“Hybrid Education in the Area of Artificial Intelligence,
Machine Learning and Cybernetics at UNIZA”

Project 002ZU-2-1-2021 supported through the Development Project scheme supervised by the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic.

The Current Problems in Training AI Professionals

Development in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) has been proceeding at an unprecedented pace in recent years, and the current and long-term lack of availability of highly qualified professionals in the labor market and in the research space may have a significant negative impact on our country’s competitiveness in the future. However, analogous problems also apply to the European area as a whole.

In the context of having insufficient human resources in the area of AI and ML, fragmentation is a serious problem, which undesirably reduces the potential of existing groups. Within UNIZA, for instance, there are several departments that do work in AI and ML and their activities have been only weakly connected in the past. This situation has gradually improved vis-à-vis research since the establishment of the joint university-wide LUIZA laboratory – however, in the field of education, the community is still fragmented. The same is true within Slovakia as a whole: it is necessary to connect and better coordinate national educational activities in the field of AI and ML.

Another significant problem is that there is a lack of accessible material and tools for flexible continuous training of professionals in the area of AI and ML. If they were available, such tools could benefit researchers from other disciplines as well as students and practitioners. They would enable them to learn how to apply modern AI and ML methods, correctly interpret their results and use them to create products and services with high added value.

How the Project Is Going to Help

In the course of the project we are going to create blended courses in English that are going to provide participants with the necessary theoretical knowledge and practical skills in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and cybernetics. The courses are initially going to be provided in 2 different difficulty levels: (i) basic (user-oriented), (ii) advanced (incorporating deeper knowledge), although eventually we intend to provide some modules on a 3rd “expert” level, where very detailed understanding, required e.g. for research in the field will be provided.

The courses will enable continuous training of researchers, students and practitioners who need to apply or develop AI and ML methods in the course of their other activities. They will enable them to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for the effective use of AI- and ML-based methods, but also for the correct evaluation and interpretation of their results. They will thus help to significantly streamline the transfer of the most current knowledge into practice.

The resulting pilot project can be expanded to cover other content and other areas in the future and to involve other universities, thereby helping to further reduce undesirable fragmentation, to support networking and coordination of national educational and research activities in the field of AI and ML.