Carnegie Mellon becomes first US university to offer undergrad degree in AI
Creating a new generation of artificial intelligence specialistsBy Rob Thubron
Most people in the tech industry will tell you that artificial intelligence is the future. As more experts in this area become necessary, Carnegie Mellon University has announced it will offer an undergraduate degree in AI---something the college says will be a first for the US.
New advancements in AI, machine learning, and neural networks are being made all the time. At this week's Google I/O developer conference, the company demonstrated its new Duplex technology, which enabled Google Assistant to call and book appointments by mimicking a human voice. It even used speech disfluencies such as "umm" and "ah" to make it sound more like a real person.
A recent study of the top schools to offer graduate-level AI programs placed Carnegie Mellon in the number one spot, beating the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford. Professor Reid Simmons, director of the new program, says the university currently offers almost a dozen AI-related programs.
"Specialists in artificial intelligence have never been more important, in shorter supply or in greater demand by employers," Andrew Moore, dean of CMU's School of Computer Science, said in a statement. "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."
With many concerned about the impact of AI on jobs, and its use in so-called "Killer Robots," part of the degree will examine the ethics around artificial intelligence and how it can be used for the greater social good, including its application toward transportation, health care, and education.
A blog post from Carnegie Mellon's School of Computer Science explains that the course will begin this fall. It will be limited to no more than 100 second-, third- and fourth-year students, or about 30 to 35 new students each year.