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SCI 48 — An Introduction to Artificial Intelligence: How Neuroscience Is Creating Smarter Technologies

Quarter: Winter
Day(s): Mondays
Course Format: On-campus
Duration: 5 weeks
Date(s): Jan 22—Feb 26
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm
Drop Deadline: Feb 4
Unit: 1
Tuition: $305
Instructor(s): Sohila Zadran
Status: Open
Please Note: No class on February 19
7:00—8:50 pm
Jan 22—Feb 26
5 weeks
Drop By
Feb 4
1 Unit
Sohila Zadran
Please Note: No class on February 19
The age of artificial intelligence (AI) is undoubtedly here. In 2015 alone, more than $10 billion of investment went into developing “smarter” computer systems that use neuroscience (artificial neural networks and computational techniques) to perform tasks that require high-level intellect, including visual perception, speech recognition, and autonomous decision-making. The self-driving car is but one highly visible example. Even the automated customer service representative on the phone is artificial intelligence at work.

In this course, students will look at the neuroscience concepts and techniques that underpin artificial intelligence and the design of intelligent computer systems. Once we understand these essential concepts and techniques, we will see how scientists and programmers build artificial intelligence platforms and applications. This includes a discussion of artificial neural networks and machine learning. Guest speakers from academia, industry, and AI companies will discuss their innovations and new AI technologies. Lastly, we will begin to explore the ethics of artificial intelligence and the challenging questions we will soon be forced, as a society, to address. By the end of the course, students will have a basic understanding of artificial intelligence and its roots in neuroscience, and how it contributes to existing and new technologies.

This introductory course is open to students of all levels. No background in neuroscience, artificial intelligence, or computer science is needed.

Please note: The instructor will also co-teach SCI: 52: "Artificial Intelligence: An Introduction to Neural Networks and Deep Learning" with Ronjon Nag this Winter. Prospective students should review both syllabi to determine which course best suits their needs.

Sohila Zadran, Founder, Igantia Therapeutics

Sohila Zadran’s research concerns genomics and understanding aging in the brain. She received a PhD in neuroscience from USC and was a postdoctoral fellow in systems neuroscience at the California Institute of Technology.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.