AI offered as extended major program in HK first

Local | Carine Chow 16 Oct 2020

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology plans to use artificial intelligence to assist the teaching of its new framework, which will allow students to choose AI as an extended major.

Under the new "Major + X" framework, students can choose an extended major in emerging areas that have not yet become standalone disciplines.

Students who take this path can graduate with both titles in four years, starting from the academic year 2021-22 .

Pong Ting-chuen, senior advisor to the Provost and chairman of the undergraduate admissions committee at HKUST, said they are looking into developing AI teaching assistants to solve students' problems.

"AI teaching assistants can answer students' inquiries 24/7 and learn from human teaching assistants through machine learning so that they will be capable of solving similar questions on their own."

Under the new framework, undergraduates who are interested in science (Group A) - including mathematics, physics and ocean science and technology - or engineering can opt to study an extended major in AI, starting from 2021. Admitted students will be given priority.

The two programs, "Science-A + AI" and "Engineering + AI," will have an intake quota of around 40 and 150, respectively.

The satisfy the entrance requirement, students must attain at least a level 3 in Chinese, English, maths and two electives, and a level 2 in liberal studies.

Freshmen admitted in the program can opt out during their major selection, while those admitted without the extended major can opt in during their sophomore year.

HKUST is considering expanding the scope of extended majors to data science, FinTech, or digital media later. The university will hold a Virtual Information Day on the latest programs tomorrow.

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