Most of us are familiar with the different university degrees. We have anything from a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree to a doctorate – but have you ever heard of a “nanodegree”? Now, Udacity, IBM IBM Watson, Didi Chuxing and Amazon Alexa have come together to give you exactly this: a new “nanodegree” in artificial intelligence.

The news was revealed at the IBM World of Watson Conference today, revealing that IBM Watson will be co-delivering the curriculum with Udacity. Didi Chuxing, a mobile transportation platform that offers a range of commuting options to 400 cities in China, will be responsible for hiring the students who successfully complete the nanodegree, whereas Amazon Alexa will serve as Udacity’s adviser in developing the degree, TehcCrunch writes.

Sebastian Thrun, Udacity’s founder said that the new AI nanodegree will be available for students who have already completed a level of a master’s degree in software development. In a blog post published by Rob High, IBM’s VP and Chief of Technology Officer, High said that the degree will teach students anything from building apps or platforms by using game playing and search, to logic and planning, computer vision and natural language processing, among many others.

The question of  whether ethics and morals would be included in the curriculum was raised during the conference, whereas Udacity’s Thrun said:

“No. There’s a lot of fear mongering these days in the AI field. AI is not about to take over or destroy the world. Instead, it’s going to free us of repetitive mindless work. Say you are doing an office job and every day you do the same thing. At some point an AI watching you will make you one hundred times more efficient at your job, and it will free up a lot of your time. I think AI is to the human mind what the steam engine was to the human body…I see this as positive news for the world.”

The first term of the Udacity AI Nanodegree will open early 2017, and includes two 13-week terms that are still under development.

And now to the question that many might raise – will the curriculum be taught by humans, or robots? Well, Udacity does not leave out the possibility of artificially intelligent apps assisting their teachers, but primarily it will be taught by humans.

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