AI To Be Taught To Schoolkids Thanks To Deep Learning Kit

A number of big names tech firms have teamed up for a new initiative that seeks to teach and demystify artificial intelligence (AI) for British teenagers.

The firms in question are NVIDIA, Amazon Web Services (AWS), as well as Scan Computers. All have partnered with Beverly Clarke, a Computing At School (CAS) Master Teacher, in order to develop the deep learning teaching kit.

This kit will be used to help teachers introduce Year 9 pupils to the world of artificial intelligence.

Teaching AI

The deep learning kit will help teachers to explain to British teenagers AI terminology and concepts. It will also allow them to investigate real-world applications for the technology, and consider the future of AI.

The students will also “design, test and evaluate their own neural network capable of image recognition,” thanks to the support of AWS, which will provide free cloud-based GPU instances to participating teachers.

“AI is already part of our everyday lives, and by the time today’s 13-year-olds are entering the workforce, it will have a significant impact on the kinds of jobs available to them,” said Beverly. Clarke, the project leader.

“The World Economic Forum estimates that, by 2025, 90 percent of jobs will require digital skills, and that 65 percent of children entering primary school today will work in jobs that don’t currently exist,” said Clarke. “It’s critical that we introduce pupils to core AI concepts so they’re equipped to thrive in this environment.”

The AI teaching kit has been developed in accordance with the requirements of Key Stage 3 of the National Curriculum in England.

It contains lesson plans, worksheets and activities to enable teachers to deliver six one-hour lessons.

“Education underpins our ability to embrace and exploit the promise of AI,” said James McClung, Higher Education and Research Business Development Manager, Nvidia. “Young people’s lives will be infused with AI, from their homes and transportation to the workplace. They need to understand this technology so they can think critically about it and consider what career options it might open up for them.”

Six schools will participate in an initial pilot project, and after that the kit will be rolled out to secondary schools across the UK.

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Digital Skills

The importance of school children having the right digital skills has been recognised by the government for a number of years now.

Last year for example the government introduced the first three technical qualifications, as part of a scheme to build up the UK’s levels of IT and other skills following exit from the European Union.

And the government has for a number of years now had a “no fees” apprenticeship scheme in place that aims to teach young people key digital skills alongside a full honours degree.

What do you know about public sector IT? Take our quiz!

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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