SUNY Chancellor John King, Jr. visited North Campus last week to attend a panel on artificial intelligence in research. King also met with students working with Blackstone LaunchPad and ate lunch with UB and SUNY officials in Norton Hall’s University Club.
The five faculty members on the panel — representing disciplines ranging from Romance languages to early childhood education — discussed the ways that AI can be used in research and “for public good.”
Venu Govindaraju, the university’s Vice President for Research and Economic Development and the panel’s moderator, said more than 200 UB faculty members are now working on AI in nearly every discipline UB offers. National organizations are taking notice of UB’s AI leadership too, he said. Last year, the National Science Foundation granted UB $20 million and designated it a National Artificial Intelligence Research Institute, one of only 25 in the nation.
In a brief question-and-answer session with reporters after the panel ended, UB President Satish Tripathi hailed the impact of the university’s AI research in the community, adding that, for example, one panel member’s research on AI in speech and language education could be used in Buffalo Public Schools.
King concurred, highlighting increased state investment in the SUNY system.
When asked by The Spectrum about deferred maintenance — repairs and upkeep that are put off due to a lack of funds — King said new funding will allow SUNY to actively address these costs across the system.
UB has $605 million in deferred maintenance expenses, according to this year’s Operating Budget Report, and King said that figure stands at over $7 billion for the SUNY system.
King last made a publicized visit to UB on Jan. 13, four days before he officially became SUNY chancellor. During that visit, he toured North Campus — including the Level Up computer lab and some robotics and drone labs — and spoke with Spectrum reporter Victoria Hill.
Sol Hauser is a news editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org