Exploring the possibilities of artificial intelligence at Yale

Wednesday, January 17, 2024
Dean-led faculty panels and a new Yale Task Force on Artificial Intelligence will explore and consider strategic opportunities for artificial intelligence (AI) at Yale. 
To: All Faculty 
Cc: University Cabinet; Office of the President; Office of the Provost; Office of Public Affairs and Communications; Deans’ Offices
Dear Faculty Colleagues,
The field of artificial intelligence (AI) is developing rapidly, leading to major implications for how we live, work, and learn. This technology presents unparalleled opportunities to drive innovation and solve complex challenges—from predicting disease outbreaks to modeling climate change patterns. Yale is dedicated to expanding the frontiers of knowledge, and we have an opportunity to leverage AI in pursuit of our mission to improve the world through outstanding research, scholarship, education, preservation, and practice. 
To explore the transformative possibilities of AI at Yale, I have asked the deans of the professional schools and the dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS), in consultation with the dean of Yale College and the dean of the Graduate School, to cultivate strategic conversations within their communities. To organize these efforts, each dean will convene a panel of faculty from a range of disciplines, backgrounds, and approaches who are engaging with AI in their research or practice. These faculty panels will generate school-specific ideas that respond to new technology and highlight emerging areas of innovation, creativity, and social impact on which Yale can lead.
To fully capitalize on the potential of AI at Yale, we must also coordinate work across schools, identifying common themes and synergies that will inform cross-cutting and university-wide investments. To this end, I have established the Yale Task Force on Artificial Intelligence (YTAI). Over the coming months, the Task Force will hear from the dean-led faculty panels and engage with AI innovation happening at and beyond Yale. The YTAI will also meet with panels led by other university leaders who are addressing the impact of AI on education, clinical practice, collections, and operations. This process will help identify opportunities for collaboration and interaction. 
The Task Force, which I will chair, is composed of the following faculty members and campus leaders for collections, campus services, technology, teaching, and learning. In addition, the deans will be invited to participate in all faculty panel meetings with the YTAI to identify potential points of interaction between the schools and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. 
Yale Task Force on Artificial Intelligence (YTAI)
  • Jack Balkin, Knight Professor of Law and Professor in the Institution for Social and Policy Studies
  • John Barden, Vice President for Technology & Campus Services
  • Phillip Bernstein, Professor Adjunct, School of Architecture
  • Michael Crair, Vice Provost for Research and William Ziegler III Professor of Neuroscience and Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Science
  • Julie Dorsey, Frederick W. Beinecke Professor of Computer Science
  • Jennifer Frederick, Associate Provost for Academic Initiatives
  • Marla Geha, Professor of Astronomy and of Physics
  • Susan Gibbons, Vice Provost for Collections & Scholarly Communication
  • Murat Günel, Sterling Professor of Neurosurgery and Professor of Genetics and of Neuroscience
  • Trace Kershaw, Susan Dwight Bliss Professor of Public Health (Social and Behavioral Sciences)
  • Chad Losee, Head of Strategy, Office of the Provost
  • Lucila Ohno-Machado, Waldemar von Zedtwitz Professor of Medicine and Biomedical Informatics and Data Science
  • Nilakshi Parndigamage, Associate Provost for Strategic Initiatives
  • Laurie Paul, Millstone Family Professor of Philosophy and Professor of Cognitive Science
  • Phil Atiba Solomon, Carl I. Hovland Professor of African American Studies and Professor of Psychology
  • Scott Strobel (chair), Provost and Henry Ford II Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry 
  • John Tsang, Professor of Immunobiology and Biomedical Engineering
  • Nisheeth Vishnoi, A. Bartlett Giamatti Professor of Computer Science
I thank the deans, faculty panels, and YTAI members for dedicating their time to these efforts, which represent a significant opportunity to shape the future of Yale and, through our mission, society more broadly. I look forward to sharing updates about this work. In the meantime, I encourage all faculty who wish to engage in conversation about AI to speak with their dean. To reap the greatest benefits from AI—and to provide leadership on the ethical and social issues it raises—we will need to draw on your collective ideas and expertise.
Scott Strobel
Henry Ford II Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry