Purdue’s College of Engineering is developing an Institute of Hard AI. The announcement came June 14 during a National Academy of Investors meeting in Phoenix. Purdue is noted for its work in artificial intelligence (AI) in the virtual and physical worlds. 

Hard AI connects ‘what we code’ and ‘what we touch,’ describes Purdue on its website

The institute will teach students about research, teaching and commercialization of AI in 3 areas: AI by hardware, AI of hard stuff and AI for physical things. 

AI by hardware will lead complex systems and interconnected processes. AI chips will be required for programs such as autonomous and connected systems, energy generation and distribution as well as health care and smart agriculture. Additionally, it will center on an ‘algorithm-to-hardware co-design approach’ which recognizes issues in algorithms, system architecture, circuits and devices. 

AI of hard stuff and its edge computing will bring computation, communication and control closer to end users. Ultimately, it will cause challenges to the design of AI systems will occur, such as hardware heterogeneity, robustness and need for extreme energy efficiency 

AI for physical things makes decisions for virtual-physical worlds. For instance, while accuracy and throughput are important, so is responsiveness and safety. Physical objects that connect to smart agriculture can range from self-driving trucks to nuclear reactor operation. 

Kaushik Roy, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue, has been named the director. The institute will also have an alumni advisory board.  

“From smart-self driving cars to smart homes, even smarter manufacturing to smart agriculture, AI systems will profoundly change the way we live by enabling transformative solutions to societal-scale challenges that we face,” says Roy. 

The Institute of AI will focus on research and innovation, creating courses relating to hard AI, partnering with related industries, setting up student networking and providing career services. Eventually, the program will expand to other Purdue colleges and departments. 

Click here for more Industry News.