by Caroline Vandergriff | CBS 11

DENTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – The University of North Texas is launching a new program to meet the booming demand for artificial intelligence professionals.

UNT will be soon offer the only Master of Science degree in AI in Texas.

“I really think everyone should be learning more about AI,” said Mark Albert, a computer science professor at UNT.

From Google searches to chats with Alexa, AI is all around us, and it’s expected to play a significant role in nearly every industry.

“It’s needed for a lot of applications, so we feel like we’re in the position to help educate an AI-ready workforce, which is important for the state and the nation as well,” said Yan Huang, senior associate dean of the UNT College of Engineering.

The new Master of Science degree in artificial intelligence will be the first of its kind in the Lone Star State and one of just a few programs nationwide.

PhD students at UNT are already applying AI, from building autonomous cars to developing medical breakthroughs.

UNT believes the tools and techniques of AI can give students an advantage in the workforce.

“I think that it’s, in essence, job security,” Albert said.

With the AI degree, students can choose between three concentrations: machine learning, autonomous systems and biomedical engineering.

A full-time student could complete the program in about a year and a half.

It starts this fall.

UNT is already accepting applications for the first class of students.