Artificial intelligence (AI) is part of the fabric of WPI—and has been for 50 years.
From the September 1969 launch of the graduate program (MS) in computer science to virtual reality projects in the early 1990s to today’s fast-paced development of AI, WPI’s expertise connecting technology and data builds upon years of research and project-based education. With instruction and collaboration from expert faculty members, WPI students acquire the specialized technical skills and the ethical understanding needed to tackle the complex, interdisciplinary future work of AI.
Programs and Departments with AI
WPI’s departments and programs infuse AI across projects and courses so students can apply AI considerations to what they are learning now and how they will work in the future. In addition, WPI offers an artificial intelligence master’s program, a BS/MS in AI option, and a graduate certificate in AI, for students who want to gain a deeper understanding of the field.
Master’s in Artificial Intelligence
WPI’s 30-credit, flexible MS-AI degree allows students gain technical expertise in understanding, developing, deploying, and innovating AI techniques and systems in a responsible fashion. Students, who come from varied degree and technical preparation backgrounds, learn future-ready job skills with project-based courses and either a capstone or thesis. Working with industry partners, they apply AI skills across industries and disciplines.
Combined BS/MS Degree
WPI undergraduates may pursue an accelerated BS/MS option. While earning a bachelor’s degree in any major offered at WPI, students may concurrently pursue an MS in AI by double-counting certain courses toward both degrees. This accelerated option shortens the time for completing two degrees.
Graduate Certificate in AI
The 12-credit graduate certificate in Artificial Intelligence (AI) prepares students to utilize AI technologies in real-world applications. Course choices are targeted to AI and the student's interests. Find out more about WPI's graduate certificate in AI.
Learn More About AI Terms
An algorithm is a set of step-by-step instructions or rules given to a computer to perform a specific task. Think of it as a recipe that guides the computer in solving a problem.
Artificial Intelligence, AI
AI refers to machines or computer systems that can perform tasks that typically require human intelligence and/or mimic the behavior of humans. Tasks include learning, reasoning, problem-solving, perception, language understanding, and interacting with humans.
Extremely large sets of data that can be analyzedfor patterns and insights. Machine learning relies on large data sets to train models to solve tasks.
A field that combines analytics, statistics, data management, machine learning, AI, data management, mathematics, computer programming, and visualizations to identify insights in information in order to tackle impactful problems and communicate insights to stakeholders.
A type of machine learning inspired by the human brain. Deep learning uses neural networks with multiple layers, also known as deep neural networks, to analyze and learn from data in order to make predictions. It isoften used for complex tasks, such as image recognition and speech recognition.
A type of artificial intelligence that is trained to find patterns in data to create new material, such as images, text, or even music,without explicit instructions. Generative AI uses complex algorithms to produce material that can range from innovative and surprising to inaccurate and misleading. ChatGPT is an example of Generative AI.
Large Language Models
A type of generative AIthat can generate text. Large language models are trained on very large data sets of text, such as Wikipedia, to understand, translate, and/or produce written text in a way that mimics humans.
Machine learning is a subset of AI algorithms that teaches a computer to recognize patterns and make decisions on its own. Machine learning enables computers to learn and improve from experience or access to data and its labels without being explicitly programmed.
A computer system inspired by the human brain's structure. Neural networks are used in machine learning to recognize patterns and make decisions. Imagine it as a network of connected nodes that work together to solve problems.
Natural Language Processing, also NLP
A field of AI that focuses on enabling machines to understand, interpret, and generate human language. It makes voice assistants and language translation possible.
Robotics involves the design, construction, and operation of hardware that in some cases may mimic the operations and tasks usually performed by humans. Robots are machines that can carry out tasks autonomously or semi-autonomously, often with the help of AI.
AI Across the Curriculum
Examples of courses that have elements of AI theory:
- Data Science III: Computational Data Intelligence (Data Science)
- Artificial Intelligence with Business Application (Management Systems)
- Ethical Impact and Communication in Robotics and AI Research (Writing)
- Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery in Databases (Computer Science)
- Financial Institutions, Markets & Technology (Finance)
- Wireless Technologies and Applications (ECE)
- Cognitive Psychology (Psychology)
AI Conversations on Campus
Critical Conversations Events
AI and Healthcare: WPI’s community engages in important discussions and considerations about how AI impacts and influences human life. A recent expert panel discussion, Critical Conversation: Artificial Intelligence & Your Health: The Future is Now considered the implications of AI in healthcare and questions including topics surrounding AI in medicine and how it may help diagnose, predict, or even prevent disease.
AI and Language: Another Critical Conversation event focused on ChatGPT explored how the debut of large language models challenged society’s understanding of how AI can work. Watch the video of the Critical Conversations ChatGPT event.
Manasi Vartak '10 Uses AI to Help Businesses
As founder and CEO of AI start-up Verta, Manasi Vartak ’10 knew WPI would give her the tools she needed to make a difference in a rapidly developing industry.
Opportunities in Artificial Intelligence
Once a year, the Department of Computer Science opens up the national AI4ALL program. AI4ALL offers students the opportunity to take free courses in the ethics of AI, pursue internships and jobs, collaborate with industry partners, and gain access to AI4ALL’s alumni network.
AI Faculty Experts
AI will contribute to the global economy by 2030