Duke Launches Graduate Certificate in AI for Product Innovation

May 29, 2020

Designed for working professionals, the new program's online classes start in August 2020

Illustration of a brain and binary code

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are creating immense opportunities for innovation in products and services across every industry, from health care to energy to manufacturing—and beyond.

Remarkable growth in the availability of raw data, combined with major advances in computational power and new modeling techniques and tools, have driven a boom in the AI/ML field. To remain competitive, organizations are racing to leverage the value of their data through the application of advanced analytics.

“The level of depth, faculty interaction and high-quality virtual approach set Duke's apart from other AI certificates.”

Jon Reifschneider
Certificate Program Director

To meet this challenge, Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering is launching in summer 2020 an online Graduate Certificate in AI Foundations for Product Innovation (AIPI) that will fuel innovation by equipping participants with AI/machine learning skills and a strong understanding of how the technologies can be applied to build new products and services.

Designed for working professionals, the online program can be completed in 15 months and requires no application fee or entrance exam.

With Duke Engineering’s world-class machine-learning research and teaching, combined with Duke’s strong interdisciplinary environment and close industry relations, the school is uniquely positioned to prepare high-potential future leaders from technical fields in the application of AI, said Jon Reifschneider, the AIPI certificate program’s director. 

 “Employees who have a sophisticated understanding of AI and machine learning applications can provide unique perspectives on challenges in their field—not only on potential solutions, but, more importantly, on what challenges organizations are able to address,” he said.

Jon ReifschneiderAlthough engineers and scientists skilled in machine learning principles are in high demand, business leaders find there is currently insufficient talent with these critical aptitudes. Through the AIPI certificate, Duke aims to address the imbalance between demand for professionals with strong AI skills and the available supply. 

Duke’s AIPI certificate is designed to build graduates’ artificial intelligence expertise and value within their organization and industry. Certificate students will complete a preparatory online bootcamp and a series of four core courses designed with input from industry experts and structured around the product development process. 

While the program allows participants to build foundational AI skills without requiring the commitment of a master’s program, students who wish to continue their studies into a full Master of Engineering in AI for Product Innovation will be able to apply their certificate credits towards completion of the Duke degree program, which launches in Fall 2021.

“The level of depth, faculty interaction and high-quality virtual approach of Duke’s AIPI certificate program set it apart from other AI certificates,” said Reifschneider. “Courses go beyond basic theory to focus on real-world AI business and product applications--which is ideal for professionals who want to acquire tools that they can immediately apply in their day-to-day work.” 

The graduate certificate can be completed in 15 months—and requires no application fee or entrance exam

Courses cover key aspects of the product development process for building AI-enabled products and, in addition to core technical knowledge, students will gain an understanding of the business, legal and ethical aspects of utilizing AI.  In-depth faculty engagement and virtual connections with other Duke students will offer AIPI participants valuable opportunities to expand their professional networks.  Reifschneider said that he expects Duke AIPI’s first class to be composed of engineers and scientists who want to gain AI skills to apply in their current organization or move into new roles that require these capacities. 

The program is now accepting applications for August 2020. For details, visit meng.duke.edu »

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