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Here's why Blackstone’s Schwarzman is making a big bet on artificial intelligence

Heidi Chung

The Blackstone Group’s chairman, CEO and co-founder Stephen Schwarzman is betting big on the future of technology and artificial intelligence — $350 million to be exact.

Schwarzman recently donated that money to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to help found the Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing.

“Our universities don’t have enough money to train all the students that come into them,” Schwarzman told Yahoo Finance. “They can do a better job with more money, with more people to progress artificial intelligence and these other technologies, and the U.S. government has been a laggard.”

Schwarzman is convinced that technology, whether in the form of artificial intelligence, machine learning or robotics, will continue to shape the future. “What I’ve learned is that it’s important for the U.S. to be competitive in these technologies.”

Moreover, Schwarzman said that tech opportunities are boundless. “There are going to be profound changes in the workforce opportunities, health care, and we need to study not just what the technologies can do, but the impact the technologies can have on a regular human being.” But he made very clear that the way in which the new technology is regulated is a crucial part of the process. “You have to set some type of framework, some type of restriction, some type of cooperation globally. It’s basically knitting together a new world, and at the same time you’re having this amazing progress that comes from having these technologies.”

The three key drivers of support behind technological advancement are great companies, great universities and central government, Schwarzman stressed.

“It’s going to change the world,” he added.

Heidi Chung is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @heidi_chung.

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