A two-year part-time Masters degree in Artificial Intelligence (AI), run by the University of Limerick, aims to educate over 300 people within the next five years.
The course, beginning from September 2018 onwards, will be delivered primarily online with some intensive Problem Based Learning (PBL) workshops taking place on the University of Limerick campus.
Ireland’s first MA in AI was launched in Dublin yesterday by Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys. Its creation is in response to a growing demand by industry for AI skills in Ireland.
There are currently over 80,000 tech professionals working in Ireland, with over 8,000 more IT jobs forecast to be created this year. Companies that have an Artificial Intelligence presence established in Ireland include: Siemens, Zalando, SAP, HubSpot, Deutsche Bank, Amazon Web Services, Salesforce, Ericsson, Intel, Dell EMC, Microsoft, Fujitsu, Mastercard, Nokia Bell Labs, Huawei, LogoGrab and Soapbox Labs.
Newly trained AI experts will not have any shortage of job offers.
A fundamental part of the programme will be a fast-track 12-week online course titled “Introduction to AI”, to be developed in collaboration with the Irish Centre for High End Computing, which will build the foundational skills of participants to enable them to enter and complete the Masters programme.
The programme is aimed at (a) existing information technology professionals, (b) those migrating from associated disciplines and (c) appropriately qualified recent graduates (new entrants) who are interested in pursuing a career in this field.
Skillnets, collaborating with IDA Ireland, were also involved in the programme.
Companies that have been involved in developing the programme to date include Accenture, Arvato, Fujitsu, Google, IBM, Microsoft and Storyful, to name but a few.
“Artificial Intelligence will have a transformational effect on business and on society over the coming years. In supporting the skills needs of over 14,000 companies in Ireland, we consistently hear of both the opportunities and risks presented by AI”, said Chief Executive of Skillnets, Paul Healy.
“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. 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,” he added.