NUIG embraces the future with artificial intelligence programmes


AI technology is advancing in leaps and bounds with computers capable of deeper insights than ever before, and NUIG is embracing that future with two new Masters programmes in Artificial Intelligence.

Minister for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor came to Galway earlier this week to launch the artificial intelligence courses along with over 60 representatives from 20 companies, almost all based in the west.

One of the Masters programmes is entirely online and is aimed at people working industry who need to deepen their computer knowledge, with a specific focus on artificial intelligence, while the other is classrooms based.

The online MSc in Artificial Intelligence is a two-year, part-time online course by the School of Computer Science, co-funded by Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet to help meet the need for AI skill in Irish industry.

The one-year full-time Masters in Computer Science – Artificial Intelligence is a classroom based course aimed at recent graduates of computer science and related degrees.

The students will get the opportunity to work with collaborators in industry on their capstone AI projects to complete the course.

Speaking at the launch Minister O’Connor said the government wanted to tun Ireland into “an AI island” by supporting innovative education and industry needs.

“There are currently around 100,000 tech professionals working in Ireland with another 60,000 projected job openings over the next four years.

“These two innovative Master’s programmes at NUI Galway will help to ensure graduates have the highest skills needed to meet this demand and to make Galway and the West of Ireland a leader in Artificial Intelligence.”

artificial intelligence courses launch
l-r: Caroline Cawley, CEO, ITAG, Paul Healy, CEO, Skillnet, Minister for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh, Registrar and Deputy President, NUIG and Prof Michael Madden, School of Computer Science. photo credit: Aengus McMahon

Prof Michael Madden, Chair of Computer Science at NUIG added that these programmes will help to create an ecosystem of AI companies in the West of Ireland with the support of Enterprise Ireland, IDA, and the IT Association Galway.

Though the area of research goes back decades, it is only recent breakthroughs in hardware capacity and computer algorithms that have made past dreams of intelligent machines a reality.

“Within NUI Galway, we have a 20-year track record of research and teaching in machine learning and AI, in the Data Science Institute and right across the School of Computer Science,” Prof Madden added.

All students taking part in these course will have to study AI Ethics “because we recognise the important ethical issues that can arise in modern AI applications.”

To complete their courses students will engage in capstone projects, conducting research and building prototype systems that use bleeding-edge artificial intelligence technologies.

For further information about the two new Masters programmes, visit