New Master’s In AI To Address Skills Shortage

26 Jan 2018 | 10.03 am

New Master’s In AI To Address Skills Shortage

The novel two-year, part-time MSc runs in UL from September

26 Jan 2018 | 10.03 am

Ireland’s first Master’s in Artificial Intelligence (AI), which was launched this week, will run in the University of Limerick from September 2018.

The programme is being introduced to respond to a growing demand for AI skills in business. The design of the Master’s programme will be overseen by ICT companies under the aegis of Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet and University of Limerick.

Companies that have been involved in developing the programme to date include Accenture, Ericsson, Microsoft, Nokia Bell Labs and SAP.

This new initiative will also include a fast-track introductory course, which will be developed in collaboration with the Irish Centre for High End Computing (ICHEC), Ireland’s national centre for high-performance computing.

Skillnets is a state-funded agency that organises training networks for businesses around Ireland. IT collaborated with IDA Ireland to develop the Master’s in AI.

Speaking at the launch of the programme in Dublin this week, Paul Healy, chief executive of Skillnets, said that AI will have a transformational effect on business and society in the coming years.

“Although a thriving AI ecosystem is taking root in Ireland, we know that a significant skills shortage in artificial intelligence is emerging which needs to be addressed,” he continued.

“We see the launch of this Master’s programme as a great opportunity to not only respond to the needs of business, but also to grow our economy by making Ireland a centre of excellence in artificial intelligence.”

Skillnets awarded funding to Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet last year to develop the Masters in Artificial Intelligence through its Future Skills Needs Programme (FSNP). The key focus of the programme is to facilitate collaborations between enterprise, academic institutions and industry training providers.

Paul Sweetman, director of Technology Ireland, said design and development activity for AI systems is growing exponentially, constrained only by a skills demand. “By enthusiastically supporting this initiative, employers are placing Ireland at the forefront of the AI revolution,” he added.

The new MSc in Artificial Intelligence aims to educate over 300 people within the next five years. The course will run over two years part-time and will be delivered primarily online. It will also involve some workshops taking place on the University of Limerick campus.

The 12-week introductory course aims to build the foundational skills of participants to enable them to enter and complete the Master’s programme.

The programme is aimed at existing IT professionals, those migrating from associated disciplines and appropriately qualified recent graduates (new entrants) who are interested in pursuing a career in this field. Applications for the first 60 participants for the course will begin in late spring-early summer 2018.

Photo: Paul Sweetman (left) and Paul Healy (Pic: Andres Poveda)

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