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How Young Is Too Young: AI For Children

  • 1 yr ago

The future where our cars will drive themselves or robots will conduct surgeries is closer than ever before. The age of AI has arrived and is impacting and changing the world in unpredictable ways. It is important to believe that while we are slowly getting accustomed to AI, the children now will be dependent on it.

Children are not just using AI and learning to interact with it, but already making it as well. In 2018, Tanmay Bakshi (then a 14-year-old) became popular as the little AI wonder who works with Google and IBM. He became the face of AI learning for children in India. In 2019, when Siddharth Srivastav Pilli, a class 7 boy, bagged a job as a data scientist with a software company in Hyderabad, AI for Kids became popular. Parents got really interested in teaching their children AI. India’s new National Education Policy 2020 did mention the importance of emerging technologies and introduced them to children.

Making AI Fun for Children  

AI as a subject is still far from being introduced in every school and in every education board’s syllabus in India. But, many edtech companies have introduced AI courses for children as young as 8-year-olds. “It’s a completely different ballgame when it comes to teaching kids artificial intelligence as compared to college students. The concept of AI itself is Greek and Latin to them, so the way the classes are delivered and the curriculum is designed is very different as compared to college students,” said Prabhakar Nadar, CEO, Edurific.

He also said that to teach children, they have to follow more practical applications without exposing them to the theory. “Kids get bored easily. We have to frame the classes so that they have an achievement-driven approach, or they can make something at the end of every few classes,” Nadar added. They start their AI classes by introducing children to basic AI applications like chatbots and then gamify the entire image recognition and other complex AI concepts, then move on to building basic algorithms and applications of AI.

Do Children Really Need to Learn AI?

While the edtech companies have figured out ways to teach children the technology, it surely remains a question whether children really need to learn AI.

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