University News

Western New England University President Dr. Robert Johnson Named Member of Massachusetts AI Strategic Task Force

Published: February 16, 2024 | Categories: All News
Univerity President Robert Johnson

Western New England University (WNE) proudly announces that President, Robert E. Johnson, has been appointed as a member of the prestigious Massachusetts Artificial Intelligence (AI) Strategic Task Force. This Task Force, established by Governor Maura Healey through an Executive Order, is dedicated to examining the implications of AI and Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI) technology across various sectors, including private businesses, higher education institutions, and state functions.

AI is a machine-based system that can, for a given set of human objectives, make predictions, recommendations, or decisions. GenAI as used in this Order, is a type of artificial intelligence technology that can generate many forms of content including but not limited to texts, images, and multimedia.

Governor Healey's initiative underscores the pivotal role that Massachusetts aims to play in the global advancement of AI technology. By convening experts from diverse fields, including technology, business, education, and government, the Task Force seeks to harness the potential of AI while ensuring its responsible implementation for the benefit of the state's economy and communities.

"Massachusetts has the opportunity to be a global leader in Applied AI – but it's going to take us bringing together the brightest minds in tech, business, education, health care and government. That's exactly what this task force will do," said Governor Maura Healey. "Members of the task force will collaborate on strategies that keep us ahead of the curve by leveraging AI and GenAI technology, which will bring significant benefit to our economy and communities across the state." 

The Task Force will have subject-specific working groups that will create recommendations to leverage AI in leading sectors, such as education, healthcare, life sciences, robotics, and financial services. The launch of the Task Force delivers on a commitment from the Administration’s Economic Development Plan, Team MA: Leading Future Generations.   

"Our administration acknowledges AI as a transformative technology set to influence various aspects of our nation’s economy," said Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll. "This Task Force will position Massachusetts as a hub for talent and business excellence, as we examine economic shifts driven by AI with the goal of establishing our state as a global leader in its effective and responsible utilization."

Dr. Johnson expressed his gratitude for the nomination, stating, "I am grateful to Governor Healey and her Administration for their nomination to this important and timely task force. As we stand at the precipice of an AI-driven future, incorporating this technology into our educational curriculum isn't just about keeping pace with technological advancements; it's about empowering students to become architects of the future. At Western New England University, we're committed to leveraging AI to enhance learning outcomes, personalize education, and foster a culture of lifelong learning. By embracing AI technologies, we can create inclusive educational experiences that cater to diverse learning styles and bridge gaps in accessibility. It also allows us the important opportunity to instill in our students the critical thinking and ethical frameworks essential for responsible AI development and deployment. I look forward to collaborating with partners from all sectors of the Massachusetts ecosystem to harness the potential of AI to drive positive change."

The Task Force, comprised of 25 distinguished individuals from academia, government, and industry, will begin its work this February and is slated to deliver comprehensive recommendations to Governor Healey later this year.