Autonomous driving, facial recognition or the metaverse, which links the real with virtual worlds, are inconceivable without artificial intelligence (AI) and the technology required for it (KIT). The enormously diverse areas of application for AI range from robotics, cyber security and Big Data to medicine and the intelligent control of technical systems such as power plants.
"Experts in AI and AI technology are increasingly in demand. But to reach expert level, you need to master a truly interdisciplinary combination of skills and knowledge from computer science, mathematics, ethics and psychology, to name just a few areas," says Prof. Dr. Douglas Cunningham, who recognised the need for specially trained personnel and helped develop the four new degree programmes. "That's why we're offering the courses, AI and AI Technology, where students can start acquiring the skills they need at bachelor's level and deepen them at master's level." In the current application phase, Prof. Dr. Douglas Cunningham, as programme director of all four programmes, is looking forward to the start of the winter semester with satisfaction: "We are looking forward to supporting our students in becoming part of the next generation of AI and AI technology experts."
The new degree programmes fit clearly into the research profile of the BTU, specifically into the profile line "Artificial Intelligence and Sensorics". As a cross-cutting topic, AI is of great importance for the innovation and competitiveness of companies and research institutions. In the regional economy and in the structural change process, it is one of the BTU's central transfer topics.
AI study programmes with a clear focus
The Artificial Intelligence (Bachelor and Master) study programmes not only deal with the various techniques and procedures currently used in the application of AI, but also focus directly on the algorithms and mathematical models behind the AI procedures. In this way, students in these programmes can easily and quickly adapt to new techniques, procedures and even application areas of AI. In addition, students are enabled to design novel, efficient AI algorithms, especially by using natural intelligence as a source of inspiration. The focus is on the development of responsible and transparent AI procedures as well as on the interaction between AI and humans.
"The approach we are taking with the two study programmes could be called 'human-accompanied AI'. It is no longer enough for an AI algorithm to be able to do something. As AI-driven applications are increasingly a central part of our everyday lives, users need to be able to predict what the applications will do next so that they can work together optimally," says Prof. Dr. Douglas Cunningham. With their engineering focus, the Artificial Intelligence Engineering study programmes (Bachelor and Master) are among the first of their kind in the world. Like the Artificial Intelligence study programmes, they also focus on inspiration from natural intelligence, responsibility, predictability and transparency. In addition, great emphasis is placed on the stability and reliability of AI.
The two Bachelor's programmes with matching Master's programmes are among the few consecutive programmes in the field of AI in Germany. By entering the education in these fields already at Bachelor level, future AI experts receive a very broad and deep expertise.
The degree programmes at a glance
Prospective students can choose from the new university Bachelor's programmes Artificial Intelligence and Artificial Intelligence Engineering with the degree Bachelor of Science as well as the postgraduate Master's programmes Artificial Intelligence and Artificial Intelligence Engineering with the degree Master of Science. The degree programmes are free of admission.
The Bachelor's programme Artificial Intelligence (language of instruction: German) is aimed at all those who are interested in the processes and algorithms behind the current and future applications of AI. Students learn how current knowledge and modern methods from computer science, psychology and mathematics are used together to develop AI procedures. These are, for example, neural networks, machine learning, machine vision, knowledge representation or language interpretation. The programme focuses in particular on methods inspired by natural intelligence.
The Bachelor's degree programme in Artificial Intelligence Engineering (language of instruction: German) is recommended for prospective students who would like to understand and master the complex hardware- or software-based systems of AI and then apply them in professional practice as a sought-after AI technology expert. The degree programme combines current knowledge and modern techniques from computer science, electrical engineering and psychology in order to be able to realise and use profitable AI systems. Typical applications for such systems are autonomous driving, speech interpretation, early warning or security technology.
In both new AI Bachelor's degree programmes, students at BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg learn to assess and critically question the limits and effects of applying artificial intelligence to socially relevant problems. Those who study Artificial Intelligence or Artificial Intelligence Technology at the BTU have the option, especially in the first two semesters, to easily switch to the other degree programme.
After successfully completing the bachelor's degree, graduates have the option of acquiring a higher qualification in the master's degree programmes Artificial Intelligence and Artificial Intelligence Technology, in addition to starting a career. Interested students with a first professional degree in a related subject - at least a Bachelor's degree - can apply for these two Master's programmes as early as the upcoming winter semester 2022/23.
The international Master's programme Artificial Intelligence (language of instruction: English) is aimed at those who want to design algorithms and processes behind current and future applications of artificial intelligence themselves. Using a combination of current knowledge and modern methods from computer science, psychology and mathematics, students are enabled to research and design complex artificial intelligence procedures. The teaching language is English.
In the Master's programme Artificial Intelligence Engineering (language of instruction: German), the focus is on the development of current and future AI systems - for example, language interpretation systems, autonomous driving, early warning or security systems. With current knowledge from computer science, electrical engineering and psychology, graduates are able to conceptualise AI systems, test their special properties, validate them, develop them further and implement them in a targeted manner.
A wide range of employment opportunities - regionally and worldwide
Numerous partners of the BTU enable students of the AI degree programmes to work on research projects. These include the Lausitz Centre for Artificial Intelligence, the Leibniz Institute for High Performance Microelectronics, the German Aerospace Centre, Fraunhofer institutes and Rolls Royce. This facilitates career entry, when a wide range of attractive professional opportunities await graduates of the AI degree programmes. As specialists with sound knowledge, they are urgently needed by companies and research institutions in Lusatia and worldwide. The extremely diverse professional fields of activity range from mathematical and medical data analysis to autonomous driving, the intelligent control of supply chains, the development and design of intelligent systems for the energy and environmental sectors, collaboration in universities and development departments.