10 September 2012

Artificial Intelligence at University

While I was at university trying to attain my first degree course, I often found myself wondering why the courses did not provide in depth modules to cover the areas of Artificial Intelligence. They also seem to provide very basic details on theory but not enough exposure to the whole field and with any sense of practical projects. By the time, one embarks on a postgraduate or even research work they would be left with so much information to catch up on that it seems strange as to why universities do not cover enough of it during the undergraduate stages. I remember when I was at university my interest in field was well attuned and self managed through background reading, research journals, and conference papers as I could never find enough coverage in the modules. Artificial Intelligence is like eighty percent Computer Science but even that does not cover certain principles like machine learning and natural language processing to any level of detail. I think the best university in UK for any substantial detail in coverage of the whole field is probably Edinburgh University which in my view has got to be a good source of a lot of research for a lot of people. However, it is very difficult for IT professionals to embark on such postgraduate level degree courses while continuing on with their work commitments. A lot of these courses are almost always taught as full time with a research component for discussion on new ways of approaching problems that potentially no one has yet come across or found a way to do. As the years progress Artificial Intelligence is going to become an even more dominant field in wide area of topics and is potentially one of the only real ways of enhancing human kind into the new millennium of technological innovation, finding cures for communicable diseases, and understanding the world around us as well as ourselves. Artificial Intelligence is a broad field encompassing a whole range of topics and not just about robots. One of the most indispensable books and a source of knowledge about Artificial Intelligence for anyone wanting to learn up in some serious level of detail would be Artificial Intelligence A Modern Approach by Peter Norvig and Stuart Russell. The book sets the tone for further research and understanding for any individual impassioned about what the whole field is about and sets ones directions of curiosity for knowledge in motion.