AI Expert & BU CS Professor Kate Saenko Initiates BU AI4All Program
When AI4All cofounder Olga Russakovsky inquired about collaborating on a BU partnership, Kate Saenko, Associate Professor of Computer Science and core faculty member of the AI Research (AIR) initiative housed at the Hariri Institute, saw this as a great opportunity for groups who are currently underrepresented in a male dominated field to learn about AI and computer science.
With the support of Cynthia Brossman (COM’94, Wheelock’12), director of BU’s Learning Resource Network (LERNet) and STEM outreach and diversity, BU has become one of six universities that have partnered with the AI4All organization for a three-week summer program that invites high school juniors and seniors within the greater Boston area to learn about AI through projects, industry visits, and presentations from leading AI technologists.
Saenko explains that the goal of this program is to move AI from standard applications—such as self-driving cars and stock market trading—toward the exploration of more humanistic aspects of artificial intelligence, such as how it can benefit people and their communities.
AI4All was founded by national AI experts, such as Fei-Fei Li, chief AI scientist at Google Cloud, and is funded by major influencers such as Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Jensen Huang, president and CEO of Nvidia.
BU AI4ALL is the most recent of a series of programs that Brossman has brought to BU as part of the university’s efforts to bring more high school women to STEM-related fields. Other programs include the Artemis Project, GROW (Greater Boston Research Opportunities for Young Women), Summer Pathways, and Codebreakers, a 4-week summer program supported by RISCS Co-Director Mayank Varia, Institute Fellow Sharon Goldberg, and Junior Faculty Fellow Manuel Egele.