Chinese universities open AI education for undergrads
Updated 16:28, 07-Jun-2019
By Sun Tianyuan
If Chinese high school students were undecided on what careers to pursue, then this latest offering might just be the ticket for some.
The Ministry of Education has given the green light for dozens of universities to offer undergraduate degrees in artificial intelligence. One of the lucky few is the prestigious Tsinghua University in Beijing.
One of the gates of Tsinghua University./VCG Photo

One of the gates of Tsinghua University./VCG Photo

“This is the AI era. Every industry will benefit from AI. Automobile, mechanic, even medical schools -- they all have some kind of connections to artificial intelligence. I think the students should learn some AI technology,” said Professor Wang Yu from the Electronic Engineering Department of Tsinghua University.
Experts believe AI has all the potential in the world, but there's a severe shortfall of talent. Some enterprises are offering extremely high salaries and packages, but they just can't get the talent they need. Such an initiative could be the answer.
“It will generate more talents to fill the skill gap in the labor market. Also, I believe it will facilitate research and development in the field of AI in all industries and occupations,” said Dr. Wang Yan from the National Institute of Educational Sciences.
While both the AI industry and the relevant knowledge are on the rise, education experts say students who major in AI shouldn't be too narrow in their focus, but allow their knowledge to expand and develop into other tech fields. At the same time, those who major elsewhere should also be encouraged to learn about the power of AI.
VCG Photo

VCG Photo

"Every department has algorithms or application classes for students to learn about AI technology. It's more like a tool or methodology from our perspective. Students in every department can try to learn AI technology to help their own career or research," Professor Wang Yu stressed.
"Learning artificial intelligence will help the students to understand the change in the future labor market and also help them to do a better job on whatever job they're entering into in the future," said Dr. Wang Yan.
But despite the boom and optimism, AI is still a fledgling industry. Students are ultimately advised to be vigilant and choose a program that best fits their personality, skills and interests.