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NSF Launches Artificial Intelligence Research Center at Duke

$20 Million, 5-Year effort to improve mobile systems and networks with AI

Professor Yiran Chen, second from right, and students. (Duke Photo)
Professor Yiran Chen, second from right, and students. (Duke Photo)

DURHAM, N.C. -- The National Science Foundation today announced the creation of 11 new research institutes devoted to Artificial Intelligence, including one at Duke and one at NC State University. The $220 million total investment comes after a $140 million NSF investment created seven other AI institutes last year.

Duke’s center, Athena, the AI Institute for Edge Computing Leveraging Next-generation Networks, will support a multi-disciplinary team of scientists, engineers, statisticians, legal scholars, and psychologists from seven universities. The center aims to transform the design, operation, and service of future mobile systems and networks.

Some of the five-year, $20 million support for the Duke center will also come from the Department of Homeland Security. Duke’s Athena partner institutions include: MIT, Yale, Princeton, Wisconsin, University of Michigan and North Carolina A&T

“We are also committed to educating and developing the AI workforce and cultivating a diverse next generation of edge computing and network leaders whose core values are driven by ethics and fairness in AI,” said Athena leader Yiran Chen, a professor of electrical and computer engineering in the Pratt School of Engineering.

Other AI centers in the latest round of funding will focus on online education, agriculture, system optimization and real-time control. Google, Amazon, Intel and Accenture are also partners in the new centers.