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Saint Leo will offer a master’s degree in artificial intelligence

Two human-like robots have their faces illuminated.
Renee Gerstein
Saint Leo University
Two Furhat humanoid robots that use artificial intelligence in Saint Leo University's Robotics Lab.

The program will be offered online starting in the fall for students coming from a bachelor’s degree in the engineering and technology field.

Artificial intelligence has been rising in popularity recently, and schools like Saint Leo University have been taking notice.

Saint Leo will offer a Master of Science degree in artificial intelligence this fall. The program will be offered online and is made for students coming from a bachelor’s degree in the engineering and technology field.

Vyas Krishnan, the associate dean of Saint Leo’s College of Computing, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Data Science, said in a news release the program is a great way for students to prepare for utilizing AI in the workforce.

“This is the right time to prepare the workforce to embrace this technology,” Krishnan said in the release. “We are at the stage where AI is going to be transformative. The software and technical aspects of AI are going to impact most industries in significant ways.”

As AI has been growing, so has the need for AI professionals. Many industries have started implementing AI in many ways. These industries are not just limited to those in the computer science and technology field but include health care, retail, and transportation.

The 30-credit-hour master's curriculum is designed to give students an edge in their field, Krishnan said.

“This degree is perfect for those who have finished a bachelor’s and want to enter the workforce with the best AI skills,” Krishnan said. “It proves to employers that you are trained and qualified to work in this evolving field.”

Krishnan added that the planned curriculum will include topics such as machine learning and algorithm analysis. There will be a variety of hands-on projects and research on natural language processing.

Many popular AI apps include ChatGPT, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

Krishnan said she believes many people don’t even realize that their everyday apps involve AI.

“AI is so pervasive that a lot of people are not aware they are using AI,” Krishnan said. “They text, use a cell phone to take photos and it uses face recognition. We use it for web searches. People don’t realize, but they use AI in a lot of day-to-day activities.”

Saint Leo University is not the only school to add a degree program focused on AI. The University of Florida also offers a Master of Science in artificial intelligence systems, and the University of South Florida plans to launch a new college focused on AI and cybersecurity.

Individual courses in AI are offered at a variety of universities across Florida.

Savannah Rude is the WUSF Stephen Noble Social/Digital News intern for summer 2024.