AI, Cybersecurity, and Our Digital World

Changing our digital future

In our profoundly interconnected, digital world, Indiana University is leading the way in developing artificial intelligence, improving cybersecurity, and training the next generation to address the digital challenges our global society faces.

Hubs of AI applications

As part of a broad strategic focus on AI, IU is home to two important research centers.

The Luddy Center for Artificial Intelligence, founded with a $60 million gift from entrepreneur Fred Luddy, is a hub of multidisciplinary, collaborative research in advanced AI and machine-learning applications. Drawn from the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering, as well as health and life science schools, departments, and programs at IU, the center's researchers are initially focusing on work related to robotics, complex networks, health, and social media. The center was dedicated in June 2021 and is located on the IU Bloomington campus.

Luddy Center for Artificial Intelligence

The IUPUI Institute of Integrative AI is another key player in IU's broad strategic effort to advance the science of artificial intelligence. At IUPUI, the IAI coordinates the development of high-impact AI technologies and applications in areas ranging from agriculture to climate control to medicine. The center's integrative approach enhances AI capabilities to solve large-scale complex problems through symposia and research summits, collaboration groups, funding for seed projects, and infrastructure support. The IAI is supported in part by IUPUI's Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and IU's Office of the Vice President for Research.

Filling the pipeline

As real-world needs for applications of AI and cybersecurity proliferate, IU is cultivating highly trained researchers and practitioners to meet those needs.

To equip college students with the education they need to take swift and decisive action whenever cyberthreats occur, IU experts are developing national curricular recommendations for integrating cyber-AI concepts and materials into the national CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service program, which trains information technology and security professionals to meet cybersecurity needs of federal, state, local and tribal governments.

IU's Developing Character for a Digital World project is sharpening the skills new professionals in AI and cybersecurity areas need to successfully navigate complex issues posed by digital technologies, such as built-in bias in algorithms, whether robots have rights, the aftermath of cybercrimes, the ethics of digital health data, the spread of misinformation, and much more. The program spearheads meaningful ethical conversations about digital technologies across the university, using webinars, workshops, articles, and syllabi to help students delve into digital ethics questions and challenges.

A hand holding and using a smart phone, receiving graphical interpretations of data.

In the K-12 sector, IU is helping expand AI education in middle schools in Indiana through the AI Goes Rural program, which will bring AI and STEM education to underserved areas. This AI pilot program aims to create broadly applicable curriculum and training that are scalable across the nation. The program is a partnership with the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division and is funded by the U.S. Office of the Secretary of Defense.

IU is addressing critical faculty needs in the AI pipeline as well. Working with AnalytiXIN, a collaboration hub in Indianapolis that connects university expertise with industry, the university is hiring transformational researchers in AI and its applications in health and advanced manufacturing and related critical infrastructure. These faculty will imagine, design, and implement research to serve the practical AI needs of industry partners.

Safeguarding against cyberthreats

IU's investments in AI and cybersecurity extend to leading edge initiatives and partnerships that provide universities, organizations, and industry with the information they need to protect themselves.

A first-of-its-kind report, "State of Hoosier Cybersecurity 2020" issued by IU at the end of 2020, provides sorely needed hard data to help Indiana business and government entities understand the cyberrisks they face. Guided by the report's information, hundreds of public and private organizations across Indiana now know more about how to improve their "cyber hygiene" and keep themselves safe from cyberattacks. The report was prepared for the Indiana Executive Council on Cybersecurity by the IU Kelley School of Business, its Indiana Business Research Center, and the University of Arizona.

Recognizing that cybercrime does not respect national or international borders, IU also offers comprehensive cybersecurity services to national and international communities through essential networking and security operations centers. For example, OmniSOC, a shared cybersecurity operations center for research and higher education led by IU, monitors network security constantly to detect threats. In 2021, it joined with organizations in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom in a new cybersecurity threat intelligence-sharing partnership to help research and education organizations across the globe prevent and mitigate cyberattacks.

Profile image of Von Welch.

This is a great example of global collaboration to combat a global threat.

Von Welch, executive director for the OmniSOC and director of IU's Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research

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