UT Joins SEC’s New AI, Data Science Consortium

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is among the 14 member universities of the Southeastern Conference forming a new artificial intelligence consortium. The consortium is designed to grow opportunities in the fast-changing fields of AI and data science, which are expected to be foundational for the future of industry, education, and research. It is believed to be the first athletics conference collaboration to focus on AI for workforce development.

“Artificial intelligence and data science have universal applications, and we are proud to join with SEC universities to lead education and research in these emerging fields,” said Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor John Zomchick. “The consortium will create exciting opportunities for our faculty, staff, and students to explore AI and data science and shape their future.”

Through the SEC AI Consortium, SEC universities will share educational resources such as curricular materials, certificate and degree program structures, and online presentations of seminars and courses; promote faculty, staff, and student workshops and academic conferences; and seek joint partnerships with industry. In addition, universities will share best practices for ensuring that students graduate with AI and data science skills that benefit the region and country while also resonating globally.

“This consortium acknowledges the rapid advances and increased applications of AI and data technology in all sectors of society, and it ensures our students are prepared to prosper in a workforce in which AI is expected to play an increasingly important role,” said University of Georgia President Jere W. Morehead, the current president of the SEC. “With this effort, SEC institutions are also answering the call from local, state, and federal leaders who recognize the importance of enhanced training and workforce development to retain US global competitiveness.”

SEC mini-conference on artificial intelligence
A virtual mini-conference for interested SEC faculty members will be held April 8 from 1 to 4 pm It will provide an introduction to the SEC AI Consortium; an orientation on integrating AI into any department, discipline, or major; and a time for discussion within disciplinary breakout groups about current and future opportunities to add AI to existing curricula. Register online.

CONTACT:

Chris Schmitz (865-974-8304, cschmi26@tennessee.edu)

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