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CS 295A/395D: Artificial Intelligence

This is the webpage for CS295A/395D: Artificial Intelligence at University of Vermont for Spring 2022.

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Course Description

Section Description: What is AI (artificial intelligence)? An increasing number of software services that support algorithmic decision-making are purportedly powered by AI. Unfortunately, the buzz about AI evokes ideas from science-fiction about autonomous agents gaining free will and achieving consciousness, without any substantive discussion of what AI is and the problems it tries to solve.

Section Expectations: In this course, we start from the proposition that AI is the study of possibly sub-optimal, algorithmic solutions to NP-Hard problems. This course will cover the fundamentals of AI via probabilistic models, logic, and search. We will connect AI as algorithmic decision-making to machine learning (ML) as data-driven decision-making and discuss the promise and pitfalls of building decision-making pipelines from these technologies.

Evaluation: We will cover background in probability theory, logic, and induction early in the course. Students will choose their own evaluation, which will be a combination of in-class quizzes, theory assignments, programming assignments, and exams.

What this course is.

This course aproaches the field of artificial intelligence from the perspective of computer science. We treat the field of AI as a collection of techniques used to solve a particular class of problems (known as NP-Hard problems in the computing literature). These solutions may not be optimal, but they are typically good enough to deploy in the "real world."

What this course is not.

This is not a course in philsophy, psychology, cognitive science, machine learning, or deep learning. We will not be discussing the nature of intelligence, free will, the singularity, or whatever cybernetics is; there are many other courses available at UVM that will address these topics!

Is this course right for me?

Only your own heart + time can tell!

If however, you are concerned about the background required for this course, please see the schedule and peruse the evaluation methods.