In October 2013, the USC School of Social Work (now the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work) and the Viterbi School of Engineering hosted an event for faculty in social work who were interested in technology and faculty in engineering who were interested in social problems. At this event, Dr. Eric Rice and Dr. Milind Tambe connected and discovered their mutual research interest in social network influence problems.
The first collaborative project began with creating an algorithm to identify the most efficient peers within a social network of homeless youth for HIV prevention. How can we inform a large, potentially tangled network of homeless youth about the importance of HIV testing?
In Fall 2016, Eric and Milind received approval from the USC Provost and the deans of the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work and the Viterbi School of Engineering to form a research center focusing on utilizing AI with social work—the first in the world. The USC Center for AI in Society was established in September 2016.
Since that time, we have continued to grow as a center; expanding our leadership team and strengthening our portfolio, while grounding our research interests in real world applications for the good of our communities.
Photos from our launch event in October 2016.