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AI is deeply rooted in the DNA of the Informatics programme

Deepak Dhungana, artificial intelligence expert at IMC Krems

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a highly specialised technology that is able to process large amounts of data efficiently, without developing a fundamental sense of understanding or consciousness like humans. Along with his team, respected AI expert Prof. Deepak Dhungana, who is Head of the Institute of Digitalisation and Informatics at IMC Krems, carries out research into this fascinating technology. And the director of the Informatics degree programme is also making a major contribution to its development.

Deepak Dhungana

“AI is deeply rooted in the DNA of the Informatics degree programme”, so Deepak Dhungana, artificial intelligence expert and programme director at IMC Krems.

It’s hard to imagine modern life without intelligent systems. AI has a wide range of possible applications – from online shopping to medical diagnostics and scientific research. Just like everyone else, Deepak Dhungana also comes into contact with AI in many different ways, both in his personal and professional life. As he sees it, the various AI tools are stand-alone solutions that can be used selectively to solve individual problems. “Integrating ‘intelligence’ from various fields of AI is a task that will keep scientists busy for many years to come,” Dhungana believes.

Research into artificial intelligence at IMC Krems

A range of research projects focused on artificial intelligence are currently under way at IMC Krems. One of them, the EU’s Flexcrash project, is aimed at performing research into and developing innovative and hard-wearing materials for autonomous vehicles with the help of AI. The DiHost project is designed to support SMEs when it comes to devising AI-based business models, while the Smart Service Platform project is centred on developing AI and data-based solutions for local government authorities. Using AI to improve the production facilities of the future is the focus of the Industrie 5.0 project. And other projects currently in progress at IMC Krems are examining topics such as automated approaches for generating school timetables, as well as the impacts of AI on companies and jobs.

The future of artificial intelligence: opportunities and challenges

The effective deployment of AI is set to open up major opportunities to resolve some of the significant problems facing humanity. AI is playing a part in helping to enhance efficiency, precision and automation in many areas, including environmental protection, future forms of mobility, financial services, communication, manufacturing and the health sector. Dhungana is convinced that “soon there will be no areas where AI can’t be used in order to solve key problems”.
The role of AI tools in our everyday lives is also growing, thanks mainly to the latest advances in algorithms and high-speed processing power. That said, one aspect of AI’s “intelligence” is still limited: its ability to achieve more fundamental, human-like intelligence is still a significant challenge. “Without wide-ranging comprehension or consciousness, AI tools will remain just that: tools, which people have to be able to use properly. Even a hammer can cause harm if it isn’t used in the right way,” Dhungana explains.

Informatics degree programme at IMC Krems – a journey into the world of innovation and responsibility

Students on IMC Krems’ Informatics degree programme benefit not only from immediate, AI-generated feedback, but also from rapid access to extensive information and learning materials. From the first semester onwards, courses introduce students to the basics of programming with Python, as well as statistics and the R programming language. Students build up more detailed knowledge over the course of the degree programme, and the fourth semester places a specific emphasis on AI, with courses on topics such as machine learning and data mining. Semester six goes even deeper, covering subjects that include computer vision and image analytics. “AI is deeply rooted in the DNA of the Informatics degree,” says the programme director.
Dhungana is committed to inspiring young people to embrace artificial intelligence and actively help to shape the modern world. “AI has countless potential applications, from healthcare to the arts, and it can also open the door to any number of exciting careers. Studying AI enables us to be creative, to take on ethical responsibility, and to design innovative solutions for the challenges of our times. I would like to encourage young people to join us on this fascinating voyage, to make use of the resources at their disposal, write new success stories and shape the world of artificial intelligence,” Dhungana adds.

About Deepak Dhungana

Prof. Deepak Dhungana has been director of the Informatics bachelor degree programme at IMC Krems since 2019. After finishing his PhD, he worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Limerick in Ireland before moving to the Vienna University of Technology. He then joined the research department at Siemens, where he was responsible for internal and external research projects. While working in industry, he also lectured part-time at the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria’s Hagenberg Campus.