, work and learn. Evolution creates revolution and the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering is at the forefront with the Luddy Artificial Intelligence Center.
This state-of-the art, $35 million, 58,000-square foot facility, combined with elite Bloomington campus-wide faculty and students, will help make IU a leader in AI research and education.
By focusing on people and not machines.
“It’s not about creating AI systems that are going to take over and replace people,” said David Crandall, the center’s director and Luddy Professor of computer science. “It’s about how to make AI systems that will help us live better lives.”
The Luddy AI Center, or LAIC, is at the intersection of the physical and digital worlds. It’s a hub for human-centered artificial intelligence research, education and service. By bringing in researchers from all backgrounds and perspectives, it empowers faculty and students to learn about and use AI technology to explore and solve real-world problems in areas such as health and wellness, education, science, workforce development, cybersecurity and safer transportation, including self-driving vehicles.
Incredible AI work is happening at the Luddy AI Center, and more is on the way thanks to its passionate, dedicated researchers. Since 2020, faculty affiliated with LAIC have received more than $45 million in AI-related grants, gifts and contracts. Also since 2020, they have produced more than 270 AI-related publications.
“The LAIC allows us to combine artificial intelligence with Indiana University's focus on humanities,” said Joanna Millunchick, Luddy School dean. “Our questions are different, and our solutions are much more people centered.”
This is critical to keep up with AI’s amazingly rapid advances. AI will likely impact nearly all sectors, including creating and changing many jobs. New technologies like ChatGPT seem able to do many human-like tasks, from solving math problems to finding bugs in code to writing song lyrics.
AI can write a million Ernest Hemmingway-style short stories in the same time that the actual Hemmingway wrote one. AI has even shown signs of developing what experts call “emerging properties,” which means it can learn skills that it was not explicitly trained to do.
However, modern AI also makes mistakes. ChatGPT often gives incorrect answers to very obvious questions, including “hallucinating” facts and miscalculating simple math problems. As AI is used in more and more real-world applications, these failures could have catastrophic consequences -- such as self-driving cars that fail to stop for pedestrians.
So like any new technology, AI will create many opportunities but also many challenges.
Through all of that, and more, the Luddy AI Center can lead the way. That includes providing unique educational and research opportunities ranging from developing new machine learning algorithms and models to understanding the connections to human cognition, behavior and health, and much more.
“A lot of AI work centers around people,” Crandall said. “Even the highly technical work is not about building AI for AI’s sake, but to ensure AI can communicate with people, learn from people and its own experience, explain its reasoning to people, improve people’s health and well-being, protect people’s privacy and security, complement people’s artistic expression, help people learn better, and so on.”
The Luddy AI Center has more than 25 labs, centers and institutes, including the Societal Computing Lab, the Vehicle Autonomy and Intelligence Lab and the Math Cancer Lab.
Its more than 50 faculty have access to IU’s high-performance computers and GPU clusters, including Big Red 200, one of the country’s fastest university-owned computers.
Beyond the technical advances, the Luddy AI Center advocates for diversity, equity and inclusion in how AI is developed and used. It seeks to project a strong message of how IU’s AI work impacts people around the state, country and world. It aims to recruit exceptional faculty, staff and students to IU, and help spark new AI-related collaborations between IU researchers.
“We also want to help people around the university and the state who want to use AI and don’t know how to get started,” Crandall said.
The Center will feature the AI Clinic, which is an on-ramp to using AI for everything from short consultations to long-term research collaboration, as well as providing AI expertise for projects, grant proposals and more.
“The Center will evolve over time,” Crandall said. “AI research is going on everywhere, but we have fantastic researchers and unique strengths at IU that we need to showcase.”
Added Mullinchick: “LAIC supports excellent research that is innovative, imaginative and pushes new boundaries. And what’s really exciting is that this is just the starting point.”