Artificial intelligence (AI) technologies can benefit designers, if they know how to harness them.
Statistical data can be used to predict an outcome - a method known as predictive modelling. In urban planning, for example, demand for public trains can be forecast in order to create more efficient public transport deployment plans.
To equip students with such skills, the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) has launched a new undergraduate degree in design and AI.
The 31/2-year programme - the first of its kind in Singapore - will take in students in the academic year starting in May, SUTD said yesterday.
Students will be exposed to areas of design such as user interface/user experience, product, systems, built environment and data-driven design. Graduates from this programme will be able to work as data scientists and data visualisation specialists, in industries such as urban planning, product design and telecommunications, the university said.
SUTD president Chong Tow Chong said: "The recent announcements from Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat on the next steps in Singapore's Smart Nation journey underscore the importance of artificial intelligence and the role it will play in bringing about social and economic benefits.
"The main goal of the design and AI programme is to equip students with the ability to create human-centred design using data analysis and machine learning, which is AI-driven."
Established in 2009, SUTD is the fourth autonomous university in Singapore and focuses on engineering, innovation and design.
In terms of entry requirements, students should generally be competent in mathematics and the sciences. Of the A-level students who were offered places last year, nearly all had taken mathematics at the H2 level, and eight in 10 scored at least a B. Nearly all had also taken either physics or chemistry, or both, at the H2 level, and nearly seven in 10 scored at least a B for either or both subjects.
Jurong Pioneer Junior College graduate Michael Hoon, 18, who read H2 maths, further maths and physics, and also took an H3 physics module offered by Nanyang Technological University, is interested in the new programme.
"I've always been interested in maths and science since I was young, for the most part because of exposure from school teachers and research on a lot of information online," he said.
"Both subjects are visibly all around us and pretty much serve as the foundation of our survival and development, and being able to apply and integrate the theoretical modelling we have learnt in our daily lives is pretty interesting too."