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Singapore’s NYP to Offer AI and Data Engineering Course

Singapore’s Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) has launched a diploma course in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Data Engineering that will be co-developed and co-taught by its partners who are industry experts and professionals. Students will receive industry-grade certification from the partner companies on top of their diplomas, the learning institution said.

As per reports, the programme will adopt NYP’s professional competency model (PCM), which is aimed at mirroring workplace practices instead of the subject-based approach taken by most schools. This means students will not have to take mathematics as a separate subject, for example, but will instead learn how to apply the appropriate parts and statistics, together with software and technology, to accomplish tasks, such as collecting and analysing data from sensors.

The principal and chief executive of NYP said that this approach will result in a more responsive and relevant curriculum. NYP can quickly pick up changes or updates in skills because they are working with global leaders who can map out how technologies are changing. New developments can be easily plugged into the PCM, while obsolete technologies or areas are removed. This ensures that NYP’s learners will always be equipped with the most relevant skills to tackle any job task with ease, she added.

One of the learning institution’s partners said that they are working with NYP to develop a module on applied deep learning, as part of the course. The module will cover how fundamental concepts in AI and machine learning are applied to address specific industry problems that engineers face, they added.

Also, NYP lecturers will be given access to teaching materials used at one of their partner tech company’s Deep Learning Institute. The tech company’s researchers and engineers will train and guide the lecturers before the course commences and will also share their experiences with students as guest lecturers.

NYP students will also be taught how to use neural networks in areas like image classification and computer vision, for example, to allow a computer to visually recognise objects like animals and human beings in real-time. Tech experts say that the students need to understand industry problems and have hands-on experience. The internalisation of how they use the various tools to achieve the outcome is very important and that will help them when they go out and start working in the industry.

The diploma course, offered under NYP’s School of Engineering, will take in its first students next year. NYP said it will also convert its existing diploma course in game development and technology to the PCM, starting with next year’s intake. Applications for both courses will open during the early admissions exercise in June. NYP said its other diploma programmes will also be progressively converted to the new model over the next five years.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, AI front runners in Singapore include firms in sectors such as banking, e-commerce and logistics. Some of the AI implementations rolled out after the pandemic hit include those relating to:

Employee productivity

  • Conversational chatbots answer employee queries on medical claims or annual leave matters.
  • Resume robots sort, screen and rank job applications, at least during the first round of the hiring process.
  • Natural language processing capabilities in Web collaboration tools allow for automated notetaking and summarisation.

Data security

  • AI helps tech support staff spot problems before they happen, such as when employees have not applied security patches to their computers.
  • AI allows for the quick detection and blocking of unknown malware and threats based on Web traffic patterns.

Supply chain and logistics

  • Recommendation engines advise on supply options that deliver the best margins.
  • Optimised route planning based on distance and traffic conditions helps to minimise delivery costs.

Data processing

  • Processing capabilities for unstructured data such as drawings, handwritten notes and images allow, say, financial planning agents to recommend the best insurance policies or savings plans to clients.
  • These capabilities also allow the deluge of non-standardised data elements in paper-based trade documents issued by companies to be processed speedily.

Sales

  • Recommendation engines advise bank users on the right credit card for them based on their lifestyle and transaction history.
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