Lifelong Learners@School

Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning:

Lifelong Learning starting at School: 

The discourse on AI and its allied technologies has moved away from whether it is friend or foe to vying for a leadership position. 

Vladimir Putin on September 1st 2017, in an open lesson of 45 minutes spoke to teachers and students in about 16000 schools reaching out to an audience exceeding a million, and exhorted them to take a lead in the field. He told them that “the future belongs to artificial intelligence,” and whoever masters it first will rule the world.

“Artificial intelligence is the future, not only for Russia, but for all humankind. It comes with colossal opportunities, but also threats that are difficult to predict. Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world”.

While there is competition between nations on the number of Patents each of them has in the field of AI, and the number of AI professionals they have, China has made a strategic move of a massive teaching of AI to its School students. 

China has published its first artificial intelligence (AI) textbook for high school students as the country looks to an even younger generation than its huge pool of college graduates to close the gap in the global AI talent war.

The textbook, released in April and named “Fundamentals of Artificial Intelligence”, comes around six months after China’s State Council called for the inclusion of AI-related courses in primary and secondary education. 

The lead author of the textbook is Tang Xiaoou, an information engineering professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and chairman of the world’s most valuable AI startup, SenseTime Group. The textbook details the history of AI and some of its major applications, such as facial recognition-enabled public security systems and autonomous driving.

The UK had revised its computing curriculum a few years back to teach Computational Thinking and coding to all its children through Key Stages 1,2,3 and 4. 

Finland has taken a very interesting initiative of making all its citizen AI aware and ready for the future by actually releasing an AI awareness course ( http://www.aihelsinki.com ) not only for its own citizens but for the whole world. 

It is now reasonably clear that our school children must be acquainted with the key concepts and well versed in the use of the latest tools in the field of AI. 

It is important that for preparing the country for the age of AI we pursue a model different from that used in the last half century towards technology. We invested our scarce public resources in a few chosen Institutions and with the help of AICTE strangulated all innovative possibilities of a greater spread of technical education. 

The mobile Revolution has convincingly demonstrated that this nation can organise itself and use self and peer learning to adopt mobile and web technologies. 

Awareness, adoption and internalisation of AI should also be a people’s movement. Already there are a number of Smartphones which have AI chips in them, and in the foreseeable future we may expect AI empowered mobile phones to be ubiquitous. And with devices such as Amazon Deeplens and Alexa, the use and applications of AI will become commonplace. 

We have created a complete ecosystem for a massive movement regarding AI.

It appears from a news item that the Karnataka Knowledge Commission proposes to take a lead with Teaching AI at the Government Schools in Karnataka. 

Even where the political leadership is not progressive, we could with the help of informed parents, passionate teachers and motivated learners prepare our young to play an important role in the 4th Industrial Age driven by Artificial Intelligence and allied technologies of AR, VR, Blockchain, IoT, 3D printing…….

We have designed, developed a pilot program that is available to all students of Class 11 ( aged around 15 years) to start on the path of AI.

In keeping with the spirit of the 4th Industrial Age, it is delivered on mobile Smartphones, encouraging self-directed learning spirit of a lifelong learner, consensual learning, non-linear learning and badges for credentialing. 

Courses are designed as weeklong, weekend and one day courses, and are organised as 15 clusters with 5 to 10 courses within each cluster. The clusters are: learning Skills, Generic Thinking Skills, domain specific thinking skills, life skills, Being Human, Artificial Intelligence, Machine learning, deep learning, Artificial Neural Networks, Mathematics for AI, allied emerging technologies, the emerging Frameworks, Applications of AI, AI in literature, Implications of AI.

Out of this course pool of a few hundred course modules, a learner can pursue almost a unique learning trajectory that best suits his or her needs. 

However, in order that a learner has the necessary skills to effectively navigate through these wide possibilities, it is being recommended that the learner spends the first month following a set of 11 courses that will equip him or her to then pursue the learning pathway effectively. This suite of 6 weeklong courses is : Becoming a lifelong learner, Critical Thinking, Creative Thinking, Computational Thinking ,The AI Landscape and Learning for Academic success.

