How to inspire interest in AI among school students? My visit this morning to Qinxian Junior High School in Jiufen to attend the opening of an AI summer camp being held there provided some interesting answers to this question.
Thanks to the outstanding work of Professor Zhang Yushan of National Taiwan Normal University and his team, students were given the opportunity to gain practical hands-on experience in AI by participating in a number of awesome projects combining the computer vision and machine learning capabilities of VIA Pixetto with the interactive digital smarts of Arduino.
The AI Snow White Poisoned Apple project provides an excellent example of their creative approach to teaching basic AI principles and practices. By training VIA Pixetto to differentiate between red and purple, students can save the innocent young maiden from a painful death at the hands of the wicked witch.
The AI Goods Sorting Machine gives students a glimpse of the commercial potential of color and shape recognition technologies for automating production, logistics, and quality control processes. Agricultural applications such as picking ripe vegetables or fruit can’t be far behind.
For students interested in learning how to design and build self-driving cars, a track was laid out to enable them to train their vehicles to load different-colored objects and follow the route prescribed for that specific color.
One of the great advantages of Professor Zhang’s approach is that it brings AI to life in a way that is relevant to student’s lives. Another key benefit is that it gives school students the chance to learn how to bring together hardware, software, computer vision, and machine learning technologies into a highly-integrated solution to address a specific problem – whether it be saving Snow White from the wicked witch or boosting the efficiency of a warehouse.
This is exactly the type of holistic thinking that will be required for success in the AI age.