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Is New Jersey the next Ai Promised Land?

· Ai,Machine Learning,New Jersey,Trenton,Newark

Just on the other side of the Hudson River, Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey recently announced the formation of the Stevens Institute for Artificial Intelligence (SIAI). The creation of this new group is following the large tide of AI innovation that has swept all corners of the globe. The dean of the School of Engineering and Science, Jean Zu, stated, “Artificial Intelligence is transforming the world and industry as we know it, and the future of AI remains seemingly limitless.” The fundamental goal of SIAI is for Stevens' top experts to collaborate and synergistically produce solutions to real-world problems, from healthcare and biomedical applications to fintech, as well as the arts and music. Another goal is to serve as a platform for training students to be the next generation of AI thought leaders.

Stevens is not the only school in New Jersey to take initiatives in AI research and applications. Princeton University has led the forefront in AI innovative breakthroughs. The Ivy League has established a branch in their Computer Science department dedicated to teaching machine learning and its applications to AI. Olga Troyanskaya recently used the machine learning system to create a list of genes likely to be associated with Autism. What’s unique about this project is that the system was never given rules for how autism genes should look or act. Instead, it was given a map of genetic interactions in the brain and a list of genes that were already implicated to autism and other disorders. What comes out of the machine are freshly generated groups of genes, giving autism researchers a whole new set of genes to study.


Perhaps the largest progress in applying AI to real world applications, though, is in the Government system of New Jersey. Chief Technology Officer Dave Weinstein has been working with the executive branch to help modernize and secure critical systems. He believes that the next step in IT modernization, more specifically cybersecurity of public agencies, lies in the advancements of AI. Current old legacy platforms that most states are running on are exposed to risks of cyber-attacks. Weinstein argues that many new cybersecurity platforms are being built with artificial intelligence and machine learning in mind, and that it is critical to keep pace with that innovative trend.

What the New Jersey government is now proposing is to create a new C level position – a Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer. Weinstein believes that from a strategic perspective, a chief AI officer could lead the way in modernizing New Jersey’s IT systems and identify the tasks that currently or in the near future can be automated. Weinstein further stressed that this move is not an effort to layoff existing jobs; rather, this opportunity generates new job positions focused on the onboarding of AI features that never existed before. The current state of New Jersey’s security operation never had enough staff to fully support the process, and New Jersey hopes to provide continuous threat monitoring through automation.

New Jersey may now be at the frontline of implementing Artificial Intelligence in the public sector; it could be the first state to ever hire a Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer. Meanwhile, New Jersey’s colleges are serving as a breeding ground for the newest AI innovation. However, this is not uncommon, as we are seeing AI advancements and breakthroughs all around the world.


Written by Yves Chen, Edited by Rachel Weissman & Alexander Fleiss

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