Published April 22, 2024

With state budget deal reached, UB ready to help launch Empire AI

Gov. Kathy Hochul speaking at a podium.

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced UB as the home of Empire AI when she visited campus in January. Photo: Meredith Forrest Kulwicki

Release Date: April 22, 2024

UB President Tripathi.
“University at Buffalo is delighted and honored to be a part of the groundbreaking Empire AI consortium, which will place our region, state and nation at the forefront of the artificial intelligence revolution. ”
Satish K. Tripathi
University at Buffalo president

BUFFALO, N.Y. – University at Buffalo President Satish K. Tripathi thanked Gov. Kathy Hochul and state lawmakers for finalizing a budget that makes UB home to the new public-private Empire AI research center for the public good, which is aimed at putting New York State at the forefront of responsible artificial intelligence innovation.

“University at Buffalo is delighted and honored to be a part of the groundbreaking Empire AI consortium, which will place our region, state and nation at the forefront of the artificial intelligence revolution,” Tripathi said. 

“As a university that is nationally and internationally recognized for our responsible AI research and application, UB is deeply committed to harnessing our multidisciplinary expertise in AI to serve the public good,” Tripathi said.

Following Hochul’s announcement of a state budget deal, the legislature has been finalizing budget bills, including language that specifies the UB North Campus as the site of a new building to launch Empire AI and its state-of-the-art computing center.

“We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to Governor Kathy Hochul for her bold vision for New York State and to the New York State Legislature for their steadfast support of this transformative initiative,” Tripathi said.

The governor proposed Empire AI as a consortium comprised of public and private higher education institutions statewide with the goal of accelerating research and innovation in AI, while driving sustained economic impact across the state.

Equally important is its mission to tackle societal challenges in medicine, education, social justice, climate change and other fields, while also serving as a trustworthy source of information as AI technologies continue to evolve.

In addition to UB and fellow SUNY university centers – the University at Albany, Binghamton University, and Stony Brook University – the new consortium is comprised of the City University of New York, Columbia University, Cornell University, New York University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the Flatiron Institute, as well as vital philanthropic backers.

Hochul in January spoke about her budget at UB’s Center for the Arts, where she announced UB as the statewide location for Empire AI in acknowledgment of the university’s decades-long leadership in AI and data science.

The region’s state legislators followed up with a visit to campus in March, when they lauded the governor’s vision for Empire AI and threw their support behind her plan to make UB its home.

A SUNY flagship with a robust cyberinfrastructure, UB has long been recognized nationally and internationally as a leader in AI and data science.

The university has more than 200 researchers exploring how to use AI and data science to advance cybersecurity, drug discovery, robotics, education, environmental science, transportation and other fields that are critical to the future of the state and nation.

Additionally, UB is No. 1 in the state among public and private research universities in securing cyberinfrastructure program funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

And last year, the university was awarded a highly competitive, five-year, $20 million grant from the NSF and the Department of Education to establish the National AI Institute for Exceptional Education, which brought Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and National Science Foundation Director Sethuraman Panchanathan to UB earlier this month.

Media Contact Information

John Della Contrada
Vice President for University Communications
521 Capen Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260
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Twitter: UBNewsSource