Press Release: Introducing the AI Institute for Societal Decision Making (AI-SDM)

Carnegie Mellon University proudly announces the launch of the AI Institute for Societal Decision Making (AI-SDM), a transformative research project aimed at developing new AI-based technologies to revolutionize decision making in critical domains.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Advancing Societal Decision Making: Introducing the AI Institute for Societal Decision Making (AI-SDM) AI-SDM.Research.University, June 3, 2023 – Today, Carnegie Mellon University proudly announces the launch of the AI Institute for Societal Decision Making (AI-SDM), a transformative research project aimed at developing new AI-based technologies to revolutionize decision making in critical domains. With a five-year, $19.8 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), AI-SDM brings together a diverse team of researchers from leading universities across the United States. AI-SDM’s mission is to harness the power of artificial intelligence to enhance decision making in complex and resource-constrained situations, while accounting for human factors and societal acceptance. By bridging the fields of social decision sciences and AI, AI-SDM will pioneer human-centric AI solutions and interdisciplinary training, enabling transformative advancements in societal decision challenges. The institute will empower emergency managers, public health officials, first responders, community workers, and the public to make data-driven decisions that are quick, efficient, and informed by AI technologies, while considering critical human factors governing acceptance. Led by Director Aarti Singh, along with Co-Directors Cleotilde Gonzalez and Sham Kakade, AI-SDM will focus on four key areas of research:
  1. Computational representations of human decision processes: AI-SDM will develop innovative methods to represent human decision processes and utilize these representations to create AI-based tools that assist humans in making better decisions.
  2. Robust aggregation methods for collective decision-making: AI-SDM will develop advanced techniques to aggregate the decisions of multiple individuals or groups, leading to the development of AI-based tools that improve collective decision-making processes.
  3. Multi-objective autonomous decision support tools: AI-SDM will create AI-based tools that aid decision makers in considering multiple objectives when making complex decisions. These tools will enhance decision-making capabilities in uncertain and dynamic scenarios.
  4. Causal and counterfactual reasoning: AI-SDM will pioneer AI-based methods for causal and counterfactual reasoning, enabling decision makers to understand the potential consequences of their choices. These methods will support the development of AI tools that provide insights into the impacts of decisions.
AI-SDM is a collaborative effort between Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Michigan, and the University of Washington. Industry partners such as Amazon, Google, IBM, and Microsoft join forces with AI-SDM, providing expertise and resources to drive impactful research and innovation. This collaborative approach allows AI-SDM to leverage a wide range of expertise in AI, social science, and public policy, empowering the institute to address societal decision challenges in domains like public health, disaster response, and economic development. In addition to its research efforts, AI-SDM is committed to educating the next generation of AI researchers and policymakers. The institute will engage in a variety of outreach activities, including professional development workshops for high school educators, enrichment programs for underrepresented students, curriculum co-design with community colleges, and workforce training initiatives. These efforts aim to foster a workforce trained in human-centric AI and create public awareness and understanding of AI’s role in decision making. AI-SDM also recognizes the importance of engaging the public in discussions surrounding the benefits and risks of AI. The institute will actively involve the public through public forums, online discussions, and social media campaigns, ensuring transparency and inclusivity in the development and deployment of AI technologies. “We believe that AI-SDM has the potential to revolutionize societal decision making, addressing critical challenges and improving outcomes across various domains,” stated Director Aarti Singh. “We are grateful for the support of NSF and excited to collaborate with our partners to make a meaningful impact on the world.” Summary:
  • Director: Aarti Singh, Professor of Machine Learning, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Co-Directors: Cleotilde Gonzalez, Research Professor of Social and Decision Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University; Sham Kakade, Professor of Computer Science and Statistics, Harvard University
  • Funding: $19.8 million from the National Science Foundation
  • Duration: Five years (2023-2028)
  • Partners: Carnegie Mellon University, University of Pittsburgh, University of Pennsylvania, University of Michigan, University of Washington, Amazon, Google, IBM, Microsoft
  • Focus: Developing new AI-based technologies to improve societal decision making
  • Broader impacts: Educating the next generation of AI researchers and policymakers; engaging the public in discussions about the potential benefits and risks of AI
For media inquiries and collaboration opportunities, please contact: Director Aarti Singh AI Institute for Societal Decision Making (AI-SDM) About AI-SDM: The AI Institute for Societal Decision Making (AI-SDM) is a collaborative research initiative led by Carnegie Mellon University, funded by the National Science Foundation. AI-SDM aims to revolutionize decision making by developing innovative AI-based technologies that address complex societal challenges. By combining the expertise of AI researchers, social scientists, and policymakers, AI-SDM strives to create human-centric AI solutions and advance interdisciplinary training, ultimately driving transformative societal impacts. For more information, visit AI-SDM.Research.University.

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