How can you develop an autonomous car? How can you teach a computer to recognize speech or even emotions? How can software and devices be aligned to the way humans think?
In the international Bachelor's degree programme in Artificial Intelligence you will study existing intelligence as we see it in the world and develop 'intelligent' and user-friendly products.
This international degree programme focuses on human thinking, artificial thinking (computers, robots) and behaviour in social systems (e.g. group behaviour). You will study the underlying processes in order to predict or simulate intelligent behaviour.
Artificial Intelligence draws on knowledge from various disciplines, such as cognitive psychology, linguistics, data science, computing science, logic and philosophy, and teaches you to apply this knowledge in smart digital systems. You will develop skills in these areas in the first year, after which you deepen your knowledge in the subdiscipline you prefer, such as machine learning, robotics or cognitive science.
Programming and mathematics are an important part of the programme because these are the foundations for building and simulating new intelligent systems. Do you already know how to program? Then you can build on that in your first year. Do you lack programming experience? Then you’ll have to work harder to get up to speed.
Translating knowledge into practical applications
There are many applications in which intelligent and usable technology are indispensable. For example, in the chatbot on your bank’s website for the prediction of electricity use in households or how full the train will be. Artificial intelligence is also applied in research in other disciplines. Researchers working on the Dead Sea Scrolls have extracted new secrets about the writers of these ancient handwritten manuscripts.
The most valuable thing I have learned is how to think in a logical and structured way
At high school I found it hard to choose a bachelor's programme, because I have a broad interest in many different subjects, such as mathematics, psychology and the brain. In this bachelor, I get to combine these disciplines in an interactive way. You learn about very different subjects, therefore the programme does not get boring very easily. Before starting the programme, I thought it would be quite hard, since I heard some experiences of others doing the bachelor AI. I must say, at the beginning of my first year I found that the programme was indeed difficult. However, after a couple of months, I got used to thinking in a “programmers way” and learned to study effectively. Nowadays, I still have to put in the effort, but I can easily combine my studies with other social and sport related activities.
I am currently in the second year of my bachelor’s programme. One of the courses I have taken is Language and Speech Technology, which was challenging and fun because we combined knowledge of the first year (such as programming and general linguistics), with the knowledge about how sounds are produced. The programming courses are most fun to me. You have weekly assignments in which you need to solve a problem in a creative and structured way. This makes it challenging, but you have the freedom to solve it in your own way. The most valuable thing I have learned is how to think in a logical and structured way. This way of thinking is necessary when programming, so you can recognise your own mistakes.
At the beginning of my first year I joined the rowing association Gyas. I have joined a committee at Gyas and I am part of a team. Next to this, I like to jog, go to sporting lessons of the ACLO and meet up with friends. I am also a member of the study association, but I am not a very active member. However, I can regularly be found in the room of the association when I am meeting with friends in my study breaks.
As for my future plans, I am planning to go abroad at the end of my bachelor's degree. At the moment going to Scandinavia really appeals to me, but I still need to work out the details of this trip. To be honest, I have not really started orienting about the future possibilities after finishing my bachelor’s degree. I will probably follow a master’s programme related to this programme. I am most looking forward to studying abroad and going on a new adventure, where I get to meet many different people and learn a different culture. But for now, I am really enjoying my life here in Groningen with all of my friends.
How humans learn new tasks
After doing her master's project in the USA, Trudy wanted to continue to work on the edge of knowledge. She ended up back in Groningen for a PhD project about the transfer of cognitive skills. She builds computer models which show how humans learn new tasks and tests them by comparing them to, for example, test scores or brain activity. Using her models we can learn more about how your brain uses what you already know to learn something new.