This year I'll choose a study, and I'm still hesitating between Artificial Intelligence and Mechanical Engineering. Which one do you think is the best choice, and why?
description of the difference between the left and the right filled under "Timeless Posts" on his blog:<br /> <a href="http://artmarketer.blogspot.com/">http://artmarketer.blogspot.com/2009/10/data-unveils-highest-speed-of-ddr3.html</a><br />
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I think it depends what kind of challenges you like and what environment you want to work in.
Mechanical Engineering is a very mature field that started thousands of years ago. You're not going to learn a lot of cutting edge experimental stuff. Neither in school nor in the workplace are you likely to have anything to add to the field. You'll often be solving problems that have been solved before. However it's a degree that you can use in a huge number of industries and companies of any size all over the world.
On the other hand AI is a very young field that started decades ago and has a very long way to go. While there are a few small areas that are pretty well explored (say, path finding on a fixed map) most of the field is wide open. You're not going to learn a lot from textbooks, you're going to learn from journals and science blogs and from making it up as you go. You'll essentially be doing original research while in college and every day at work. However your job prospects aren't as diverse. Most jobs in AI are in games, robotics, academia and the military.
If you choose AI I would minor in some related field
However if you're really Harrison Ford, you're already awesome and it doesn't matter what you choose.
Whoops, failed to finish a sentence near the bottom:..
If you choose AI I would consider getting a minor in some related field. So if you're interested in replicating human behavior take a few psychology classes. If you want to make robots, a bit of mechanical and electrical engineering would help. Biology, sociology and economics might also give some insight to certain behaviors.
Thank you so much for your answer! You really have knowledge about these studies. I think you're right about the minor in engineering.
I'll take your advice in mind when choosing.
Mechanical Engineering at the TU(technical University) in Delft, Holland. That university has a good reputation internationally.
A.I. would be at the UVA: Universiteit van Amsterdam(Amsterdam university). That one has an average reputation, not good, not bad. Amsterdam is my hometown.
Then I'd go for Delft. Living somewhere else can be a good thing (and it's not far on the train anyway) - Reputation can make a difference, and I'd think mechanical engineering more "useful" in general, AI sounds a bit "popular" for the purposes of attracting students to an institution which doesn't have such a great reputation. I am skewed by what some UK universities do though, but a good degree in something "solid" should be a safe bet. I've known a lot of people do what they were interested in but find it was no use for a job.
Think about applying for jobs several years later, see what you come up with.
Thanks a lot for your answer.
With A.I. you can actually get a lot of different jobs, in fact there is a big shortage on A.I. graduates. There is a growing request for them in the electronics industries, devices keep getting smarter like the vacuum cleaners that can be put in any room and clean it on their own, then go back to the plug socket by themselves. You can also become an NPC programmar for video games, a robot programmer, make programs for GPS systems to calculate the shortest route, etc.
So that's not a big problem. What I don't like about A.I., is that I would sit in front of a computer screen for the rest of my life, while with mechanical engineering I'm walking around all the time and working with my hanD(no plural, I only have one hand)
And you may be right about that it can be good to live somewhere else.
You know the AI course better than I do, it might be a misleading name for me (w/ref smart appliances). I can see what you mean about the desk-job, and it can be a good life-thing to get away and live somewhere else.
On a related note, would you ever consider working in Germany? I have a perception that there may be a lot of tech jobs there?
I didn't know there were a lot of tech jobs in Germany, but I do know that the German language has a large technical/scientific vocabulary, they have words for technical things, that we in our language have to describe using other words. That's why tech and science studies in Holland use a lot of German study books, in college we learn German so we can read those books. I don't know how this is in other countries.
But I'd rather work here in holland than in Germany.
Thanks, I know someone used to rather live in Holland than over here, but she was trying to move back last time I saw her. (Breda)
Other countries do end up looking at German papers, same applies to Chemistry. There's a lot of engineering happens over there, but that's my knowledge.