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COSC343 Artificial Intelligence

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An introduction to modern AI representation systems and problem-solving techniques.

Paper title Artificial Intelligence
Paper code COSC343
Subject Computer Science
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,110.75
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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COSC 201 or COSC 242
Recommended Preparation
COSC 202
Schedule C
Arts and Music, Science

Computer Science Adviser,

Teaching staff
Lecturer: Dr Lech Szymanski
Paper Structure

In this paper we will look at some different definitions of intelligence and at the concept of intelligent agents. As a way of focusing on the hard problems to be solved in AI, we will do practical work on appropriate systems (for example, LEGO robots have been used in the past), concentrating on the issue of how to get information about the world and how to make use of it. We will consider techniques for machine learning and probabilistic reasoning. Almost every human ability results from learning from experience: we will look at how these learning processes can be modelled computationally.

Topics to be considered include:

  • Embodied AI and robots
  • Search and optimisation algorithms (including genetic algorithms)
  • Probabilistic reasoning method (including Bayesian methods)
  • Machine learning algorithms (with a focus on neural networks)


  • Internal assessment (assignments) 40%
  • Final exam 60%
Teaching Arrangements

There are two lectures per week, plus weekly lab/tutorial sessions.


Artificial Intelligence A Modern Approach (Fourth Edition), by Stuart Russell and Peter Norvig, Pearson 2020.

Course outline
View the course outline for COSC 343
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Interdisciplinary perspective, Scholarship, Communication, Ethics, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this paper will gain an understanding of a selection of core concepts in AI research: autonomous agents, planning and search, probabilistic reasoning,machine learning, decision trees, neural networks and sequential decisions.

  • In each case, this understanding will be strengthened through practical exercises and experience with implemented systems
  • The paper will also give students an awareness of the increasing influence of these technologies in daily life

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Semester 2

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system

Computer Lab

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Wednesday 14:00-15:50 28-34, 36-41
A2 Wednesday 16:00-17:50 28-34, 36-41


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 09:00-09:50 28-34, 36-41
Wednesday 09:00-09:50 28-34, 36-41