Along with this set of 6 weeklong courses, it is recommended that the following 5 weekend courses be also completed to have a proper preparation for the future courses. These are courses on Time Management , Learning with mobile Apps and MOOCs, What is worth learning? , Finding your element? and The future of careers and careers of the future. A schedule has been prepared so that these 11modules can be transacted in a month. For those who want to pursue a more leisurely pace, the course can be completed in 2 months. 

AI will be an integral part of our children’s future. The term AI may sound scary, possibly due to association with killer robots in science fiction. Another misconception is that AI is too complex for schoolchildren. But for digital natives born in the 21st Century it is not so. 

There are several benefits of teaching AI to school children. It fosters computational Thinking as a Complex Problem Solving skill, promotes data proficiency and incites and instigates questions about our humanity. 

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The AI Landscape: a set of weeklong, weekend and one day courses to initiate the young to the emerging field of AI and allied subjects. Organised as clusters of related topics.

1: Learning Skills:

  • Reading Skills
  • Becoming a lifelong learner
  • Learning for academic success
  • Learning for better understanding
  • Knowing your element 
  • Developing learning power: Cognitive Flexibility 
  • Active Listening

2: Generic Thinking Skills:

  • Creative Thinking
  • Critical Thinking
  • Computational Thinking 
  • Judgement and decision making
  • Complex Problem Solving 

3: Domain specific Thinking Skills 

  • Thinking like a Physicist
  • Thinking like a Historian
  • The economist way of thinking 
  • The Mathematical way of thinking
  • Thinking like a lawyer
  • The (medical) doctor’s way of thinking 
  • The entrepreneurial way of Thinking 

4: Life Skills:

  • Time Management
  • Financial Acumen
  • Grit
  • Negotiation Skills
  • Co-ordination with others 
  • Healthy lifestyle
  • The maker culture 

5: Being Human ( humanics) 

  • Communication : oral and written 
  • Collaboration
  • Ethics
  • Empathy 
  • Service Orientation
  • Finding Meaning and purpose in life 

6:Artificial Intelligence

  • The history and Evolution of AI:
  • The early years
  • Rule based expert systems
  • The long winter of AI
  • The resurgence of AI
  • Current Trends

7: Machine Learning

  • Types of Machine Learning Algorithms 
  • Supervised, Unsupervised and reinforcement learning
  • Linear regression
  • Logistic regression 
  • Decision Tree, Random Forest, KNN, etc.
  • Genetic Algorithms 

8: Deep Learning

  • Hidden layers
  • Recurrent and Convolutional Neural Networks
  • Bayesian Learning 
  • Markov and Hidden Markov model
  • Dimensionality Reduction , feature selection and feature extraction 
  • Occam learning and PAC learning

9: Artificial Neural Networks 

  • The concept and types of Artificial Neural Networks
  • The Perceptron
  • Supervised, Unsupervised and reinforcement learning
  • Recurrent Neural Networks
  • Convolutional Neural Networks 
  • Support Vector Machines

10: Mathematics for AI: 

  • Basic Mathematical Modelling
  • Linear Algebra
  • Statistics 
  • Calculus
  • Optimisation Techniques
  • Topology 
  • Algorithms and Heuristics

11:Allied emerging Technologies :

  • Big Data : the Big Picture 
  • Blockchain : Demystified 
  • Digital Manufacturing/ 3D Printing 
  • Internet of Things
  • Augmented Reality
  • Virtual Reality
  • Robots and Drones 
  • DNA, Genes and CRISPR
  • Quantum Computing 

12:The tools and frameworks:

  • IBM Watson 
  • Google Tensorflow 
  • Microsoft Services 
  • Amazon Deeplens & Sagemaker

13:Applications of AI:

  • Autonomous Transportation 
  • AI in marketing 
  • AI in Agriculture
  • AI in Healthcare
  • Speech Recognition 
  • Natural Language Processing 
  • Chatbots

14:AI in literature: 

  • Movies
  • Plays
  • Stories 
  • Poetry

15: Implications of AI:

  • Bias-free AI
  • Data Ethics 
  • Data protection: GDPR
  • A Universal Basic Income for all 
  • Limits to Computability
  • AI and cyber-security