Dawson College pumps $1 million into new AI program


Dawson College will invest $1 million into a new artificial intelligence-focused (AI) program to help prepare students for the city’s red hot job market. The downtown Montreal CEGEP college, which sits across the street from the old Montreal Forum, is the first CEGEP to make this kind of investment of resources and time. “Dawson College is poised to revolutionize college education to better prepare the students of tomorrow,” said Richard Fillion, Dawson’s Director. The investment was announced Tuesday during a conference at Dawson that brought together 600 educators from across Quebec for sessions on active learning and technological innovation in education. The curriculum will allow students to participate in courses, programs, conferences and extra curricular activities, regardless of their field of study. They should be able to begin the program this September. This initiative isn’t just about preparing students for the future job market, but using artificial intelligence to improve overall education, noted CTV News.
“They’re going to be our policy makers, they’re going to be the ones heading up companies” Jaya Nilakantan, department of computer science at Dawson College
“I think the tech is better now… we have an opportunity to enhance the educational experience – especially in schools that may not have as much resources as others. Perhaps AI can be a cheap tool to enhance the experience of students,” Doina Precup, who has worked in AI for more than 25 years, told CTV News. Students will encounter AI in a variety of subjects, but the college will also teach students about the ethics behind the powerful technology. “They’re going to be our policy makers, they’re going to be the ones heading up companies,” Jaya Nilakantan, a faculty member of the department of computer science at Dawson College, told Global News. “We’ve got these really brilliant students in here, they just need to be aware of how to think critically about what’s coming up.” “One of the things we really want is for kids to develop literacy — digital literacy. So, we want them to be comfortable with these tools, and eventually, we want them to produce these tools,” said Réjean Roy, deputy director and chief of partnerships at the International Observatory on the Societal Impacts of AI and digital technology (OIISIAN).

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