Director's Message to UMIACS

No, this message is not generated by an AI platform. Even if you wanted to check, many existing AI detectors are unreliable, as noted in the cover story of our newsletter. Soheil Feizi, Furong Huang, Tom Goldstein and others are making groundbreaking discoveries in this area by implementing new methods and developing innovative tools to reliably detect AI-generated content.

Other faculty in UMIACS are using AI and machine learning to advance equality in our everyday lives. Wei Ai is building a platform for K–12 teachers that’s aimed at improving fairness in classrooms, and Maria Molina and Chris Meltzer are improving weather forecasting for underserved populations. Both of these projects are funded by the university’s Grand Challenges Grants Program.

In our last newsletter, we announced the Center for Values-Centered Artificial Intelligence, a university-wide effort to refocus how AI systems are designed and deployed, with human values at the center of the equation.

Since then, we have also launched the Institute for Trustworthy AI in Law & Society (TRAILS). Supported by a $20 million award from the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, TRAILS is expected to transform the practice of AI development from one driven primarily by technological innovation to one that is driven by ethics, human rights, and feedback from communities who have previously been marginalized.

The success of these new AI initiatives will significantly increase the visibility and impact of UMIACS and the University of Maryland, stamping us as positive, proactive leaders in the field.

Building on this work—as well as our rich history in computer vision, robotics, computational biology, database systems, human-computer interaction, and more—UMIACS is well-positioned to take on any computing challenges that lay ahead.

I hope you enjoy the remainder of the summer, and look forward to seeing many of you in a few short weeks as our Fall 2023 semester begins.

Mihai Pop, UMIACS Director