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Wed Jun 19, 2019, 07:04 AM

Oxford to receive biggest single donation 'since the Renaissance'

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2019/jun/19/oxford-receive-biggest-single-donation-stephen-schwarzman

Oxford to receive biggest single donation 'since the Renaissance'

Richard Adams Education editor

Wed 19 Jun 2019 00.01 BST Last modified on Wed 19 Jun 2019 08.29 BST

The University of Oxford has said it is to receive its biggest single direct donation “since the Renaissance”, after it unveiled a £150m gift from the US billionaire Stephen Schwarzman to fund humanities research and tackle looming social issues linked to artificial intelligence.

The money will be used to create the Schwarzman Centre for the Humanities, bringing together disciplines including English, philosophy, music and history in a single hub with performing spaces and a library, alongside a new Institute for Ethics in AI to collaborate.

Unlike previous mega-donors, Schwarzman, the founder and chief executive of the Blackstone financial group, is not a former student. He says he was attracted to make the donation after being approached by Louise Richardson, Oxford’s vice-chancellor, and by his memories of visiting as a teenager in 1963.
(snip)

Recent conversations on the prospects and perils of AI led Schwarzman to seek a new project to look directly at the problems it poses.

“I could see as a result of my trips to China, where I would be meeting all these people starting AI companies, that AI is an explosive force that is going to change the world we live in in the next 10 to 15 years in a very profound way, some for good and some not so good,” he said.

“So there was a real need to control the introduction of those technologies to the benefit of society, and what I realised is that Oxford had certain unique characteristics through its work on the humanities and philosophy that would complement what the ‘hard’ scientists were doing around the world.”
(snip)

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Reply Oxford to receive biggest single donation 'since the Renaissance' (Original post)
nitpicker Jun 2019 OP
nitpicker Jun 2019 #1

Response to nitpicker (Original post)

Wed Jun 19, 2019, 07:11 AM

1. What the article did not say

Louise Richardson has focused on terrorism and counter-terrorism.

Oxford is noted as a university that many UK politicians attended.

Is this an attempt to shift the collegiate conversation more to the right? Influence future politicians?

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