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Governor Healey Meets with Northeastern Students Working with Administration on AI Project Under InnovateMA Partnership 

BOSTON – Governor Maura Healey yesterday met with Northeastern University’s InnovateMA co-op students, who are working alongside state agency partners to improve the delivery of services and programs for Massachusetts residents using Artificial Intelligence (AI). Governor Healey created the InnovateMA partnership earlier this year as part of her efforts to position Massachusetts as a global leader in applied AI. 

“AI has the potential to help us solve some of our most challenging public problems and serve the residents of Massachusetts more effectively and efficiently,” said Governor Healey. “Our state already has an advantage to be a global leader in applied AI because of our world class colleges and universities. I’m so impressed by the innovative ideas put forward by these Northeastern students and the progress they have made over the past few months.”  

“We’re tapping into the potential of our students by partnering with Northeastern University to strategize and innovate on how we can use AI to improve government services,” said Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll. “The projects that they’ve been working on will make a real, positive difference in the way that residents interact with their government and the way that we do our jobs.” 

“I often say that our progress on the challenges presented by emerging technology are best addressed as a team, and we are so lucky to have Northeastern University students and faculty on Team Massachusetts,” said Technology Services and Security Secretary Jason Snyder. “These student-designed projects display incredible technical skill and professionalism, and they are a testament to what we can achieve by collaborating with our rich higher education ecosystem in Massachusetts. We have much to learn from each other.” 

“Harnessing the promise of AI is a tremendous opportunity for Massachusetts, both in terms of government solutions and the economic and job growth potential that exists in this exciting field. This partnership with Northeastern has been a rewarding one and the work of these students is a testament to what the future could hold for the application of this technology as well as our many talented graduates entering the field,” said Administration and Finance Secretary Matthew J. Gorzkowicz. 

Managed by the Burnes Center for Social Change at Northeastern University, InnovateMA is part of the AI for Impact Co-op Program where students work full-time on experiential AI projects for social good. Student teams worked with administration officials on strategies to use AI as a tool for improving efficiency and delivery of government services.  

“InnovateMA is creating extraordinary opportunities to take advantage of the advances in AI and the talent of Northeastern co-op students to improve how government provides services and programming for all Massachusetts residents,” said Professor Beth Simone Noveck, Director of the Burnes Center for Social Change at Northeastern University. “We are grateful to Governor Healey for her leadership in recognizing the potential of AI for good and look forward to continuing this pioneering partnership.” 

Since January, a cohort of 12 Northeastern students have worked full-time with the Healey-Driscoll Administration and have provided updates to the Governor about five projects. The projects include: improving customer service for the RIDE, the MBTA’s door-to-door, shared-ride public transportation for people who have a disability; providing enrollment assistance for MassHealth customers; streamlining access to grant opportunities for farmers, businesses and communities; supporting MassDOT Highway design engineers; and creating a Generative AI Sandbox for state employees to securely explore and innovate with AI models. 

A second cohort of InnovateMA co-op students will start in July and will continue to work on the projects underway, in addition to new project proposals that are currently under review.  

In February, Governor Healey signed an Executive Order establishing the Artificial Intelligence Strategic Task Force to study AI and Generative Artificial Intelligence technology and its impact on the state, private businesses, higher education institutions, and constituents. She has also proposed $100 million for an Applied AI hub in her Mass Leads economic development bill. 

About the Burnes Center: 

The Burnes Center for Social Change at Northeastern University develops innovative, participatory, and equitable approaches to solving public problems using new technology. The Center is led by a growing team of accomplished and recognized changemakers focusing on strengthening democracy and improving governance, tackling climate change, advancing education outcomes, deepening labor and economic justice, and promoting better health.   Learn more about AI for Impact and this semester’s InnovateMA co-op students here

About Northeastern University’s Co-op Program: 

For over 115 years, Northeastern University has been a world leader in cooperative education (co-op), the University’s cornerstone experiential learning program. By alternating semesters of academic study with periods of full-time work, students are able to transform work across academic and professional contexts. Co-op provides students the opportunity to explore or refine potential career paths, make valuable industry connections, broaden perspectives, and acquire the skills and knowledge needed to succeed —all while learning and growing outside the comfort zone of the classroom.  

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