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MA (Honours) Artificial Intelligence and Philosophy

MA (Hons) Artificial Intelligence and Philosophy Degree Programme Table

1. Awarding Institution: University of Edinburgh

2. Teaching Institution: University of Edinburgh

3. Programme Accredited By: see accreditation pages

4. Final Award: M.A. (Honours) Artificial Intelligence and Philosophy

5. Programme Title: M.A. (Honours) Artificial Intelligence and Philosophy

6. UCAS Code: pending

7. Relevant QAA subject benchmarking: Computing, Philosophy

8. Mode of Study: Full time

9. Educational aims of programme:

The disciplines of Artificial Intelligence and Philosophy are in many ways closely related and have especially strong overlaps in Logic and Philosophy of Mind. Specific areas where ideas from Artificial Intelligence and Philosophy illuminate each other include the computational specification and implementation of more abstract, theoretical models of agent-hood, reasoning and perception, as well as conceptual analysis and critique in Philosophy relating to the overall project of creating artificial minds. In addition there are interacting themes from the Philosophy of Science regarding the scientific and explanatory status of computational models, simulations and methodologies, and in the other direction, results in machine learning and induction shed potential light on phenomena of interest in the Philosophy of Science, such as hypothesis formation. Although traditionally a branch of Philosophy, Logic has, in the 20th century, undergone immense development, so that it is now actively pursued in departments of Computer Science, Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence. Techniques of formalization, the use of logics as languages of representation, the simulation and automation of deductive and other rational processes are all realms with rich common ground between Philosophy and AI.

The principal aims of the degree are to:

  • introduce students to the relevant approaches and methods in both Artificial Intelligence and Philosophy;
  • develop graduates possessing a thorough understanding of the theoretical and practical aspects of Artificial Intelligence;
  • equip students with a firm grasp of theoretical issues in Philosophy, especially in the Philosophy of Mind and conceptual foundations of Cognitive Science and AI;
  • provide an interdisciplinary programme of study that benefits from our research strengths in AI, Philosophy and Cognitive Science at Edinburgh;
  • enable students to develop communication skills, initiative, and the ability to work independently as well as with others;
  • provide graduates with the knowledge and skills necessary for their professional careers or for postgraduate study.

10. Programme Outcomes

The programme provides opportunities for learners to achieve the following outcomes:

(a) Knowledge and understanding

  • understand the principles and mechanisms underlying various kinds of intelligent processes, both in humans and in artificial systems;
  • understand how to deal more effectively with natural intelligence using AI tools and techniques;
  • awareness of the scope and limitations of AI and computational methods, both theoretically and in practice;
  • have a good understanding of the broad range of issues studied in Philosophy;
  • understand key theoretical topics in the Philosophy of Mind and Philosophy of Science that impact the fields of AI and Cognitive Science.

(b) Intellectual Skills

On completing the programme students should have the ability to:

  • specify and design appropriate computer-based systems;
  • derive abstract representations and formulate appropriate solutions for problems
  • conceptually analyze and evaluate proposed theories and explanatory models
  • argue rigorously and effectively in a theoretical context

(c) Professional/subject/specific/practical skills

On completing the programme students should have the ability to:

  • develop and implement appropriate computer-based systems;
  • formulate relevant assessment criteria and evaluate computer based systems;
  • operate computing equipment and software systems effectively;
  • formulate clear and concise pieces of verbal expression and analysis.

(d) Transferable skills

  • deploy logical, analytical, and problem solving skills
  • show self-direction and time management skills when working independently
  • work effectively as part of a team
  • communicate effectively through a variety of media including oral, visual, written, diagrammatic and on-line
  • make effective use of learning materials and to acquire and apply knowledge from a variety of sources.

11. Programme Structure and Features

For formal definitions, including details of compulsory and optional course choices, consult the Degree Programme Table. Consult the List of Informatics courses to discover which courses belong to which subject area.

12. Entry Requirements:

Please consult the current University Undergraduate Prospectus.

13. Degree Classification

The final degree classification is based equally on performance in third and fourth years. Degrees are classified according to the University's standard marking scale with boundaries at 70%, 60%, 50%, 40%.