Starting this fall, KAIST will operate a new graduate school specializing in Artificial Intelligence (AI). As mentioned in a Korea Times article, KAIST was selected along with Korea University and Sungkyunkwan University to initiate state-funded AI graduate schools. The Ministry of Science and ICT announced that over the next five years, the government is planning to invest nine billion KRW to support the three universities in teaching and developing AI technology.
On April 1, KAIST held an information session detailing the background, target, and application process of the new school. Professor Song Chong, the head of the Graduate School of AI, began by saying that by 2023, KAIST aims to be in the top five universities of the world. This AI graduate school was founded with an ambitious desire to support the vision. Currently, there are 22 AI-related research centers in KAIST, with an approximate worth in research funding of 41 billion KRW in total. The Graduate School of AI will run on five big administration agendas: to be in the top five universities in research volume; to produce globally excellent human resources; to apply AI in key industries like semiconductors and telecom — a plan referred to as “AI + X”; to open an “AI Valley” in Pangyo, Gyeonggi Province; and to start an AI College as a long-term goal.
Seven professors have been recruited into this school — Professors Song Chong, Junmo Kim, Kijung Shin, and Jinwoo Shin from the School of Electrical Engineering; Professors Sung Ju Hwang and Eunho Yang from the School of Computing; and Professor Se-Young Yun from the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering — and three more will be added before the semester starts. For the Fall 2019 intake, 20 graduate and 10 doctorate students will be admitted. Every accepted student will receive full scholarship and the quota will be increased each year. Professor Chong closed his presentation by explaining the four main “criteria” required to construct a good AI: Massive, Automated, Reliable, and Secure — abbreviated as “MARS”.
The next presenter, Professor Junmo Kim, expounded the details of the course academics. At the moment, KAIST offers 136 AI-related classes across various departments. The core lecturers of those classes are the ones being recruited into the Graduate School of AI to allow a more systematic curriculum. There will be three major required courses and the remaining courses are designed to meet each student’s preferences. The courses are categorized into two general groups: AI / ML courses that focus on theory, and AI + X courses taught by adjunct professors with specialized applications. Additionally, a four-month internship will be mandatory for graduate students. Doctorate students, on the other hand, will do collaborative work with top overseas researchers, facilitated by the KAIST network.
The MS-Ph.D Integrated Degree Program is not yet available for this semester. Furthermore, because the application period for this program starts after the period for international application has passed, there will be no separate application for international students and they will have to compete in the same pool.