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DePaul launches new Master's in artificial intelligence program

Artificial intelligence
(Image courtesy of Pixaby​​)

From the smartphones in our pockets to data analysis systems for tracking the spread of diseases like COVID-19, artificial intelligence now touches nearly every industry in modern society. Better known as AI, artificial intelligence is the ability of a machine to display human-like capabilities, such as reasoning, learning and planning.

Thanks to a new Master of Science in artificial intelligence housed in the College of Computing and Digital Media, DePaul students now have the opportunity to develop a foundation in this fast-growing field.

“There has been increasing interest in artificial intelligence over the past decade as it has begun to transform industry and society," says Bamshad Mobasher, a professor in CDM and chair of the AI program. “AI technologies are helping companies become more efficient and individual users to become more productive."

Because the adoption of artificial intelligence is rising across industries, so is the demand for skilled professionals who can support and implement these advanced systems. That's where DePaul's MS in AI comes in.

“Advancements in AI have enabled the development of systems that reason and respond to increasingly complex situations. These advancements have led to increased demand for specialists with technical expertise to create complex intelligent systems and integrate AI techniques into existing applications and processes," says Raffaella Settimi, an associate dean and associate professor in CDM. “Our degree will prepare the next generation of AI professionals to become leaders in this field."

Though two nearby institutions, Northwestern University and Illinois Institute of Technology, offer similar degrees, only a handful of universities across the country offer an MS in AI. Because of DePaul's wide range of offerings, Blue Demons can choose among an array of electives to learn about other technical areas relevant to AI, including natural language processing, big data systems, computer vision, image processing, robotics and cybersecurity.

“AI and machine learning specialist are number one among high-demand emerging jobs in the U.S.," Mobasher says. “The global AI market size was valued at nearly $40 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow more than 40% annually during the next decade. Given the depth and breadth of AI's influence on the industry and the society as a whole, we believe DePaul's program will continue to grow in size and relevance."

Beyond a degree for students, program creators believe the MS in AI will also bring additional opportunities for the DePaul community.

“By introducing a degree in AI, we also hope to develop stronger collaborations with companies that have an interest in AI technologies," Settimi says. “These collaborations can lead to internship opportunities for our students and industry-sponsored research projects for both faculty and students alike."

The program began accepting students in winter 2021. To learn more, visit the program's website.