The National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture are announcing an investment of more than $140 million to establish seven artificial intelligence institutes in the U.S.
One of the new AI institutes will be led by an Indian American, Professor Vikram Adve of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, according to a press release from U of I. Each of the new institutes will receive about $20 million over five years.
Two of the seven AI institutes will be led by teams at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, one by Adve. They will support the work of researchers at the U. of I. and their partners at other academic and research institutions.
The USDA-NIFA will fund the AI Institute for Future Agricultural Resilience, Management and Sustainability (AIFARMS) at the U. of I. Illinois led by Adve who is a computer science professor .
The NSF will fund the AI Institute for Molecular Discovery, Synthetic Strategy and Manufacturing.
AIFARMS will advance AI research in computer vision, machine learning, soft-object manipulation and intuitive human-robot interaction to solve major agricultural challenges, the NSF reports.
Such challenges include sustainable intensification with limited labor, efficiency and welfare in animal agriculture, the environmental resilience of crops and the preservation of soil health. The institute will feature “a novel autonomous farm of the future, new education and outreach pathways for diversifying the workforce in agriculture and technology, and a global clearinghouse to foster collaboration in AI-driven agricultural research,” Adve is quoted saying in the press release.
The Molecule Maker Lab Institute will focus on the development of new AI-enabled tools to accelerate automated chemical synthesis “to advance the discovery and manufacture of novel materials and bioactive compounds,”