07 Sep 2021 10:39 IST

Artificial Intelligence will be integrated into all disciplines

AI has found unconventional applications in many non-traditional areas such as dance, music, and poetry

Artificial intelligence was originally conceived as an engineering task. It has now become an important element of all kinds of business and government work, and an integral part of our everyday lives and a variety of jobs. AI education is valuable not only in the fields of computer science and engineering, but also in other sciences, both natural and social, even in the humanities such as the study of literature, history, politics, and in the creative and performing arts. Many educational institutions around the world have decided to integrate AI education into all their offerings, from engineering to business, and the sciences to the humanities, and even the arts.

 

 

 

AI has already found applications in many non-traditional areas. For instance, the Chinese publishing company Cheers Publishing offers the collection of poetry “Sunshine Misses Windows”, written by the algorithmic poet Microsoft Little Ice. Art historians are using machine learning to provide empirical support for the attribution of paintings to artists. AI is already an indispensable part of large-scale science, such as radio-telescope scanning of the skies, the analysis of particle accelerator output, and DNA and protein sequencing.

Recently AI researchers have designed algorithms to prove mathematical theorems, AI algorithms have defeated the best human Go players and poker players. An AI expert and a dance choreographer teamed up to design an AI that can not only learn a dancer’s style but also create its own choreography. Historians are using AI to restore or recreate archaeological artefacts from photos of fragments. In the AI Song Contest, a competition run by Dutch broadcaster VPRO, 13 teams from around the world competed to produce a hit pop song with the help of artificial intelligence.

 

 

 

 

Innovative combination of courses

This large-scale expansion of the role of AI beyond just engineering has led to its being incorporated into many different disciplines. For instance, Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania, US, one of the world’s leading centres of AI research and education, has integrated instruction in AI and technology into the entire MBA programme at its Tepper School of Business. The Tepper MBA programme is designated as a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) programme by the US government, as a reflection of the program’s analytical, data-driven curriculum with roots in management science and its inclusion of a wide range of science and technology content. This interdisciplinary MBA programme blends together foundational business disciplines and incorporates expertise in technology, engineering, and science from across the Carnegie Mellon campus.

An even more ambitious example is provided by Colby College, an elite liberal arts college in Maine, US. Colby has set up a new AI institute that plans to make AI instruction part of nearly all disciplines, from computer science to English literature, in addition to specialised degree programmes and research in the field of AI itself. This model will allow AI to become part of the curriculum in nearly all disciplines and incorporate AI tools and methodologies into teaching and research and designing new courses from all departments. Additionally, students will be provided with broad-ranging opportunities for internships, and a summer programme in the field of AI.

 

Colby college in Waterville, Maine, plans to make AI instruction part of nearly all disciplines.

 

 

 

 

A less wide-ranging but similar example comes from Nanyang Technology University of Singapore, one of the world’s leading technological universities, who have integrate data science and AI into the overall curricula of their bachelor’s and master’s degree programmes. As AI infiltrates more and more into all aspects of the modern world, it will be incorporated into all academic disciplines and will become an essential element of all education, like mathematics, language, and science.

(The writer is Director, Master of Artificial Intelligence in Business (MAIB), SP Jain School of Global Management.)