We in the Department of Informatics are excited to announce the launch of a suite of new undergraduate courses in artificial intelligence (AI): Artificial Intelligence BSc, Artificial Intelligence with a Year in Industry BSc, and Artificial Intelligence MSci. These courses are recruiting now for their first cohort of students, who will start in September 2023.
The need for such courses is particularly pressing. The European tech sector is struggling to recruit employees with the necessary skills in AI, while growth of AI capabilities is key to many governments’ strategies across the world (this includes the UK, who in 2018 committed nearly £1 billion to boost the UK’s position as a leader in developing AI technologies).
In addition to the need for more graduates with AI skills, there is a need to equip these graduates with the capabilities to understand the ethical risks of AI technologies and the techniques to mitigate these. Real-world AI-based technology can significantly affect people’s lives, and practitioners must take care to ensure that the impact of these technologies is beneficial and respects our societal values. Alongside the more traditional technical programme, students on the new courses will be trained in how risks from AI may arise, their impact on stakeholders, and opportunities for mitigation by protocols grounded in ethical, legal, and responsible innovation principles.
Professor Luc Moreau, Head of the Department of Informatics, said of the new AI courses:
“I’m delighted to see these new programmes come to fruition. We have a huge amount of varied artificial intelligence expertise in the Department, including in machine learning tasks such as computer vision and natural language processing, in how to represent and reason with knowledge, and in how to make sure AI systems are ethical and trustworthy. Our new AI courses embody this breadth of expertise and will deliver much needed graduates with the skills required to be successful AI professionals.”
These new AI courses complement the existing suite of undergraduate courses in computer science, which are also delivered by the Department of Informatics (Computer Science BSc, Computer Science with a Year in Industry BSc, Computer Science MSci, Computer Science with Management BSc, Computer Science with Management and a Year in Industry BSc). The computer science courses focus on foundational skills to build computer systems, including software engineering, the correctness, efficiency and cybersecurity of these systems, while the AI courses focus on foundational skills to build AI systems that represent and reason with knowledge and interact with humans, including the use of machine learning techniques and ethical considerations about the decisions made by these systems. To find out more about the distinction between the computer science courses and the AI courses, you can read this web page.
In addition to its undergraduate courses, the Department of Informatics delivers a range of taught postgraduate courses (Urban Informatics MSc, Computational Finance MSc, Data Science MSc, Artificial Intelligence MSc, Cyber Security MSc, Advanced Computing MSc, Advanced Software Engineering MSc, and an online programme in Advanced Cyber Security MSc/PGDip/PGCert). The Department also trains PhD students in Computer Science and Bioinformatics research, and hosts the UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in Safe and Trusted Artificial Intelligence, which trains PhD students in how to develop AI systems that are both safe and trustworthy.