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Tech’s New Center Dedicated To AI Study Across Industries

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Tech’s New Center Dedicated To AI Study Across Industries

Tennessee Tech has a new center dedicated to coordinating the study of artificial intelligence throughout the university and in the community.

The Machine Intelligence and Data Science (MInDS) Center aims to work with people and departments all across the university. Co-Director Dr. Bill Eberle said everyone on campus is being affected by AI regardless of their industry or field of study.

“Because it’s become so prominent and people are starting to use AI because it’s more – become easier to use, more obtainable in terms of resources, that we felt like there needed to be a effort on campus to coordinate all of the activities and all the needs across campus that are dealing with artificial intelligence,” Eberle said.

Eberle said the idea for the center was inspired by the success of a pre-existing cybersecurity center at the school called CEROC (See-Rock). He said the center also spends a lot of time on workforce development, educating students about AI and showing them how they can use it after they graduate.

“We do, again, want our students to be ready when they leave here to be able to be productive when it comes to artificial intelligence and data science in the workforce,” Eberle said.

Eberle said they began working to establish the center in the spring of 2023, and it officially opened the following August.

“With the explosion recently in the last couple years of interest, more interest in – particularly in artificial intelligence with things like ChatGPT and things like that happening, we realized it was a need,” Eberle said. “Because across campus everyone was having to deal with these technologies that were becoming more pervasive in their disciplines.”

He said more programs at the university are starting to offer courses about AI and its relation to their specific fields.

“Everyone is using AI,” Eberle said. “And that’s not just technologists, you know, the computer scientists or the engineers or the mathematicians or the business people maybe who are, who are actually maybe developing things when it comes to data science or AI, but everyone can use it.”

The center is also co-directed by Dr. Doug Talbert.


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