10 Sep 2018

Routes Into AI

A growing demand for AI education has seen a range of universities and institutions create new courses in the face of great demand. Carnegie Mellon university is the latest to launch an undergraduate degree in artificial intelligence (AI), claiming it is the first of its kind in the US.

By Tom Dent-Spargo

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While Carnegie Mellon produces other courses related to AI, this degree will teach the fundamental knowledge that underpins AI. Open-source machine learning frameworks, such as the popular TensorFlow, will be available to students to use while they complete their projects.

Meanwhile global online education provider Udacity recently added a School of AI. It says its courses are intended for everyone, not just university students. Online platforms have an advantage over universities in being able to quickly respond to demands – one reason why Carnegie Mellon’s degree programme is notable as being the first in the US while there is a much more developed online network of educational tools and platforms.



Brian Hickey, Udacity’s Managing Director, Europe (pictured left), says that universities cannot keep up with the demand. 




“Technical skills, particularly in the field of AI, are evolving at increasingly fast rates. This means that universities, which traditionally move more slowly than industry, are currently not able to keep up with the latest developments when creating new courses. University courses provide an effective theoretical grounding, but cannot teach the latest skills in AI fast enough. Simply put, specialised lifelong learning providers are better equipped to teach in-demand skills than most universities.” 

He added that along with university schooling, students need courses focused on improving employability. “These should be created in partnership with and recognised by industry, giving students the hands-on, practical experience they need to work with AI. To ensure competitiveness for employees and employers alike, these courses need to be available to everyone at any time in their lives.” 


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