AI In The Middle School with Dr. Nisha Talagala
March 5th, 2023
47 mins 51 secs
About this Episode
Have you ever wondered how Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant can understand and respond to our commands? Or how Netflix or YouTube recommend the next video for us to watch? The answer lies in Artificial Intelligence (AI), a branch of computer science that allows machines to perform tasks that usually require human intelligence, such as speech recognition, image processing, and decision-making. In this episode of The Teaching Python podcast, Dr. Nisha Talagala, the founder and CEO of AIClub, a nonprofit organization that teaches AI to students and educators, joins hosts Sean Tibor and Kelly Schuster-Paredes to demystify AI and Machine Learning (ML) for middle school students.
Dr. Talagala starts by explaining how she started teaching her then 9-year old daughter about AI and quickly realized that there were a lot of gaps in the available AI materials for teaching. She started assembling resources and organizing the content in a way that worked well for kids while providing them with room to grow their knowledge and skills. This quickly turned into a book project, The Fundamentals of Artificial Intelligence, Volume 1 with her co-author Dr. Sindhu Ghanta.
Next, the conversation shifts to teaching the ethics of AI and the potential risks and benefits of AI for society. Dr. Talagala explains how students need projects that they can relate to and easily adapt to answer the questions they generate. She suggests that middle school students can play a role in shaping the future of AI by learning about these issues, questioning the status quo, and advocating for responsible AI practices. The episode ends with resources and recommendations for teachers who want to learn more about AI and ML.Support Teaching Python
- Amazon.com: Fundamentals of Artificial Intelligence: Volume 1 (Introduction to Artificial Intelligence) eBook : Talagala, Nisha, Ghanta, Sindhu: Kindle Store — This book is for K12 students who want to learn AI, for teachers who want to teach AI and bring AI into the classroom, and for any individual who wants to understand AI in a simple and effective way.
- AIClub - AI for Kids, Coding, IOT, Apps for Kids | AIClub — Artificial Intelligence is the Future. Are Your Kids Ready?
- The Three E’s Of Problem Solving: Core Skills In The Age Of ChatGPT — I have written articles (like this one) on how technologies like ChatGPT, while massively disruptive, are not necessarily the first ones that upended our understanding of what core workplace skills need to look like. In the presence of ever-increasing automation - I would argue the core skills that remain are problem-solving skills - which can be measured by three Es - Effective, Efficient, and Ethical