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Carnegie Mellon Launches Undergraduate Degree In AI (cmu.edu) 76

Earlier this week, Carnegie Mellon University announced plans to offer an undergrad degree in artificial intelligence. The news may be especially attractive for students given how much tech giants have been ramping up their AI efforts in the recent years, and how U.S. News & World Report ranked Carnegie Mellon University as the No. 1 graduate school for AI. An anonymous reader shares the announcement with us: Carnegie Mellon University's School of Computer Science will offer a new undergraduate degree in artificial intelligence beginning this fall, providing students with in-depth knowledge of how to transform large amounts of data into actionable decisions. SCS has created the new AI degree, the first offered by a U.S. university, 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.

The bachelor's degree program in computer science teaches students to think broadly about methods that can accomplish a wide variety of tasks across many disciplines, said 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 solid grounding in 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.

Carnegie Mellon Launches Undergraduate Degree In AI

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  • When we had the dot com boom we had a glut of computing students who graduated after the bust resulting in a glut of overqualified people with no jobs and buried in student debt. Anytime a university sets up a "fad degree" you know it's time to get out of the field. There is probably cloud and blockchain degrees as well.
    • I was in college after the dot com bust. Everyone and their grandparents switched from computers to healthcare. Healthcare became the new money major that guaranteed a high-paying job, if you didn't mind the ass wiping and bedpan swapping that went with it.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    So what's new?

    I studied AI as my bachelor in 2009-2013 at Utrecht University. My study was competing with 3 other AI bachelor's programmes in a 100km radius. It's pretty rare for a university that's reasonably developed in technical fields to NOT offer a bachelor's programme on AI nowadays.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I studied AI as my bachelor in 2009-2013 at Utrecht University. My study was competing with 3 other AI bachelor's programmes in a 100km radius. It's pretty rare for a university that's reasonably developed in technical fields to NOT offer a bachelor's programme on AI nowadays.

      Back when I was an undergraduate, it was more common for AI to be offered as a "concentration" within the computer science degree program if it was even offered at all. In those days it was really more of an area for graduate studies because frankly the field just wasn't as developed as it is now and we didn't know as much. However, in the years since we have seen the pace of research and discoveries in this area increase as the tools have finally become somewhat more equal to the tasks. It does not surpris

      • Back when I was an undergraduate, it was more common for AI to be offered as a "concentration" within the computer science degree program if it was even offered at all.

        There was a Cybernetics and AI programme on the CTU FEE in the 1990s (with its own department). It seemed only logical that AI would be tied to cybernetics. Probably more than that it should be tied to CS.

  • Just comparing it with my undergrad curriculum, which made sure that at least half of my classes were NOT related to my major, I'd say this gives a solid foundation. I would give some more stats courses beyond regression and intro do probability, though.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      You don't understand college. Your high school, college, parents, and advisors have failed you.

      I have a Masters in CS with a focus on AI, graduated last year. There hasn't been "extraordinary technical breakthroughs in AI". There has been the slow incremental algorithm improvements as is natural and a large increase in hardware capacity. AI isn't advancing itself. Hardware is doing all the primary advancement and farming out tasks to the general public to generate your massive training set is the sourc

  • In 4 years the bloom will probably be off the AI rose already.

    Imagine if some hip college started offering a degree in 3-D printing 5years ago and you invested the time and money to get one. Where would you be now? And don't forget, 3-D printing was just as big back then as AI is now, it was going to fundamentally change the world in ways no one could've even dream of.

  • by nospam007 ( 722110 ) * on Saturday May 12, 2018 @05:35PM (#56601742)

    "Undergraduate Degree In AI"

    AI needs Overgraduates.

  • by Beeftopia ( 1846720 ) on Saturday May 12, 2018 @08:51PM (#56602172)

    Standard CMU undergrad CS curriculum: https://csd.cs.cmu.edu/academic/undergraduate/bachelors-curriculum-admitted-2017 [cmu.edu]

    CMU AI degree curriculum: https://www.cs.cmu.edu/bs-in-artificial-intelligence/curriculum [cmu.edu]

    I dunno. IMO this could be a concentration or a graduate program. I think a classical undergrad CS program would be worth more to a student because it's more generic and thus more widely applicable.

    • It does seem like Carnegie Mellon is jumping on the AI hype bandwagon, but they have such a good program that I would be interested in riding along too. No one graduating from Carnegie Mellon CS is dumb. They rightly or wrongly get extra leeway to try out unconventional areas of study. Can't see that as a bad thing.
    • And back in the day they refused to even offer an undergrad degree in CS. Funny how they change their minds.

  • Boston University already requires all their engineers to take a course in data science (http://www.bu.edu/today/2018/new-eng-curriculum-requires-data-science/). This makes more sense than an entire degree in the subject.
  • Who is going to step away from their seven digit salary, working on bleeding edge technology, to teach said technology to ungrateful assholes? I'd want to know what qualifications my lecturer had...
  • I took ECE at Cornell University. Of course everyone talked about AI, but it was always an application of disciplines. Taking an AI major is not that different from taking a self-driving car major... relevant at this very moment, but not much beyond.
  • ...and so will all others.

"Mach was the greatest intellectual fraud in the last ten years." "What about X?" "I said `intellectual'." ;login, 9/1990

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