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In the Spring of 2016, the University of Rhode Island (URI) ran a contest for admitted students to write about the issues that they wanted to study in college. Artificial Intelligence (AI) was at the top of the list. To foster and develop these growing interests in AI further, the URI Libraries proposed the creation of the Artificial Intelligence Lab. The proposal was recently awarded with the grant funding from the Champlin Foundation. ( The AI lab at the URI Libraries is planned to open in the fall of 2018. The goal of the AI lab is two-fold. One is to enable students to explore projects on robotics, natural language processing, smart cities, smart homes, the Internet of Things and big data, through tutorials at beginner through advanced levels; the other to provide a place for faculty, students, and the community to explore the social, ethical, economic and even artistic implications of AI. The lab is expected to promote interdisciplinary learning and the cross-pollination of ideas on campus. The AI Lab project team includes the faculty from the URI Libraries as well as in computer science, philosophy, and electrical, computer and biomedical engineering. As the first of its kind, the AI Lab at the URI Libraries is an exciting and interesting project. At the same time, its implementation is a challenge because there aren't many precedents or well-established models for an AI Lab. In this poster, I will share the project plan, which we are currently in the middle of translating into implementation details, and discuss some of the challenges that we have been discovering along the way.
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