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If you thought Google Brain merging with DeepMind was the most exciting development in the AI landscape, think again. A few days ago, the research giant partnered with Raspberry Pi to help educators teach and promote subjects of AI and machine learning to young minds – catching ‘em young.
Called Experience AI, this new learning programme has been developed not just to introduce AI and ML concepts, but also to promote critical thinking and decision-making capabilities among early teens. Looks like the research giant, alongside Raspberry Pi Foundation, is thinking long-term while venturing into the AI and ML education space early on.
Focussed on educators and educational institutions, the duo’s Experience AI platform offers free lessons on topics like AI, data-driven models, ML algorithms and others. Also, some of the content is curated in line with DeepMind’s contribution and expertise in the field. For instance, the sessions on the platform contain embedded videos that feature AI researchers from DeepMind, explaining concepts and talking about AI-related careers.
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Instilling AI in Young Minds
Obum Ekeke, head of education partnerships at DeepMind believes that a career in AI is out of reach for young people from underrepresented backgrounds and such education programmes will help “instil confidence” among students and help in creating an “inclusive and accessible global AI ecosystem”.
This is not the first time Google’s DeepMind is collaborating in the education space. The company has joined hands with organisations that support STEM Education – an interdisciplinary approach to teaching and learning that involves hands-on, project-based learning integrating Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. In September, the company announced that they will partner with six education charities and social enterprises in the UK in order to boost STEM education and develop new AI resources. They had also spoken about their association with Raspberry Pi Foundation in creating a program.
Some of the other organisations that DeepMind fostered are STEM Learning, The Brilliant Club, Stemettes, British Science Association and Apps for Good. They aim to reach 500 schools (i.e. 10% of UK secondary schools) and over 100,000 young people. DeepMind already has initiatives such as fellowship and scholarship programs for postgraduates.
Why not India?
Unfortunately, this new ‘Experience AI’ platform is currently available only to the UK market. Ducan Maidens told AIM that every young person, irrespective of their background, “should have the opportunity to learn how to create and solve problems with computers”. But, what about India?
India has 21 times more population aged between 0-14 than UK – i.e. the country has about 245.95 million bloomers, compared to 11.91 million young minds in the UK. DeepMind and Raspberry Pi focusing on the UK market might be a good start, but will have a larger impact if they make the ‘Experience AI’ platform available in India — a lot of people would be benefitted.
However, RaspberryPi has confirmed that the platform is available to anyone, anywhere and anybody can download the resources.
But on the bright side, Raspberry Pi has already established its presence in the country to promote coding. Ducan told AIM that the organisation has partnered with Mo School Abhiyan to train teachers to introduce Code Club to government schools in Odisha. “We have trained 1,000 teachers to support them to establish Code Club in schools and to enable them to cascade training and support to other local teachers.” This work is a part of a three-year initiative “to train 3,000 teachers reaching 45,000 young people” in the region.
They have also been working with Pratham Education Foundation since 2018 to introduce coding to children in “hard-to-reach and disadvantaged communities” in India by providing training and access to devices and learning resources. “The young people also receive training to use the PraDigi kit, a portable device for teaching children to code, which is based on the Raspberry Pi computer.”
Raspberry Pi, which believes in bringing “computing for everybody” is going to further its path of accessibility, through the foundation, in the education vertical. Hopefully, with this partnership, DeepMind’s collaboration in the education space will further strengthen too.