THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With billions of top dollars being poured into Artificial Intelligence (AI) world over, the state government has begun training the faculty members and students of engineering colleges on the subject with the help of skilled trainers to make them abreast of the new technology.
AI is the area of computer science which emphasises the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans.
As the first step, select faculty members from 23 engineering colleges are being trained under the Additional Skill Acquisition Programme (ASAP). They, in turn, will train students from these colleges selected after a competitive exam.
The government is also planning to include AI as a major subject in the engineering curriculum from next academic year. An empowered committee led by Chief Secretary has also been constituted to ensure the students are trained well in the technology-driven corporate ecosystem.
IT majors, including Nissan, have already offered assistance to provide skilled trainers for training students and faculty. The state IT ministry decided to provide training on AI after studies found out that engineering graduates are least aware of the latest technologies. Though the Kerala Technological University and Higher Education department had decided to revise the engineering curriculum to make it compatible with the latest technologies, this is the first time that the government has decided to impart training on a particular technology.
“Two modules of the training have been completed. The first training was led by the faculty members of IIT Chennai. As the first step, the faculty members of 23 engineering colleges were given training and they, in turn, are training students who were selected after a competitive examination. The process is on and we are organising it as a weekend course in addition to the normal curriculum. Not only the engineering students, but fresh graduates can also avail of the benefits of the course as the trainers are from IITs,” said Usha Titus, principal secretary, Higher Education and KTU vice-chancellor in-charge.
So far, over 100 engineering students have been trained in AI.
K C Chandrasekharan Nair, co-founder of Technopark and an IT expert, said AI training should not be limited to a weekend course and it should be included in the engineering curriculum.
“It was our long-standing demand that the subjects like AI, Machine learning, Internet of Things and data analytics are included in the engineering curriculum. We have been requesting successive governments to replace the age-old curriculum and to bring subjects which are relevant today.
“It’s a welcome stand taken by the government to organise at least a weekend course,” said Nair.