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    The Future is Still Human: Training the Next Generation of AI Leaders at Lingnan University

    Artificial Intelligence (AI) promises to revolutionise all aspects of modern life. From healthcare to education, and more, AI is streamlining processes, enabling personalised solutions, and creating opportunities for growth and development. However, from its use to spread misinformation on social media and in military applications to autonomously identify targets, to the questions of authorship raised by AI-generated creative works, this technology presents us with numerous complex ethical and societal issues which need to be addressed.

    Lingnan University’s new Master of Arts in Artificial Intelligence and the Future (MAAIF) will equip students with many of the skills and insights required to help shape a responsible, human-centred, and AI-enhanced future.

    The programme’s representatives are Lingnan faculty Dr Adrian Yee of the Hong Kong Catastrophic Risk Centre (a research centre affiliated to the Department of Philosophy), and Dr André Curtis-Trudel of the Department of Philosophy.

    “With any new technology there are always trade-offs that need to be navigated,” explains Dr Curtis-Trudel. “What we want students to take away from our programme is a set of skills that allow them to take a holistic approach to evaluating AI applications in all sorts of domains.”

    Lingnan’s unique approach

    Unlike traditional IT- and engineering-centric programmes, Lingnan’s MAAIF offers a unique, interdisciplinary approach to this emerging field, and will prepare students to tackle the wider ethical and philosophical issues thrown up by the technology. Students will not require a specific background in AI – nor a technical background or strong mathematical skills – but will be trained in the application of analytical tools that will allow them to think clearly and critically about AI systems.

    Dr Yee highlights the singular perspective of this programme. “We’re going to teach our students the fundamentals of AI, a little bit of coding, a little bit of maths, but really the main focus is going to be on philosophical issues that AI systems raise.”

    In a wide-ranging curriculum, students will consider the ramifications of AI in a variety of domains, including science, law, economics, public policy, healthcare, and business and finance.

    Upon completion of the programme, graduates will be well-positioned for careers in a wide range of fields that extend to roles that blend AI technology with artistic or humanistic pursuits, such as AI Ethicist or Analyst, AI Developer or Art Creator, Educator, or AI Consultant or Strategist. With industries increasingly integrating ethical considerations into their AI strategies, our graduates will also find ample opportunities in tech, healthcare, finance, and government sectors, both in Hong Kong and abroad.

    Dr Curtis-Trudel says that when it comes to choosing a topic for their capstone project, students will be given a lot of flexibility. “And, ideally, these capstone projects would be something they can show a prospective employer to demonstrate what they have to offer.”

    A number of scholarships are available for the MAAIF programme, which will welcome its first cohort in September 2024 and can be pursued on a one-year full-time or two-year part-time basis.