C3.ai, Microsoft, and Leading Universities Launch C3.ai Digital Transformation Institute

March 26, 2020

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., REDMOND, Wash., URBANA-CHAMPAIGN, Ill., and BERKLEY, Calif., March 26, 2020 – C3.ai, Microsoft Corporation, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), the University of California, Berkeley, Princeton University, the University of Chicago, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University, and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at UIUC announced two major initiatives:

  • C3.ai Digital Transformation Institute (C3.ai DTI), a research consortium dedicated to accelerating the application of artificial intelligence to speed the pace of digital transformation in business, government, and society. Jointly managed by UC Berkeley and UIUC, C3.ai DTI will sponsor and fund world-leading scientists in a coordinated effort to advance the digital transformation of business, government, and society.
  • C3.ai DTI First Call for Research Proposals: C3.ai DTI invites scholars, developers, and researchers, to embrace the challenge of abating COVID-19 and advance the knowledge, science, and technologies for mitigating future pandemics using AI. This is the first in what will be a series of bi-annual calls for Digital Transformation research proposals.

“The C3.ai Digital Transformation Institute is a consortium of leading scientists, researchers, innovators, and executives from academia and industry, joining forces to accelerate the social and economic benefits of digital transformation,” said Thomas M. Siebel, CEO of C3.ai. “We have the opportunity through public-private partnership to change the course of a global pandemic,” Siebel continued. “I cannot imagine a more important use of AI.”

Immediate Call for Proposals: AI Techniques to Mitigate Pandemic

Topics for Research Awards may include but are not limited to the following:

  • Applying machine learning and other AI methods to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Genome-specific COVID-19 medical protocols, including precision medicine of host responses
  • Biomedical informatics methods for drug design and repurposing
  • Design and sharing of clinical trials for collecting data on medications, therapies, and interventions
  • Modeling, simulation, and prediction for understanding COVID-19 propagation and efficacy of interventions
  • Logistics and optimization analysis for design of public health strategies and interventions
  • Rigorous approaches to designing sampling and testing strategies
  • Data analytics for COVID-19 research harnessing private and sensitive data
  • Improving societal resilience in response to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Broader efforts in biomedicine, infectious disease modeling, response logistics and optimization, public health efforts, tools, and methodologies around the containment of rising infectious diseases and response to pandemics, so as to be better prepared for future infectious diseases

The first call for proposals is open now, with a deadline of May 1, 2020. Researchers are invited to learn more about C3.ai DTI and how to submit their proposals for consideration at C3DTI.ai. Selected proposals will be announced by June 1, 2020.

“We are collecting a massive amount of data about MERS, SARS, and now COVID-19,” said Condoleezza Rice, former US Secretary of State. “We have a unique opportunity before us to apply the new sciences of AI and digital transformation to learn from these data how we can better manage these phenomena and avert the worst outcomes for humanity,” Rice continued. “I can think of no work more important and no response more cogent and timely than this important public-private partnership.”

“We’re excited about the C3.ai Digital Transformation Institute and are happy to join on a shared mission to accelerate research at these eminent research institutions,” said Eric Horvitz, Chief Scientist at Microsoft and C3.ai DTI Advisory Board Member. “As we launch this exciting private-public partnership, we’re enthusiastic about aiming the broader goals of the Institute at urgent challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as on longer-term research that could help to minimize future pandemics.”

“At UC Berkeley, we are thrilled to help co-lead this important endeavor to establish and advance the science of digital transformation at the nexus of machine learning, IoT, and cloud computing,” said Carol Christ, Chancellor, UC Berkeley. “We believe this Institute has the potential to make tremendous contributions by including ethics, new business models, and public policy to the technologies for transforming societal scale systems globally.”

“The C3.ai Digital Transformation Institute, with its vision of cross-institutional and multi-disciplinary collaboration, represents an exciting model to help accelerate innovation in this important new field of study,” said Robert J. Jones, Chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “At this time of a global health crisis, the Institute’s initial research focus will be on applying AI to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic and to learn from it how to protect the world from future pandemics. C3.ai DTI is an important addition to the world’s fight against this disease and a powerful new resource in developing solutions to all societal challenges.”

