ARTIFICIAL Intelligence (AI) is the wave of the future. This area of computer science emphasising the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans is heavily influencing and taking over the way we get on with daily life.
More importantly, it is revolutionising industries and improving the way business is done, being already widely used in applications including automation, data analytics and natural language processing.
On a bigger spectrum, from self-driving cars to voice-initiated mobile phones and computer-controlled robots, the presence of AI is seen and felt almost everywhere.
As more industries shift towards embracing the science of incorporating human intelligence in machines so the latter can function, think and work like humans, the demand for human capital with the relevant skill and expertise correspondingly increases.
As such, the question is, how do engineering students ride this wave and make the most of it?
AI has a high learning curve but the rewards of a career in AI far outweigh the investment of time and energy.
Unlike most conventional careers, AI is still in its infancy stage although several modern nations have fully embraced the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Taking this into account, UCSI University has taken the initiative to develop the Bachelor of Computer Engineering (Artificial Intelligence) programme.
The nation’s best private university for two years in a row, according to the two recent QS World University Rankings exercises, proactively defines its own AI curriculum to offer educational content that can help increase the supply of AI engineers with job-ready graduates and real world experiences.
The AI programme at UCSI consists of a number of specialisations and several overlapping disciplines, including mathematical and statistical methods, computer sciences and other AI core subjects to provide a conceptual framework in providing solutions for real-world engineering problems.
The first two years covers core theoretical knowledge such as mathematics and statistics, algorithm design and computer programming, as well as electrical and electronics.
Students will progress to the AI subfields by selecting the specialisation elective tracks covering emerging areas such as machine learning, decision-making and robotics, perception and language and human-AI interaction, among others.
UCSI Faculty of Engineering, Technology and Built Environment dean Asst Prof Ts Dr Ang Chun Kit pointed out that AI was “unavoidably” the way forward.
“We aim to nurture the new generation workforce with the right skills set and knowledge on smart technologies to accelerate Malaysia’s transformation into a smart and modern manufacturing system.
“This programme was developed with a vision to provide the foundation for future growth in producing more complex and high-value products for industry sectors in Malaysia, ” he said.
Leading the faculty in which 46 of its members have PhDs, Ang emphasised the university focuses on research attachment abroad and has established partnerships with key industry players.
The faculty also stands out in terms of receiving grants to advance high impact projects.
Students from the faculty are also annually selected for researches at world-renowned universities such as Imperial College London and Tsinghua University.
The faculty also strives to give students field experience through internships at various top companies.
An example would be Harry Hoon Jian Wen, an Electrical and Electronic Engineering student. He was selected to go to the University of Queensland for a research attachment while also successfully completing his internship at Schneider Electric.
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