Remember when Uber formed a partnership with Carnegie Mellon University's robotics research institute, and then poached 40 of its top scientists?
Well, it looks like Uber is either apologizing via check, or re-stocking the shelves before it goes talent shopping again.
San Francisco-based ride-sharing company Uber will give $5.5 million to Carnegie Mellon University to support a new robotics faculty chair and three fellowships, the company announced today.
The whole thrust of the deal between Uber and Carnegie Mellon is to solve the riddle of self-driving cars, which would save Uber money and gig economy-related regulation headaches. That might explain why Uber is so impatient to get to the automated car promised land even if it means stealing a few robotics professors from a partner and then throwing them a few million bucks to go find some more.
But in fairness to Uber, $5.5 mil is a lot of money in academia. So much that Carnegie Mellon is saying all the right things and letting bygones be bygones.
"Academia-industry partnerships play an important role in promoting our mutual missions of technological innovation and developing outstanding talent at all levels,” CMU president Subra Suresh said in a statement. “We are grateful for Uber’s support for the intellectual work at the heart of this activity."
That's all well and good but one has to wonder how long it will last if Travis K. keeps seeding and tilling the robotics research talent fields of Pittsburgh.
The whole "Don't be mad, girl, here's some jewelry" routine can grow old... Slowly.
Uber giving $5.5 million to CMU to support robotics faculty chair, fellowships [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]