The University of Albany’s new engineering building will house a $200 million public-private AI supercomputing initiative, through the university’s College of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Announced by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, the renovation is the result of $75 million in funding from the 2022-2023 state budget to “complete the transformation of the former Albany High School into a state-of-the-art engineering college and fund, in part the construction of a supercomputer.”

The Albany AI Supercomputing Initiative (Albany AI) is expected to expand the state’s capacity in the emerging supercomputing and AI fields.

“My administration is steadfast in its commitment to transform SUNY into a globally renowned, 21st century education leader,” Governor Hochul said. “This funding will help drive economic revenue by attracting companies to New York’s emerging advanced research centers, creating jobs, and strengthening communities for decades to come.”

Albany AI’s goal is to become the first university-based computer to reach quintillion computations per second. It will inform university and industry researchers on harnessing massive data sets “to better understand how to automate complex operations like diagnosing and treating disease and forecasting natural disasters.”

Among areas that the initiative will focus on include: cybersecurity, weather prediction, health data analytics, drug discovery, next-generation microchip design, and other applications essential to health, security, resiliency, and economic competitiveness.

“UAlbany is uniquely positioned to leverage the promise and potential of artificial intelligence to tackle some of society’s biggest challenges, from climate change to public health to education,” said University of Albany President Havidán Rodríguez. “Not only is this a major milestone in UAlbany’s history – it also represents a significant step toward advancing Governor Hochul’s vision to ensure SUNY is the premier public university system in the nation.”

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