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About the Kempner

Kempner Institute
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The Kempner Institute for the Study of Natural and Artificial Intelligence at Harvard University is a dynamic and diverse community of students, scientists, and engineers dedicated to revealing the foundations of intelligence in both natural and artificial contexts, and to leveraging these findings to develop groundbreaking technologies.

Our research is based on the premise that the fields of natural and artificial intelligence are closely interconnected, leading us to explore possible parallels and synergies.  By leveraging our understanding of how animals learn and behave, we aim to improve the development of new classes of intelligent artificial agents. At the same time, studying the processes and training methods of artificial systems enhances our understanding of how the brain develops, learns, and controls behavior. 

Our dedication to propelling AI research on a large scale underscores our mission to drive the field forward and devise solutions to complex problems for humanity’s benefit. We are committed to the development and understanding of machine learning systems with an emphasis on improved performance, accuracy, and reliability. Using the Kempner’s world-class compute cluster, one of the largest academic clusters worldwide, our scientists undertake interdisciplinary research in a collaborative environment.

Our educational programs are a vital aspect of our institute. We are dedicated to fostering the next generation of thinkers in the field of intelligence, and offer a range of fellowship and educational programs, catering to students at various levels of study, including undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, graduate, and post-graduate. We empower aspiring scholars to become leaders in intelligence research through financial support, mentorship, collaboration opportunities, and access to our computing cluster.

Our rapidly growing community encompasses over 40 multidisciplinary researchers from across the University, including faculty, associate and affiliate faculty, research fellows, and graduate student fellows. Founded in 2021 with a generous gift from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Foundation, the Kempner’s hub of activity is a cutting-edge collaboration space on the 6th floor of Harvard’s Science and Engineering Complex (SEC). This dynamic space fosters discovery, training, and cross-disciplinary exchange among our researchers. While this location serves as the center of the Kempner Institute’s endeavors, our reach extends beyond it, supporting faculty and students across the University.