Emma Pierson, assistant professor of computer science at the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute at Cornell Tech, is one of 19 researchers who have been awarded an AI2050 Early Career Fellowship from Schmidt Sciences for her work seeking to use artificial intelligence to promote equity.

Pierson, also a computer science field member at the Cornell Ann S. Bowers College of Computing and Information Science, is working on “Using LLMs (large-language models) for Health Equity.” As a member of the second cohort of Early Career Fellows, she will receive $300,000 over two years from Schmidt Sciences to further her work related to artificial intelligence and health care.

“I’m delighted and honored, and very much looking forward to meeting and possibly collaborating with the other fellows,” Pierson said. “I’m a big fan of work done by the previous cohort, and the funding will be invaluable to support students and postdocs interested in this research direction.”

Pierson will use her funding to explore how LLMs can be used to improve health equity by both cataloging and studying specific use cases. And instead of trying to mitigate AI’s biases, she will attempt to apply LLMs to enhance equity and expand opportunities for underserved and marginalized groups.

Conceived and co-chaired by Eric Schmidt and James Manyika, AI2050 advances Eric and Wendy Schmidt’s $125 million commitment over five years to identify and support talented individuals seeking solutions to ensure society benefits from AI.

In the fall, Pierson was one of five researchers selected as a 2023 Samsung AI Researcher of the Year, a program that recognizes promising researchers who have made outstanding contributions to the field of artificial intelligence. Awardees receive $30,000 in prize money.

The awardees were announced in November at the Samsung AI Forum in Gyeonggi-do, Korea. “I am honored to receive the Samsung AI Researcher Award and grateful for Samsung continuing support of AI research,” Pierson said.

Pierson holds a secondary joint appointment as an assistant professor of population health sciences at Weill Cornell Medicine. She has received an NSF CAREER Award, and been recognized by the MIT Technology Review (35 Innovators Under 35, 2021) and by Forbes (30 Under 30 in Science, 2020).