Former Executive Chairman of Google and Alphabet Eric Schmidt is set to join the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a Visiting Innovation Fellow, the research university announced earlier this month. Mr. Schmidt will officially become part of MIT's organization this spring, having agreed to participate in its endeavors for 12 months. Over the next year, the famous tech executive will be the face of MIT's plans to spearhead new advancements in the field of machine learning and general artificial intelligence, being set to advise the university's MIT Intelligence Quest think tank.
While not many specifics regarding his role have yet been provided, the initiative as a whole boasts an extremely broad scope and has yet to publicly share many details on its activities. Its official goal is to address and attempt resolving any issues in the intelligence research segment in an effort to benefit science, technology, and society as a whole. While Mr. Schmidt isn't expected to be directly mentoring any students and will primarily be working with scholars, MIT President L. Rafael Reif said the university is hoping his track record and experience will be both "an example and an inspiration" to its attendees. The wording of the announcement and MIT's previous statements on its Intelligence Quest initiative suggest Mr. Schmidt will be advising the think tank on how to approach innovation from a standpoint of directly addressing global issues instead of just pursuing new technologies for the sake of being disruptive.
The 62-year-old announced his resignation from the position of Alphabet's Executive Chairman in late December and officially left the Mountain View, California-based tech giant last month. His net worth is estimated to be at $13.8 billion as of 2018, the majority of which was earned during his 20 years at Google, though he also spent over a decade at Sun Microsystems where he started as its first software engineer and eventually rose through the ranks to the position of Sun Technology Enterprises President. Besides co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Google's success is most often attributed to Mr. Schmidt by most industry watchers. It's presently unclear whether the billionaire will be pursuing other endeavors in the immediate future but he may become more involved in Innovation Endeavors, a Palo Alto-based venture capital firm he co-founded in 2010 with veteran investor Dror Berman.