SCIENCE + TECHNOLOGY

BYU to offer machine learning degree this fall

Jun 14, 2023, 1:00 PM

a sign on a pole says byu, learn and serve, the school is offering a new machine learning degree...

Brigham Young University in Provo on Wednesday Sept 21, 2022. (Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News)

(Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Artificial intelligence may be off limits when it comes to writing college essays, but Brigham Young University is using it in a different way. BYU is getting in on the artificial intelligence craze by offering a new undergraduate degree in machine learning. 

BYU Associate Professor of Computer Science David Wingate said the degree aims to help humans staff future jobs in artificial intelligence and sets students up for success. 

“Students will learn skills that will translate into both career opportunities at high-tech firms, but also graduate school opportunities and opportunities for advanced research in the field.”

Students aren’t the only ones to benefit from the program though. Wingate said the new degree also empowers students to help AI programs like ChatGPT, Siri, Alexa and even Google Ads work smarter.

The degree is a combination of feeding AI programs information and improving the connections between computers to speed up how fast programs can learn. 

“ChatGPT was trained on trillions of words of text, on thousands of computers, working together for months at a time just to sort of learn the patterns in the data. They estimate that it probably cost millions of dollars in electricity alone to train ChatGPT.”

BYU students can start signing up for the machine learning degree for the 2023 fall semester.

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BYU to offer machine learning degree this fall