Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: New Option for New Frontiers

We’re seeing them all around: stories of advances in computing that are enabling greater automation with Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Machine Learning (ML), a subfield of AI and statistics, is one of today’s most rapidly growing technical fields. Machine-learning-based applications can be found in domains from healthcare to commerce.

BCIT Computing’s Computer Systems Technology Diploma program has just launched a second-year option in AIML to meet this area of demand, and the first set of students started this month. The new option will enable students to specialize in the design and development of software that can learn from and make decisions/predictions on data sets.

Wide-Ranging Applications of AI

Current examples of applied artificial intelligence and machine learning systems include spam filtering, product recommendation, speech recognition, and autonomous driving.

“Artificial intelligence is a field of computer science that is not new and has been explored for decades,” explains Option Head Dr. Chi En Huang.

“What makes it exciting today is that we now not only have the ability to gather large-scale data sets, but also the computational power to process them efficiently, allowing AI systems to learn and gain insights from the data for purposes of better decision making and prediction.”

Industry Demand

There is growing demand for technology professionals with machine learning skillsets in BC and globally. Chi En advises that local industry has been coming to us with potential student projects, from both the public and private sector. If job trend lines on employment sites are any indication, the trajectory for careers in this area looks optimistic.

Students themselves helped launch the new option by selecting it as their favourite of a list of proposed new options in this growing software development diploma program, with 60% of students surveyed being keen on the proposal.

“With the vast potential to apply artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques in a variety of untapped domains, this field will undoubtedly continue to bring about transformative impact,” concludes Huang.

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