Artificial intelligence (AI) is the science of making machines do things that would require intelligence if done by men---Marvin Lee Minsky (co-founder of MIT's AI laboratory, an author and winner of the 1969 Turing Award). Minsky is regarded as the 'father of AI'.
We live in a remarkably advanced world, which was not predicted two centuries ago to evolve so fast and dynamically to give us some of the best wonders and comforts of science. This era has been marked by rapid changes and advancements in science and technology to give us the best on a plate! With new inventions and discoveries, our lives have become simpler. What was considered to be unachievable has been achieved now. Human beings evolved and so did life! We are more inclined towards a dependable life on apps, gadgets, robots and other elements of the digital world that has become our dire need in everyday life and promises to be the future -the only future!
It has been predicted that humans will be replaced with robots in the long run when machines will surpass human intelligence and perform every task under their own control. Time and again in several sci-fi movies, the beauty and mystery of extraterrestrial life and robots and the future of Artificial Intelligence have been explored. In movies like Her we have seen how a robot develops artificial emotions and feelings that help a man to depend on it for his happiness.
AI is a rewarding field, ‘if chosen wisely and studied intelligently’. A range of programmes are offered by different universities in the field of artificial intelligence. The degrees offered range from bachelors to an MS. A number of institutions also offer Artificial Intelligence in the form of a minor or a term-paper as a part of a larger degree. A few universities, which are perhaps the best ones, have been listed out here to help you with your rewarding career in AI:
1. Arizona State University: Ranked 189 (2015-16) by ‘Times World University Ranking’. With an addition of two Nobel Prize winners in the faculty, Arizona State University is a world-class leader in providing quality education. With over 50,000 students it has outstanding research facilities happening at the University labs and research centres. The University provides cutting-edge research in the field of cognitive ubiquitous computing. A BS degree in Computer Science is on offer by the School of Computing, Informatics, Decision Systems Engineering. This degree will help students to understand the field of AI and develop analytical skills to solve computational problems.
2. Texas A&M University: Texas A&M University is the birthplace to some of the notable alumni like Steven Swanson, who in March 2014 boarded the International Space Station for a half-year mission in the capacity of flight engineer. Department of Computer Science & Engineering is involved in providing leading research facilities in the field of neural networks, artificial intelligence and fuzzy logic. The University has some outstanding labs and centres including the 'Brain Networks Laboratory, the Distributed AI Robotics Lab, the NetBot Laboratory, the High Performance Computing Laboratory and the Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue'. Both bachelors and masters in Computer Science are on offer.
3. Indiana University Bloomington: Founded in 1820 and considered to be the flagship campus of IU’s eight campuses. With 200 plus research centres, Indiana University Bloomington is an ideal place to study that epitomises a fulfilled college life. The University offers extensive research facilities in the field of artificial intelligence at the School of Informatics & Computing. A BS degree in Computer Science with specialisation in Artificial Intelligence is on offer.
4. The University of Leeds: The University of Leeds offers both BSc (Hons.) and MEng, BSc (integrated masters) in Computer Science with Artificial Intelligence. This course will help students to gain fundamental skills, such as programming, mathematics, network architectures and project management, while studying specialist artificial intelligence topics such as machine learning, image analysis, text analytics and their applications in areas from vision to automated reasoning. Students can choose either the four-year integrated masters or the three-year bachelors degree.
5. The University of Sussex: The University of Sussex offers BSc (Hons.) for 3 years in Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence. The course covers a wide range of topics from artificial intelligence to human-computer interaction. As a student in this course, you will learn to write algorithms that are used to solve complex computational problems. The University also offers an MSc in Intelligent Systems (1 year, full time course), and this course will help students to gain expertise on various fields like adaptive systems, artificial intelligence, cognitive systems and computational neuroscience.
6. The University of Southampton: The University of Southampton offers a masters programme for 1 year (full time) in Artificial Intelligence and one MEng degree for 4 years in Computer Science with Artificial Intelligence, at the department of Electronics & Computer Science. As a student you will learn to develop core data analysis skills, explore state-of-the art aspects of artificial intelligence, machine learning and data mining and understand the industrial applications of AI. Southampton is ranked among the top 51-100 universities for Computer Science in the '2016 QS World Rankings'.
7. The University of Manchester: The University of Manchester offers a number of degrees in Artificial Intelligence at the School of Computer Science, which is considered to be the largest school of computer science in the UK, with course variants as follows: BSc for 3 years, BSc with industrial experience for 4 years, MEng for 4 years and MEng with industrial experience for 5 years. This cutting-edge field offers you to understand the aspects of AI and traditional computing along with psychology. The University also offers an MSc degree in Advanced Computer Science with AI as a minor subject.
8. The University of Edinburgh: The University of Edinburgh offers an MSc programme in Artificial Intelligence for 1 year and a BSc programme for 4 years, with various funding available. This course is equipped with a deep understanding of the aspects of neuroscience, cognitive science, linguistics, mathematics, psychology and statistics. It gives you a hand-on experience with the design and construction of intelligent systems to improve your skills and knowledge in this field.
9. The University of Nottingham, Malaysia: The University of Nottingham Malaysia campus offers a bachelors degree (BSc Hons.) for 3 years in Computer Science with Artificial Intelligence at the School of Computer Science, accredited by the British Computer Society (BCS). The course will help students learn the basics of expert systems, intelligent agents, the history and philosophy of artificial intelligence, machine learning, computer vision, neural networks, heuristic optimisation and other intelligent systems; it will also help you to develop novel computational techniques for the creation of human-like intelligence. First 2 years, students are taught at the Malaysia campus and transferred to the UK campus in their final year.
Artificial Intelligence has tremendous potential in the future, and it could have a wide impact on various fields of research and scientific discoveries. The field is full of challenges and new opportunities that could take you places.