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Featured Course: Leading Edge of Artificial Intelligence and Industry Trend

MAR . 29 2017
Peking University, March 26, 2017: What is the current situation and future prospect of Artificial Intelligence? What problems can AI solve when combined with other industries? How can our present knowledge of algorithm promote the development of AI? The answers to these questions can be found in the classroom of "Leading Edge of Artificial Intelligence and Industry Trend", a course designed by School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) in the spring semester of 2017at Peking University.
Lei Ming, director of PKU Artificial Intelligence and Innovation Center, hosts the class. Every class, one top expert in the field of AI and one business magnate are invited as guest speakers to talk about the present situation and future prospect of AI industry. Each class consists of several sections, such as introductory talk, lectures delivered by guest speakers, dialogue between the host and the guests, online Q&A, etc.
As a public elective course, "Leading Edge of Artificial Intelligence and Industry Trend", has attracted students not only from EECS, but also from other departments such as School of Mathematical Sciences and College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, increasing the enrolment to nearly 200. The course is also available to the public through live webcasts.

The course
Lei Ming pointed out that offering this course conforms to the tides of modern technology. Previously, PKU’s courses on AI mainly focused on knowledge and theory, instead of on presenting industrial applications and latest developments. In this course, however, the gusts invited have both excellent academic achievements and rich working experience in world-class enterprises. Therefore, they can better connect theory with reality and lead PKU students to the cutting edge of AI development. What’s more, the course also meets the needs of students, instructing students to understand the application of the algorithms they have learned and to figure out how to combine their interest with industrial development.

The classroom is full of students
Since the first lectureon February 21, many guests have come to discuss the opportunities and challenges the AI industry has met in the fields of finance, androids, automatic driving, medicine, etc. These guests include Xu Xiaoping, founder of Zhenfund and cofounder of New Oriental English, Yu Kai, distinguished expert of the Recruitment Program of Global Experts, Qi Yuan, chief data officer of Ali Ant Financial, Wu Gansha, former director of Intel Labs China, and Huang Jiangji, cofounder of Xiaomi Tech. 

Lei Ming introducing the guest speaker
One student from EECS said that this course was more practical than any previous courses in the field of AI, and had helped him in deciding which professional career to take in the future. Another student from Health Science Center said that the outlook of combining AI with other industries is promising. He was particularly interested in the interdisciplinary studies of AI and health care, and hoped to learn more about AI through this course. 

Guest Speaker Qi Yuan
Peking University has set up variouscourses relating to artificial intelligence, including “Artificial Intelligence,” “Introduction of Artificial Intelligence,” “Innovative Engineering,” etc. In March 2017, accelerating the cultivation of emerging industries including AI was written in the Government Work Report for the first time, indicatingthe bright future of artificial intelligence.
Written by: Wang Xi
Edited by: Xu Penghang
Source: PKU News (Chinese)