The 21st century kids have been surrounded by various AI applications. From recommendations when watching videos online to shopping websites, and even virtual assistants, we use AI for everything in today’s digital and tech-savvy world. Most of the children who love gadgets and applications powered by AI, hardly know how they function, and many don’t even know that something known as artificial intelligence and machine learning is behind their working. In order to make kids AI-ready for the future, it is indispensable to teach AI in schools.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is likely to be the most important discovery of mankind. We are living in an age where machine learning, a type of AI, data analysis, big data, and other related technologies are transforming businesses belonging to various sectors. Every field has a huge data set and is computational in nature too.
Be it healthcare, education, finance, retail, ecommerce, and many others, there is hardly any industry left in which AI applications are not used. With smart machines and smart technologies, the industry is getting smarter and faster, too.
Considering the fact that use of AI is increasing by leaps and bounds, it is time to focus on how to teach artificial intelligence to children and the young generation.
- Everyone must be able to recognize AI and its impact on people, systems, and society. Also, people need to be proactive, both when they use AI and as citizens too.
- Everyone must get the opportunity to use AI and big data to solve complex problems.
- For those children looking to pursue a career in computer science, a path for building AI is a must.
AI4K12 – The initiative for teaching AI from K-12
AI in schools has become the need of the hour across the globe. The AI4K12 is a special initiative started by leading computer scientists for developing guidelines for teaching AI through K-12 grades.
Here are the five AI-focused learning objectives for teaching AI in schools.
Objective # 1: Perception
- Computers perceive the real-world, i.e. the human world through sensors.
- Computerized vision and speech recognition are some common examples.
- Challenges to perception include the nature of computer intelligence.
- Also, human and computer perception is a limitation.
Objective # 2: Representation and Reasoning
- Agents are able to represent the world and it is possible to use them for reasoning.
- Example: Various types of algorithms that machines use, the work that they do, and their constraints as well.
Objective # 3: Learning
- Computers and other machines learn from the data they encounter.
- The various types of machine learning are examples of learning objectives
- However, there are concerns related to data bias in machine learning, resulting in analytical errors, less accuracy, and unsymmetrical outcomes.
Objective # 4: Natural interaction
- For agents to naturally interact with human beings, varied data and knowledge may be needed.
- Examples include virtual assistants, robots, and chatbots.
- Challenges include the nature of consciousness and restrictions of AI interaction.
Objective # 5: AI applications have both pros and cons
- There are positive as well as negative impacts of AI applications.
- The issues related to the use of AI include transparency of algorithms, no creativity, ethical challenges, and social impacts.
AI in schools – Some real-world examples
Here are some real-world examples of how schools teach artificial intelligence to children.
- The AI + Ethics course was developed by MIT Media Lab. This course covers all the five learning objectives mentioned in AI4K12.
- AI for Oceans tutorial was developed by Code.org. This tutorial makes introduction easier for middle grade and intermediate learners.
- Free resources are offered by Google Computer Science clubs.
- Microsoft offers several AI training programs with certifications.
- A six week crash course on AI robotics (autonomous) in collaboration with Dr. David Touretzky, the founder of the AI4K12 program is offered by Montour Middle School. As a part of this course to teach artificial intelligence, learners are challenged to use AI in solving real-world complex problems.
- Renton Prep School introduces all learners of grade 6 and up, to computer science and artificial intelligence.
- Free cloud computing courses are offered by AWS educate.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are growing tremendously. Both are here to stay with us for a long time. Kids are the future leaders of the industry. Hence, it is important for the kids of today’s generation to understand and master both AI and ML.
When teaching AI, it is important to use the best possible resources to keep the kids engaged and enthusiastic. The main purpose of teaching AI in schools is to develop their skills, and make them ready to use AI in the years ahead. For those interested in making a career in AI, building AI for the purpose of teaching in schools is essential. There is a need to implement AI in schools right from preschool. The inclusion of AI in schools will reshape the economy and the entire AI industry.