Science and Engineering Complex
150 Western Avenue, Allston
The Kempner Institute for the Study of Natural and Artificial Intelligence at Harvard University will seek to better understand the basis of intelligence in natural and artificial systems. Its bold premise is that the two fields are intimately interconnected: the next generation of artificial intelligence requires using principles that our brains use for fast, flexible natural reasoning, and understanding how our brains compute and reason requires theories developed for AI. The Institute will study AI systems, including artificial neural networks, to develop both principled theories and a practical understanding of how they operate and learn. The Institute will recruit and train future generations of researchers from undergraduates and graduate students to post-docs and faculty — actively recruiting from under-represented groups at every stage of the pipeline — to study intelligence from biological, cognitive, engineering, and computational perspectives. The institute will also support large scale computational approaches to study both the artificial and natural basis of intelligence.
The Institute was launched in December of 2021, funded by a $500 million gift from Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg and announced by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. The institute’s name honors Zuckerberg’s mother, Karen Kempner Zuckerberg, and her parents — Zuckerberg’s grandparents — Sidney and Gertrude Kempner.