Artificial Intelligence (AI) is everywhere. The technology has become intrinsically linked to our lives and shows no sign of slowing down. Search engines use it to improve user query responses, recognise speech, translate languages, while email programmes use it to filter spam and suggest suitable responses, banks use it to predict exchange rates and stock markets, and the list goes on…
Leading laboratories across the world are studying the possible benefits of artificial intelligence, with companies such as Google, Amazon and Microsoft investing billions in the technology. As a result, the AI-related job market is growing at a rapid rate, with graduates in the field exposed to a global market of possibilities.
“If we do it right, we might actually be able to evolve a form of work that taps into our uniquely human capabilities and restores our humanity. The ultimate paradox is that this technology may become the powerful catalyst we need to reclaim our humanity,” John Hagel famously said.
Here are five global universities that are leading spheres of research and development in the artificial intelligence space…
DEPARTMENT OF COMPUTER SCIENCE, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY – USA
The aim of the Department of Computer Science at Columbia University is to prepare students with the appropriate computer sciences background, allowing them to later pursue graduate study or a professional career in information technology. The department recognises that computers now impact nearly all walks of human life, and so offers courses for students who don’t plan to pursue a computer science major or career.
A range of options for program specialization are available to students, giving them the necessary flexibility to find and decide where they want to take their degree. Four majors are offered at this department: computer science; information science; data science; and computer science-mathematics, offered jointly with the Mathematics Department.
A Foundation Track is available to prepare students for advanced work in fundamental, theoretical, and mathematical aspects of computing, while an Intelligent Systems Track provides specialization for those interested in natural language processing and systems capable of exhibiting “human-like” intelligence.
State-of-the-art laboratories are available to students for research in computer graphics, computer-aided digital design, computer vision, databases and digital libraries, data mining and knowledge discovery, mobile and wearable computing, robotics and more.
UNIVERSITÀ DELLA SVIZZERA ITALIANA (USI) – SWITZERLAND
USI has created a faculty entirely dedicated to the study of Informatics, responding to the exponential growth in the sector and its importance to the future of industry. “Universities must reflect on what role they can play in this new world, how best to respond to informatics and ever newer and broader applications; and they must review their teaching methods,” reads a statement on the department’s website.
The curriculum at USI explores the fundamentals of the discipline, helping students understand the theory of the latest technologies, and the development of system thinking. Theoretical lectures are accompanied by complex programming projects, challenging participants to excel themselves in preparation for the working world. A daily laboratory schedule gives students the chance to apply concepts and principles acquired in lectures, testing their soundness and learning to design and programme from day one.
The Master of Artificial Intelligence programme in the high-tech city of Lugano is the first of its kind in Switzerland. The course benefits from the Swiss AI Lab IDSIA, one of the world’s leading research institutes in artificial intelligence. The popular class is almost at full capacity, with two full classes comprised of almost 50 students from different backgrounds and locations.
BERKELEY ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE RESEARCH (BAIR), UC BERKELEY – USA
Computer Vision, Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing, Planning, and Robotics are the specialist subjects available to study at the BAIR lab, UC Berkeley. The school is comprised of more than 25 faculty and more than 100 graduate students pursuing research on fundamental advances in the above fields, as well as cross-discipline themes including multi-modal deep learning, human-compatible AI, and connecting AI with other scientific disciplines and the humanities.
BAIR offers a variety of courses on the relationship between humans and robotics, including undergraduate programmes in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Robotic Manipulation and Interaction, Deep Learning, and Neural Computation, and graduate courses in Computer Vision, Advanced Robotics, Natural Language Processing and Convex Optimization.
The Algorithmic Foundations of Human-Robot Interaction graduate course, for example, contrasts existing algorithms in robotics with studies in human-robot interaction, discussing how we can overcome interaction challenges through algorithms. By the end of the course, students will have gained both the relevant knowledge and abilities related to human-robot interaction, developing strong research and presentation skills.
DEPARTMENT OF COMPUTER SCIENCE, ÉCOLE POLYTECHNIQUE UNIVERSITY – FRANCE
The Department of Computer Science at École Polytechnique is dedicated to readying the next generation of engineers with fundamental knowledge in computer science. In their first year, students have the option of taking an introductory course or a more advanced course for those familiar with the subjects. There is also the option of a refresher course in second year, designed to provide comprehension of algorithmic foundations, programming and computability.
A Master of Artificial Intelligence & Advanced Visual Computing is offered, led by word-class tutors in the fields of computer science. The curriculum focuses on the fundamental understanding and deployment of Artificial Intelligence, including statistical learning and applications to data science. It covers the fields of advanced Visual Computing, 3D computer graphics, virtual and augmented reality, multi-modal interaction, computer vision, robotics and 3D Fabrication. The programme sits at the heart of digital sciences, and is designed to prepare students to follow a career in the ever-growing artificial intelligence market.
“Ever-present at all levels of society, economics and science, this discipline must be mastered by every engineer and researcher, regardless of their primary specializations,” the department website notes.
SCHOOL OF COMPUTER SCIENCE & ENGINEERING, NANYANG TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY – SINGAPORE
Nanyang Technological University is the first school in Singapore to offer a Computer Engineering programme, and remains the only school in the country that trains students in both Computer Science and Computer Engineering fundamentals. The school also boasts a number one ranking in Asia by the Academic Ranking of World Universities for Computer Science and Engineering.
The Computer Engineering and Computer Science degrees are full-time, four-year programmes for students who are passionate about finding innovative solutions to society’s challenges using their knowledge in data science and artificial intelligence. Designed in response to the rapidly-changing AI global environment, the programme offers rich opportunities for graduating students to work across several domains of the digital economy and join the growing AI community in Singapore and the rest of the world.
Students here can expect to graduate with competency in solving technically-complex problems using modern and innovative techniques. Coupled with that, students will learn how to demonstrate effective leadership and managerial skills, transferable to the world of work.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International
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