GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Mention artificial intelligence and people might think of movies where software behind darkened computer screens take over for humans. But reality is not science fiction.

“(It’s) more about how can we create a vision system that can spot a defect on a production line,” said Grand Rapids Community College Professor Andrew Rozema, who runs the computer information systems program at the school.

Some $40,000 is heading to GRCC from the American Association of Community Colleges, Dell Technologies and Intel to help train students in AI. GRCC was one of only 15 community colleges in the nation to qualify for the grant.

Think of AI as designed to bridge that gap between computer ability and human vision.

“Humans are not great at sifting through terabytes and terabytes and terabytes of data. Humans are good at coming up with systems and imagining the end result we’re looking for,” Rozema said. “This enables us to let the machines do what they’re good at and let humans do what they’re good at.”

The grant will give GRCC the computing power to join a nationwide AI Incubator Network. The program will give students a leg up on skills they need for working toward degrees and workforce development certifications.

“There’s tons of work going in the space of automotive AI to figure out is the driver paying attention right now. And some more advanced stuff on can we make this car drive itself,” Rozema said.

It will also provide employers with more choices when it comes to filling those much-needed positions.

“There is negative unemployment in cybersecurity, in information technology, work in data science or often times data engineering,” Rozema said. “We’re creating the skills employers need and the opportunities for the students that come to us.”