Second round of seed grants awarded to MIT scholars studying the impact and applications of generic AI MIT News

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Last summer, MIT President Sally Kornbluth and Provost Cynthia Barnhart released papers to “articulate effective roadmaps, policy recommendations, and calls for action across the broad domain of generative AI.” The response to the call far exceeded expectations and 75 proposals were submitted. Of those, 27 proposals were selected for seed funding.

In light of this enthusiastic response, Kornbluth and Barnhart announced a second call for proposals this fall.

“The baseline growth of interest and caliber of ideas made clear that a second round was right,” he said in his email to MIT’s research community this autumn. This second call for proposals resulted in 53 submissions.

Following the second call, a first-round faculty committee considered the proposals and selected 16 proposals to receive exploratory funding. Co-written by interdisciplinary teams of faculty and researchers affiliated with all five of the institute’s schools and the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing, the proposals provide insights and perspectives on the potential impact and applications of generative AI across a wide range of topics and subjects.

Each selected research group will receive between $50,000 and $70,000 to produce a 10-page impact paper. Those papers will be shared widely through a publishing site managed and hosted by MIT Press under the auspices of the MIT Open Publishing Services program.

Like the first round of papers, Thomas Tull, a member of the MIT School of Engineering Dean’s Advisory Council and former School of Engineering innovation scholar, contributed funds to support this effort.

The selected papers are:

  • “A Road-Map for End-to-End Privacy and Verifiability in Generative AI” led by Alex Pentland, Srini Devadas, Lalana Kagal and Vinod Vaikunthan;
  • “A Virtuous Circle: Generative AI and Discovery in Physics” led by Philip Harris and Fiala Shanahan;
  • Ramesh Raskar and Tommaso A. “Artificial Cambrian Intelligence: Generating New Forms of Visual Intelligence”, led by Poggio;
  • “Synthetic Fiction and the Value of AI-Generated Art” led by Justin Khoo;
  • “GenAI for improving human-to-human interactions with a focus on conversation,” led by Lawrence Susskind and Samuel Dinnar;
  • “Generative AI as a New Application Platform and Ecosystem” led by Michael Cusumano;
  • “Generative AI for Cities: A Civic Engagement Playbook,” led by Sarah Williams, Sarah Beery, and Eden Medina;
  • “Generative AI for Textile Engineering: Advanced Materials from Heritage Lace Crafts” led by Svetlana V. Boriskina;
  • “Generative AI Implications for Biomedical Innovation and Drug Discovery,” led by Manolis Kelis, Brad Pentelute, and Marinka Zitnik;
  • “The Impact of Generative AI on the Creative Economy” led by Ashiya Wilson and Dylan Hadfield-Meynell;
  • “Redefining Virtuosity: The Role of Generative AI in Live Music Performance,” Joseph A. Led by Paradiso and Eron Egozi;
  • “Reflection-Based Learning with Generative AI” led by Stefanie Müller;
  • “Robust and Reliable Systems for Generative AI,” led by Shafi Goldwasser, Yael Kalai and Vinod Vaikunthan;
  • “Supporting Aging Populations with Generative AI,” led by Patty Mace;
  • “The Science of Language in the Age of Generative AI,” led by Danny Fox, Yoon Kim, and Roger Levy; And
  • “Visual Artists, Technological Shock, and Generative AI”, led by Caroline Jones and Huma Gupta.

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