Penn is first Ivy League school with artificial intelligence track – USA TODAY

As artificial intelligence continues to advance its grasp on humans, humans are following suit.
Starting this fall, students at the University of Pennsylvania can major in AI. In a news release this week, the school unveiled plans to become the first of the Ivy League universities to offer an undergraduate degree focused on AI.
The Bachelor of Science in Engineering in Artificial Intelligence degree, will teach students the principles of AI and how to utilize its abilities in “a responsible and ethical way.” Students will study the sharp rise of generative AI and how it has transformed various aspects of life from health, energy, transportation, commerce, and national security.
“This new degree program represents a leap forward for the Penn engineers who will lead in developing and deploying these powerful technologies in service to humanity,” Interim President J. Larry Jameson said in the news release.
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Students pursuing the B.S.E will take high-level courses from topics like computing algorithms, machine learning, data analytics and advanced robotics, the university said.
Intro courses include “Introduction to Artificial Intelligence” and “Data, Systems, Decisions” while other required classes consist of “Control For Autonomous Robots,” “Natural Language Processing” and “Signal and Information Processing.”
The major also offers elective classes like “Trustworthy AI,” “Machine Perception” and “Brain Computer Interfaces.” A full list of the curriculum and available courses can be found here.
Based on their specific interests, students can choose between the following concentrations:
Penn’s program reflects the reality that AI has become it’s own academic discipline, according to Computer and Information Science Department Chair Zachary Ives.
“Not only because of the many amazing things it can do, but also because we think it’s important to address fundamental questions about the nature of intelligence and learning, how to align AI with our social values, and how to build trustworthy AI systems,” Ives said in the news release.
Vijay Kumar, a dean at Penn Engineering, said the program will prepare the next generation of engineers on how to use AI as a tool and a “fundamental force for good.”
“Realizing the potential of AI for positive social impact stands as one of the paramount challenges confronting engineering,” said George J. Pappas, who will lead the program.
The program will officially commence in the fall 2024 semester. Applications for existing Penn students who want to transfer into the 2024 cohort will be available this fall, the news release said. Prospective students can apply for the Fall 2025 cohort this fall as well.


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