“Together with the other C3.ai Digital Transformation Institute partners, we look forward to creating a powerful ecosystem of scholars and educators committed to applying 21st century technologies to the benefit of all,” said Chris Eisgruber, President of Princeton University. “This public-private partnership with innovators like C3.ai and Microsoft, providing support to world-class researchers across a range of disciplines, promises to bring rapid innovation to an exciting new frontier.”

“By strongly supporting multidisciplinary research and multi-institution projects, the C3.ai DTI represents a new avenue to develop breakthrough scientific results with a positive impact on society at a time of great need,” said Robert Zimmer, President of the University of Chicago. “I’m very pleased that the University of Chicago is part of this formidable collaboration between academia and industry to lead crucial innovation with great purpose and urgency.”

“The vision of C3.ai DTI is driven by the recognition of digital transformation as both a science as well as a scientific imperative for this pivotal time, applicable to every sector of our economy across the public and private sectors, including in healthcare, education, and public health,” said Farnam Jahanian, President of Carnegie Mellon University. “We are excited to participate in building out the Institute’s structure, program and further alliances. This is just the beginning of an ambitious journey that can have enormous positive impact on the world.”

“At MIT, we share the commitment of C3.ai DTI to advancing the frontiers of AI, cybersecurity and related fields while building into every inquiry a deep concern for ethics, privacy, equity and the public interest,” said Rafael Reif, President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “At this moment of national emergency, we are proud to be part of this intensive effort to apply these sophisticated tools to better analyze the COVID-19 epidemic and devise effective ways to stop it. We look forward to accelerating this work both by collaborating with the companies and institutions in the initiative, and by drawing on the frontline experience and clinical data of our colleagues in Boston’s world-class hospitals.”

Building Community

At the heart of C3.ai DTI will be the constant flow of new ideas and expertise provided by ongoing research, visiting professors and research scholars, and faculty and scholars in residence, many of whom will come from beyond the member institutions. This rich ecosystem will form the foundational structure of a new Science of Digital Transformation.

“This is about global innovation based on multinational collaboration to accelerate the positive impact of AI by providing researchers access to real world data and to massive resources,” said Jim Snabe, Chairman, Siemens. “This is exactly the kind of multinational public-private partnership that is required to address this critical issue.”

“I could not be more proud of our association with C3.ai and Microsoft,” said Lorenzo Simonelli, CEO of Baker Hughes. “This is exactly the kind of leadership that is required to bring together the best of us to address this critical need.”

“We are at war and we must win it! Using all means,” said Jacques Attali, French statesman. “This great project will organize global scientific collaboration for accelerating the social impact of AI, and help to win this war, using new weapons, for the best of mankind.”

“In these difficult times, we need – now more than ever – to join our forces with scholars, innovators, and industry experts to propose solutions to complex problems. I am convinced that digital, data science and AI are a key answer,” said Gwenaëlle Avice-Huet, Executive Vice President of ENGIE. “The C3.ai Digital Transformation Institute is a perfect example of what we can do together to make the world better.”

Establishing the New Science of Digital Transformation

C3.ai DTI will focus its research on AI, Machine Learning, IoT, Big Data Analytics, human factors, organizational behavior, ethics, and public policy. The Institute will support the development of ML algorithms, data security, and cybersecurity techniques. C3.ai DTI research will analyze new business operation models, develop methods of implementing organizational change management and protecting privacy, and amplify the dialogue around the ethics and public policy of AI.

