Artificial intelligence is one of the most important and transformative technologies of our time. From assisting pathologists and discovering new drugs to recommending products and automating entire factories, more and more organizations are adopting AI to solve some of the world’s most important problems.
As young people grow up in an increasingly connected and technologically dependent world, they’re naturally interested in learning how to harness those technologies. But many higher education institutions do not have the capacity to meet the surging demand for computer science majors.
At the same time, schools face a number of challenges in preparing students for careers in AI and computer science. These challenges include limited faculty familiar with AI and data science, undeveloped curriculum, and limited computing resources.
Some schools are already successfully navigating these challenges. The University of Florida has worked in partnership with the public and private sector to develop a curriculum, hire teachers, and offer computing resources. The interdisciplinary collaboration will deploy AI across the curriculum to address challenges such as rising seas, aging populations, data security, personalized medicine, urban transportation, and food insecurity.
Oregon State University just announced the Collaborative Innovation Complex—a 150,000 square foot facility scheduled to open in 2025. The CIC will include a new supercomputer as well as a robotics and drone playground and an extended-reality theater. That’s alongside what people would think of as traditional laboratory settings.
Last year, Southern Methodist University launched a supercomputing research system, which is an $11.5 million investment that will increase SMU’s current supercomputer memory tenfold, allowing for AI and machine learning 25 times faster than current levels.
Not every institution will be able to take such big leaps. But every school focused on computer science and engineering should take appropriate steps to prepare to teach AI, robotics, and automation.
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