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IIT-Mandi chief: AI can’t replace core engineering disciplines; curriculum revamp not needed

March 5, 2024

According to Laxmidhar Behera, the Director of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Mandi, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is not currently advanced enough to effectively educate students in core engineering disciplines. He suggests that there is no need for a complete overhaul of the engineering college curriculum due to the emergence of AI, as these technologies lack the capability for in-depth research.

Behera emphasizes the current limitations of AI, stating that it cannot comprehensively grasp scientific concepts and possibilities. He questions the ability to create an educational system based on AI when our understanding of our own cognitive processes is limited. Behera acknowledges innovations like ChatGPT but notes its limitations, describing it as lacking true understanding and merely extracting information from extensive data.

Amid discussions about reimagining education in the era of AI, Behera asserts that AI systems are not inherently cognitive; they rely on their vast architectures and databases. He believes that the core engineering discipline cannot be replaced by AI, emphasizing the importance of engineers with a solid conceptual foundation, especially in fields like structural engineering.

Regarding the expansion plans for IIT Mandi, Behera outlines a strategy to increase faculty strength to over 300 and student enrollment to over 5,000 in the next five years. He details plans for infrastructure development, including hostels for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) students, new hostel blocks, an academic block, and a lecture hall complex. Funding for these projects is expected to come from a HEFA loan of Rs 333 crores provided by the Ministry of Education. Behera also highlights the introduction of new BTech and BS programs and collaborative degree programs with other national institutes at IIT-Mandi.

Source: PTI

Also read: IIT Gandhinagar launches B.Tech in Artificial Intelligence and post grad programs

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