Hasegawa-Johnson encourages students' interest in artificial intelligence


Joseph Park, ECE

CSL Professor  Mark Hasegawa-Johnson is expanding opportunities for students to explore artificial intelligence in consideration of how many companies are now pursuing students with a background in artificial intelligence. Last
Mark Hasegawa-Johnson
Mark Hasegawa-Johnson
year, Hasegawa-Johnson tripled the enrollment cap on the university's intro artificial intelligence course to 300. According to Hasegawa-Johnson, the extra 200 seats were filled within 24 hours.

With the growing rise of machine learning opportunities, artificial intelligence is now used in a variety of products including autonomous cars, robots that can eradicate weeds, computers that can distinguish skin cancers from benign moles, and even smart locks, thermostats, speakers, and digital assistants for smart homes.

Along with the expanding applications for artificial intelligence, the shortage of qualified workers in the field is increasing as well. According to WHBL, the lack of trained workers has slowed growth at some companies and could also be delaying "broader adoption of a technology that some economists say could spur U.S. economic growth by boosting productivity, currently growing at only about half its pre-crisis pace." 

Economists believe that artificial intelligence has the potential to shape the economy just as electricity or the steam engine did, but the adoption of artificial intelligence will depend on the availability of technical talent. Illinois hopes to contribute to the pool of technical talent with the rising number of students who are learning about artificial intelligence.

Hasegawa is also affiliated with the Beckman Institute and ECE ILLINOIS.

Read more from WHBL here.