The Ultimate Guide for Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Kids

A boy learning basic concept around of Robotics.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become an increasingly popular topic as its applications become prevalent in our daily life. So what is Artificial Intelligence? And can children learn it? Want to know the best place for learning AI? Preface coding has prepared an ultimate guide for all the information you need about AI!


What Is A.I.?

AI or Artificial Intelligence may instantly call to mind images of science fiction, but the subject holds increasing prevalence and impact in our daily life. We are here to help demystify the topic and to discuss its value in young children’s education!

AI can be simply understood as the ability of computers and machines to perform tasks that typically require human intelligence, such as perception, learning, problem-solving, and decision-making. Using large amounts of data input, AI algorithms are continuously trained to identify patterns, make predictions, and recommend actions.

Remember the last time you interacted with an online customer support chatbot or when Netflix recommended what to watch next? Little did you know, that is all AI in the working!

Why Should Children Learn A.I.?

According to UNICEF, AI’s greatest impact will most likely be on children. On one hand, as is the case with other in-demand tech skills like data science, there is a pragmatic reason for learning. In a rapidly transforming and tech-driven world, equipping kids with AI knowledge and skills will help ensure their employability and career potential in the future.

On the other hand, teaching AI to youngsters is also critical because, even without knowing it, it is already a constant presence in their day-to-day. From video games to the virtual assistants with which kids interact at home, they are frequently exposed to AI-powered technologies and devices. This can impact children’s fundamental understanding of what intelligence is. Based on their interactions with AI, it is a common tendency for young children to overestimate what AI can achieve. Therefore, teaching AI – its principles, applications, and even limitations – at an early age is a great way to kickstart critical thinking, preparing kids to become smart consumers of technology.

What Is the Best Age for A.I.?

There isn’t a thing that cannot be learned. It is believed that it is true even for learners as young as 3-years old who could be fit to start exploring AI in a simple and foundational manner. After all, kids are rapid and curious learners. With the right approach and resources, learning AI can be a very fun and rewarding educational experience for children of all ages.

How Can My Children Start Learning A.I.?

You might be wondering how your kids’ can start learning A.I. as it seems a ‘far away concept. But in reality, for kids in this generation, Kids are surrounded by AI. They should know how it works than we do.

For Younger Kids Below 9

A little girl learning ScratchJR with her iPad.

For younger kids below 9 years old, handcrafting is recommended to be the most efficacious tool at the beginning A.I. learning stage. Jason Boog, a journalist, and author at ‘towards data science’ recommended that handcrafting small A.I. books with kids helped his family to learn A.I. with their 4 years old son. The handcrafting process can be as simple as:

Letting kids draw out some basic A.I. concept, or use A.I. stories writing tools (like the Text Generation API tool), and encourage your kid to draw the story out.

Read more: https://towardsdatascience.com/helping-kids-play-with-artificial-intelligence-68af8f8ba280

 

For Kids Aged 9-14

A teen learning Python with her laptop.

According to an A.I. program developed by Blakeley Payne, a graduate research assistant at the MIT Media Lab, for kids aged 9-14, interactive activities that help students discover how algorithms are the most important element. Activities suggested included “prototyping with pen and paper” and games like “Bingo” with cards, which empower kids to learn A.I. while building and playing.

As Blakeley has open-sourced the curriculum, you can have a look at it and take it as a reference at her teaching guides for effective Kids A.I. learning keys:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1e9wx9oBg7CR0s5O7YnYHVmX7H7pnITfoDxNdrSGkp60/edit#

Of course, online resources and classes are always the best channels for learning. Thus, in the upcoming paragraphs, we have shortlisted some quality resources for your convenience!

 

5. Best Online Resources for AI and Machine Learning

A teen learning online and jotting notes.


YouTube

No matter the subject, YouTube is always a great and easy go-to for all types of knowledge. AI is no exception. Start with a simple ‘AI for kids’ search and you will have instant access to many easy-to-understand and engaging videos. Get a taster with this Crash Course Artificial Intelligence series and explore from there! Over time as you search for more AI-related videos, YouTube will begin to suggest similar content. And how does it do that? With AI of course!


Machine Learning for Kids

Machine Learning for Kids is a user-friendly online platform that offers children fun hands-on machine learning experiences. Through step-by-step guidance, young innovators will learn to create machine learning models that can recognise text, numbers, images, or sounds. It is an excellent learning-by-doing experience that will get children interested to learn more.

Tensorflow Playground/ The Stardust Game

An interactive project powered by Google, TensorFlow Playground allows children to “tinker” with and visualize a neural network. From the ease of any browser, kids can play with and simulate, in real time, changes made to the neural networks.

For Kids, TensorFlow Playground inspired A.I. infused puzzle game, Stardust might be a great start!

Learn More: http://crayonfriends.com/stardust/


Kids A.I./Machine Learning Class

Teens from Preface Coding working on their Python data project.

Stempedia: Online AI Course for Kids

Designed specifically with children and beginners in mind, Stempedia offers a comprehensive and well-structured online AI course with engaging materials designed by experts. Through dynamic content and real-world examples, this course introduces children to AI and machine learning key concepts such as computer vision, face detection, optical character recognition. The star feature of the program is PictoBlox AI, an AI education platform where kids get to write their codes and create their own exciting AI projects!

Learn More: https://thestempedia.com/shop/online-courses/artificial-intelligence-for-kids/

Udemy: Machine Learning for Kids and Beginners

For children and teenagers between 8 to 16 years old, Udemy’s Machine Learning course provides excellent tutorial materials that will help lay foundational knowledge. Students will develop new skills with every tutorial, as well as learn how large companies like Google, Amazon and Facebook leverage AI and Machine Learning. Covering hot topics like facial recognition and NLP (Natural Language Processing), this online course will equip young learners with key Machine Learning knowledge and skills upon completion.

Learn More: https://www.udemy.com/course/machine-learning-for-kids-and-beginners/

Preface: Data Science & A.I. with Python

For more mature students with basic coding knowledge, Preface Coding offers 1-on-1 classes for Data Science & A.I. with Python. Through personalized learning materials and interesting real-world examples, our teacher will guide the student from learning data science basics in Module 1, all the way to deploying machine learning in a final project in Module 5. Schedule a chat with the Curriculum Advisor today to get more information!

Learn More: https://www.preface.ai/data-science-with-python 

Reference:

“IBM Watson Machine Learning”, IBM
https://www.ibm.com/cloud/machine-learning

“Artificial intelligence for children”, unicef
https://www.unicef.org/globalinsight/stories/artificial-intelligence-children

“Teaching Kids about Artificial Intelligence”, Saturday Kids
https://www.saturdaykids.com/blog/teaching-kids-artificial-intelligence/

“What is Artificial Intelligence and the Ideal Age to Start Learning it?”, tinkerly
https://tinker.ly/what-is-artificial-intelligence-and-the-ideal-age-to-start-learning-it/

“AI for Kids: Top 5 Resources for Teaching AI to Kids in a Fun Way in 2020” , STEMpedia
https://thestempedia.com/blog/teaching-ai-kids/


“AI for Kids: Teach Kids AI with the Best Online AI Course”, STEMpedia
https://thestempedia.com/blog/best-online-ai-course-kids/

 

 

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