C3.ai Digital Transformation Institute is a Research Initiative that Includes:

  • Research Awards: Up to 26 cash awards annually, ranging from $100,000 to $500,000 each
  • Computing Resources: Access to free Azure Cloud and C3 AI Suite resources
  • Visiting Professors & Research Scientists: $750,000 per year to support C3.ai DTI Visiting Scholars
  • Curriculum Development: Annual awards to faculty at member institutions to develop curricula that teach the emerging field of Digital Transformation Science
  • Data Analytics Platform: C3.ai DTI will host an elastic cloud, big data, development, and operating platform, including the C3 AI Suite hosted on Microsoft Azure for the purpose of supporting C3.ai DTI research, curriculum development, and teaching.
  • Educational Program: $750,000 a year to support an annual conference, annual report, newsletters, published research, and website
  • Industry Alignment: C3.ai DTI Industry Partners will be established to assure the institute’s operations are aligned to the needs of the private sector.
  • Open Source: C3.ai DTI will strongly favor proposals that promise to publish their research in the public domain.

To support the Institute, C3.ai will provide C3.ai DTI $57,250,000 in cash contributions over the first five years of operation. C3.ai and Microsoft will contribute an additional $310 million in-kind, including use of the C3 AI Suite and Microsoft Azure computing, storage, and technical resources to support C3.ai DTI research.

About C3.ai Digital Transformation Institute

C3.ai Digital Transformation Institute represents an innovative vision to take AI, ML, IoT, and big data research in a consortium model to a level that cannot be achieved at any one institution alone. Jointly managed and hosted by the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, C3.ai DTI will attract the world’s leading scientists to join in a coordinated and innovative effort to advance the digital transformation of business, government, and society, and establish the new Science of the Digital Transformation of Societal Systems.

About C3.ai

C3.ai is a leading AI software provider for accelerating digital transformation. C3.ai delivers the C3 AI Suite for developing, deploying, and operating large-scale AI, predictive analytics, and IoT applications in addition to an increasingly broad portfolio of turn-key AI applications. The core of the C3.ai offering is a revolutionary, model-driven AI architecture that dramatically enhances data science and application development.

About Microsoft

Microsoft enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

About University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a public land-grant research university founded in 1867 and dedicated to building upon a tradition of excellence in education, research, public engagement and economic development. The university pioneers innovative research that tackles global problems and expands the human experience. Illinois faculty, staff and alumni have been leading the way in digital transformation from the invention of the transistor to the birth of the graphical internet browser to high performance computing to the new revolution in data sciences and analytics.

About University of California, Berkeley

UC Berkeley is the world’s premier public university with a mission to excel in teaching, research and public service. This longstanding mission has led to the university’s distinguished record of Nobel-level scholarship, constant innovation, a concern for the betterment of our world, and consistently high rankings of its schools and departments. The campus offers superior, high-value education for extraordinarily talented students from all walks of life, operational excellence, and a commitment to the competitiveness and prosperity of California and the nation.

About Princeton University

Princeton University is a vibrant community of teaching and research that stands in the nation’s service and the service of humanity. Chartered in 1746, Princeton is the fourth-oldest college in the United States. Princeton is an independent, coeducational, nondenominational institution that provides undergraduate and graduate instruction in the arts and humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering.

About University of Chicago

The University of Chicago is a leading academic and research institution that has driven new ways of thinking since its founding in 1890. As an intellectual destination, the University draws scholars and students from around the world to its campuses and centers around the globe. The University provides a distinctive educational experience and research environment, empowering individuals to challenge conventional thinking and pursue field-defining research that produces new understanding and breakthroughs with global impact.

About Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is dedicated to advancing knowledge and educating students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century. The Institute has more than 1,000 faculty members and over 11,500 undergraduate and graduate students. MIT’s commitment to innovation has led to a host of scientific breakthroughs and technological advances, in fields ranging from aeronautics to computing to cancer research.

About Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon (cmu.edu) is a private, internationally ranked research university with programs in areas ranging from science, technology and business, to public policy, the humanities and the arts. More than 14,000 students in the university’s seven schools and colleges benefit from a small student-to-faculty ratio and an education characterized by its focus on creating and implementing solutions for real problems, interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation.


Source: C3.ai

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