IIT-Hyderabad blazes a trail, rolls out 4-year B Tech course in AI

IIT-Hyderabad blazes a trail, rolls out 4-year B Tech course in AI

Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad IITH has earned the unique distinction of launching a BTech course in Artificial Intelligence AI for the first time in India

Hyderabad: Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad (IIT-H) has earned the unique distinction of launching a BTech course in Artificial Intelligence (AI) for the first time in India.

It is likely the third institute to offer a full-fledged bachelor’s degree in technical education with AI, after Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), both from the United States of America.

UB Desai, Director, IIT Hyderabad, said, “the basic aim is to create a complete ecosystem for AI Academics and Research at the institute. This involves BTech, MTech, and different minor programmes in AI. Moreover, the R and D will be strongly entwined with academics.”

Speaking about the importance of this course, Prof Vineet Balasubrahmanian from the Computer Sciences Department said AI and Machine Learning is no longer a course exclusively from the Computer Sciences stream. The AI and machine learning (ML) are touching every field directly or indirectly. Considering its importance, the race is on globally, China and USA are already competing in the field, he added. The course is offered as an interdisciplinary one with Computer Sciences, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Mathematics as liberal arts departments. And, the course will also focus on application verticals such as healthcare, agriculture, smart mobility, among many others.

Further, the ethical impact of AI and its technologies on areas such as privacy, bias and related issues will also be a key component of this BTech. The programme will rope in academicians from the non-technical and non-science areas.

Dr Vineeth N Balasubramanian, Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Hyderabad, said, “it will provide training on various aspects of AI, ranging from technical ones like machine learning algorithms to ethical issues as well. It will make our students very sought after by the industry as their training will be comprehensive and well-rounded when working on smart AI-based technology solutions.”

Dr Sumohana Channappayya, Dean (Research and Development) said, “the AI solutions are particularly promising for India (given the availability of a large corpus of data) where it can have a major positive impact on several critical domains such as healthcare, crop and soil management, weather prediction, surveillance and security, and defence.

IIT Hyderabad’s Department of Liberal Arts in collaboration with faculty from Computer Science and Electrical Engineering has also launched a unique minor in ‘AI and Humanity.’ The influence of AI on everyday lives has grown exponentially: the way people interact with their bodies, their immediate environments, their societies, and the state are all increasingly mediated through AI, he said. At this crucial point in its history, therefore, it is necessary to understand, question, and shape ways in which AI technologies are being incorporated into the fabric of everyday life, said Prof Balasubramanian.

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