A consortium would be created to promote research, create jobs and unlock opportunities related to artificial intelligence, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul proposed Monday.

Known as Empire AI, the governor's plan would create and launch a state-of-the-art artificial intelligence computing center in upstate New York. The University at Buffalo is under consideration as a potential site. 

The consortium would include seven founding institutions — Columbia, Cornell University, New York University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the State University of New York (SUNY), the City University of New York (CUNY) and the Simons Foundation.

“Since the days of the Erie Canal, New York has always led the nation on technology and innovation,” Hochul said in a statement. “The Empire AI consortium will be transformative: Bringing jobs and opportunity to New York and making us a global leader in this groundbreaking sector. Together with our partners in academia and the private sector, we’ll harness the power of artificial intelligence and ensure this technology is being used for the public interest.”

The initiative would be funded by over $400 million in public and private investment, including up to $275 million from the state and more than $125 million from the founding institutions and other private partners including the Simons Foundation and Tom Secunda. 

The governor has also directed the state Office of Information Technology Services to issue a first-of-its-kind AI Policy, which can be found here

Hochul's announcement is part of her State of the State address in which she lies out legislative priorities for this year. She will give that address on Tuesday in the state Assembly chamber in Albany.


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