Carnegie Mellon launches undergraduate degree in artificial intelligence
Carnegie Mellon University's School of Computer Science (SCS) announced that it will offer a new undergraduate degree in artificial intelligence beginning in the fall of 2018. SCS says the new AI degree was created in response to extraordinary technical breakthroughs in AI and the growing demand by students and employers for training that prepares people for careers in AI.
"Specialists in artificial intelligence have never been more important, in shorter supply, or in greater demand by employers," said Andrew Moore, Dean of the School of Computer Science. "Carnegie Mellon has an unmatched depth of expertise in AI, making us uniquely qualified to address this need for graduates who understand how the power of AI can be leveraged to help people."
The bachelor's degree program in computer science aims to teach students to think broadly about methods that can accomplish a wide variety of tasks across many disciplines, noted Reid Simmons, Research Professor of Robotics and Computer Science and Director of the new AI degree program. The bachelor's degree in AI will focus more on how complex inputs, such as vision, language, and huge databases, are used to make decisions or enhance human capabilities, he added. AI majors will receive the same computer science and math courses as other computer science students. In addition, they will have additional course work in AI-related subjects, such as statistics and probability, computational modeling, machine learning, and symbolic computation.
Simmons said the program also would include a strong emphasis on ethics and social responsibility. This will include independent study opportunities in using AI for social good, such as improving transportation, health care, or education.
Students accepted by SCS as first-year students will be able to enter the AI degree program in their second year. All students thus will be able to take first-year courses in core computer science competencies and introductory courses.
Initially, AI undergraduate enrollment will accommodate no more than 100 second-, third-, and fourth-year students—or about 30-35 new students each year. SCS enrolls about 735 undergraduates. In fall 2018, a limited number of second- and third-year students who have already taken a substantial number of relevant courses can apply to join the new AI degree program.
Instruction in the AI program will draw on the faculty of SCS's Machine Learning Department, Language Technologies Institute, Robotics Institute, Human-Computer Interaction Institute, Institute for Software Research, and Computer Science Department.
"It's an opportunity for us to shape what it means to be a degree program in AI, as opposed to offering courses related to AI," Simmons said. The new program will employ the same academic rigor—no more, no less—that has made CMU's undergraduate program the gold standard for computer science.
"We want to be the first to offer an AI undergraduate degree," he continued. "I'm sure we won't be the last. AI is here to stay."
For more information, visit the AI degree website: https://www.cs.cmu.edu/bs-in-artificial-intelligence.