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KU establishes Korea’s first “AI Graduate Degree Program”, the k...
  • Writer : KU TODAY
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  • Date : 2019-08-09

KU establishes Korea’s first “AI Graduate Degree Program”, the key to the fourth industrial revolution


We are fully aware of the fact that artificial intelligence (hereafter AI) holds the key to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. However, due to the exponentially growing demand of AI experts worldwide, we are in short of qualified experts in the field of AI. In order to strengthen our competitiveness in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the Korean government announced that it will fully support AI graduate degree programs to cultivate 1,000 highly qualified AI intellectuals by 2022. In March, KU was selected as one of the universities to run government-funded AI graduate degree programs, bringing KU one step closer to achieving its goal of nurturing future intellectuals to lead the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This event is meaningful in that KU has become one of the three universities along with KAIST and Sungkyunkwan University to run government-funded AI graduate programs.

Implementing Core Research in Deep Learning, Computer Vision, Voice Recognition, and Big Data

Implementing Specialized Research in Healthcare, Intelligent Agents, Cultural Contents, and Automatic Driving

KU has established Korea’s first Department of Artificial Intelligence as part of the regular graduate school program and recruited students for the doctorate and integrated master-doctorate degree programs for the fall semester of 2019. The admissions process that took place from April to June was highly competitive (the acceptance ratio was approximately 1 to 7), showing the explosive popularity of AI among the applicants. KU plans to recruit 50 new graduate students each year and run doctoral programs for 200 doctoral students after 2023, and produce 200 AI Ph.D.’s every year thereafter.

The core research fields in the Department of Artificial Intelligence at KU include deep learning, computer vision, natural language processing, voice recognition, big data, and neural networks. KU also plans to concentrate on specializing in four main applied impact areas (AI+X), which are explainable medical diagnosis technology, custom user agent technology, collaborative multiplayer game AI technology, and AI technology for automatic driving levels 4 and 5 to nurture AI-oriented research competencies on the basis of industrial field data.

KU’s Department of Artificial Intelligence aims to enter the world’s top 20 AI graduate schools by 2028 with its world-class research. In order to do so, KU plans to establish AI research institutes along with its AI graduate school and strengthen its international collaborative research networks with prestigious AI colleges worldwide. Moreover, KU aims to reinforce its ties with leading corporations in the field of AI and cultivate tech startup and venture intellectuals by 2028 with its specialized know-how utilizing the KU and Anam-Hongneung Valley startup infrastructure. In addition, KU will foster the global competitiveness of its graduate students by not only encouraging them to present at prestigious international conferences and publish their work in AI journals but also having them publish high-quality doctoral dissertations.

Aiming to Strengthen Research and Business Collaborative Ties, Introduce Mandatory Internship Programs, and Foster Technology-oriented Startup Intellectuals

In order to rapidly respond to the ever-changing world, KU’s Department of Artificial Intelligence will strengthen its research and business ties. It plans to cooperate with more than 40 global corporations including Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, IBM, and Netflix and organize mandatory internship programs that last for three months or more. It will also conduct collaborative research with 15 prestigious universities and institutes around the world such as the Max Plank Society and Chinese Academy of Science to foster AI-oriented researchers.

Professor Seong-whan Lee, who in charge of KU’s Department of Artificial Intelligence, said, “As they participate in the internship programs of world renowned corporations, graduate students will be given opportunities to hone their global senses.” KU plans to provide 50% of its AI graduate students with internship opportunities to allow them to gain hands-on experience in the field of AI. Moreover, KU will focus on nurturing startup intellectuals with concrete visions. It plans to utilize its startup infrastructure to support future AI graduates engaged in the tech startup process and create 10 or more outstanding venture firms by 2028.

To foster AI intellectuals with global competitiveness, all major courses in the AI department will be carried out in English. KU will offer foundation major courses such as deep learning, computer, vision, natural language processing, voice recognition, big data, and neural networks and advanced major courses that will concentrate on AI+X and four main applied impact areas (healthcare, AI agents, gaming, and automatic driving). This will be followed by a research and business curricula including internships and startups.

Offering AI Convergence Major Courses to Undergraduates

Recently, more and more world-class universities are becoming dedicated to AI education. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), for instance, is planning to offer AI courses to students majoring in the humanities and social sciences as well as the natural sciences and engineering in the upcoming fall semester.

KU has included AI convergence major courses into its undergraduate program. Through these AI convergence courses, students will be encouraged to learn fundamental knowledge with regard to the core technologies (IoT, cloud computing, and big data) required in the era of AI and the Fourth Industrial Revolution. These AI courses will allow students majoring in disciplines such as mechanical engineering, brain and cognitive science, biomedical engineering, industrial management engineering, electrical engineering, and computer science to engage in the process of learning how to incorporate and apply AI knowledge and develop new technology and generate new values from various perspectives. The College of Informatics, the home college of AI convergence major-related courses, will be collaborating with the College of Engineering, the School of Mechanical Engineering, the School of Electrical Engineering, the College of Information & Communication, the Department of Brain and Cognitive Engineering, the College of Health Science, and the Department of Biomedical Engineering. Students who achieve 36 credits or more by completing compulsory major courses including introduction to brain and machine learning probability and random process and elective major courses including AI, machine learning, and natural language processing will receive a bachelor’s degree in AI. Students who successfully received education in the undergraduate program are expected to further their studies in the AI graduate program and receive intensive education in the field of AI.

Playing a decisive role in nurturing future intellectuals through its founding mission of “National Salvation through Education” and becoming Korea’s first university to establish an AI graduate degree program, we hope to see KU become the cornerstone of innovation for future education.


KU Insights 게시판 리스트
Communications Team
Tel: 02-3290-1062 E-mail: hongbo@korea.ac.kr Update : 2019-06-27