AIAI Training and CPD

AIAI LogoThis blog post provides historical information about the training and Continued Professional Development (CPD) activities of the Artificial Intelligence Applications Institute (AIAI) at the University of Edinburgh between 1984 and 2020.

As part of AIAI’s technology transfer remit it ran an extensive programme of training and CPD offerings. A summary of the training offerings for 1996 from AIAI and pricing can be found on this snapshot web archive area‚Ķ

Training Labs, Advanced Facilities and Support for Engineers

AIAI Training Lab FacilitiesAIAI ran two laboratories with cutting edge equipment into which visiting scientists, engineers and industry could carry out pilot projects – a Knowledge Representation Systems Training Lab (KRSTL) and a Parallel Architecture Lab (PAL). AIAI had a contract with the UK EPSRC to help train engineers in the use of AI techniques in their subject (AI Support for Engineers). Due to its pioneering collaborative work between industry and academia, AIAI also won an award which allowed the equipping of a training laboratory with multiple workstations and advanced systems to improve its training capabilities.

To support these programmes, AIAI had a series of Short Courses which could be offered in Edinburgh on a shared basis or delivered within a company or organisation. The courses could be tailored to meet client needs. It also offered a packaged Study Programme in AI Applications to allow visitors to pursue a short application project under AIAI staff supervision and Research Programme in AI Applications to support more experienced personnel.

Short Courses

Below is a list of the courses offered on a stand alone basis and as part of the Study and Research programmes. These short courses are no longer available. Contact the School of Informatics for study opportunities.

This archival web page has a bit more detail including Winter 2002-2003 pricing…
AIAI Training Courses - Winter 2002-2003

Study Programme in AI Applications

From AIAI’s prospectus for 1995 (original here)…

Study Programmes are concerned with creating skilled knowledge engineers. They are aimed at organisations that have reason to believe that one or more of their problems may be addressed by application of KBS techniques and which have personnel who lack sufficient KBS skills to carry out the project effectively.

Study Programmes emphasise the production of high quality applications. Visitors build an initial system which their organisation can develop further. This gives a quick start on a project for a organisation, and relevant knowledge engineering skills for its staff. This is achieved through:

  • a closely supervised and well planned work programme;
  • attending appropriate short courses;
  • building a system alongside skilled AI practitioners;

The fundamental training strategy behind this “journeyman” scheme is the building of a fully documented knowledge based system with supervision from AIAI staff. The Study Programme usually lasts ten weeks and visitors may register on a full-time or part-time basis. Programmes start in January, April and October.

Research Programme in AI Applications

From AIAI’s prospectus for 1995 (original here)…

Research Programmes are aimed at organisations who already have skilled staff in the domain of AI but who wish to further their research into the application of the techniques to meet business requirements.

The visitor will be a well motivated individual who can work with minimum direct supervision, and join as part of one of AIAI’s technical groups. The AI application research will be a project chosen to fit in with, and compliment, AIAI’s technical focii of:

  • planning & scheduling technology;
  • enterprise & process modelling technology;
  • corporate knowledge management technology.

For the period of the Research Programme the visitor will be allocated;

  • a desk within the AI Building at South Bridge, Edinburgh in close proximity to a large number of staff and students working in AI;
  • Computer provision via AIAI’s extensive network of workstations;
  • an extensive range of AI toolkits and languages;
  • excellent library and information services.

It is expected that a minimum of a joint publication describing the results must be an outcome of the application research work. Research Programmes last a minimum of three months and visitors may apply at any time.

AI Planning MOOC (2013-2015 and online afterwards)

Click for more on Edinburgh MOOCsAIAI was one of the first groups at the University of Edinburgh to engage in the development and running of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) via the Coursera platform. The MSc level course was on AI Planning. Over 113,000 students took part in the three synchronous sessions offered. The materials continue to be available online via YouTube, open.ed and an AIAI web server and other Universities use the materials in their courses. See

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