TAU Launches Israel’s First Center for AI and Data Science

Center to take TAU and Israel to forefront of the global artificial intelligence revolution.

Tel Aviv University launched the new, interdisciplinary Center for Artificial Intelligence and Data Science today, headed by Prof. Meir Feder of the Fleischman Faculty of Engineering. The Center will enhance basic science in these fields, encourage cross-disciplinary research that uses the most advanced methods of artificial intelligence (AI) and data science (DS), and train a new generation of researchers and industrialists who will take Israel to the forefront of the global AI revolution in the coming years. Moreover, it will lay the groundwork for the rapidly growing field of quantum computing. The launch event took place during TAU’s annual AI Week.

Penetrating All Areas of Life

TAU President, Prof. Ariel Porat: “The establishment of the AI Center is one more step toward implementing TAU’s vision for advancing groundbreaking, interdisciplinary research that brings together the university’s finest researchers, the high-tech industry and the community. Not long ago we launched the interdisciplinary Center for Combating Pandemics and over the coming year we intend to establish more such centers, such as one for climate change and another for healthy aging. TAU’s great advantage is its enormous range of disciplines. Our new interdisciplinary centers will further extend the scope of research, combining different disciplines, from engineering and computer science through life sciences, medicine and psychology, to economics, management, humanities, arts and law.” Prof. Meir Feder emphasized that “the AI revolution is expected to impact our way of life in every aspect, from drug development and data-based personalized medicine, to defense and security systems, financial systems, scientific discoveries, robotics, autonomous systems and social issues. In addition, it is very important to train human capital in this area, and therefore the Center will provide all TAU students with basic AI education.” According to Prof. Feder, the Center will include hundreds of researchers, and will promote collaborations among scientists all over campus. It will also foster collaborations with the defense and other industries, the public sector, and leading universities and research institutions around the world. Prof. Feder added that next month the AI Center will launch its collaboration with Google Israel as part of the company’s “AI for Social Good” program. Major Gen. (Ret.) Prof. Isaac Ben-Israel, Head of TAU’s Yuval Ne’eman Workshop for Science, Technology and Security and Blavatnik Interdisciplinary Cyber Research Center, and Prof. Eviatar Matania, also of Tel Aviv University, are the visionaries behind AI Week and the university-wide AI initiative. Prof. BenIsrael stressed that “the applications of intelligent systems have far-reaching implications for practically every area of modern life, including security, medicine, transportation, automation, retail, customer service and numerous others. Various AI and machine learning algorithms, together with the enormous increase in computational power, are already beginning to penetrate all areas of our lives, and understanding them requires proficiency not only in the obvious technological disciplines such as computer science, mathematics and engineering, but also in the social, legal, business and even philosophical spheres.”

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