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K-12 Education

Council Post: A Major Milestone In AI Technology Illustrates The Power Of Human Intelligence


The New York Times reported that an AI system known as Aristo had become the first to successfully pass a standardized eighth-grade science test. The achievement arrived four years after a competition in which 700-plus scientists all failed to build a system capable of accomplishing the same task despite the incentive of the contest's $80,000 prize. Aristo has been viewed as a significant breakthrough in the evolution of AI technology, with far-reaching implications for natural language processing, business intelligence and more. The system provides a vivid illustration of the differences between human and artificial intelligence. It shows why the most effective AI systems still incorporate help from human experts -- a fact that has big implications for AI in business and other applications. The Aristo system represents a major step toward imbuing AI with what one Wired article refers to as "common sense," the expansive and unconscious background knowledge that we apply when navigating new situations or engaging in conversation.

South Bay teen author shares love of coding through books


In "The Code Detectives," two middle school girls who love coding use artificial intelligence to solve mysteries. For 17-year-old author Ria Dosha, writing the book series is a way to advocate for increasing diversity within the technology field. "I've brought a diverse cast of characters to life, with the series centering around Ramona Diaz, a powerful young girl of color," says Ria, a student at Cupertino's Monta Vista High School. "The book series gives young girls strong, fictional role models in technology and AI, and introduces them to AI topics in a compelling way, clearing common misconceptions." Ria writes what shoe knows, and vice versa.

EETimes - Toward Sustainable Economics of Artificial Intelligence


Recent technology and business media have given much coverage to the expanding use case of machine learning and artificial intelligence, but how much have they talked about economics of AI? At the physical layer, more objects in our lives are embedded with sensors or are sensors. The aim and consequence are to record and quantify more of our physical world, creating vast data sets that make machine learning possible. At the application layer, growing compute power and model sophistication such as dimensionality reduction and manifold learning have helped data scientists tackle messier technical problems than could be addressed even just a few years ago. Meanwhile, the pandemic has heightened the urgency and societal stakes to direct research insights toward practical problem-solving, broadly defined.

How to Write Science Questions that Are Easy for People and Hard for Computers

AI Magazine

As a challenge problem for AI systems, I propose the use of hand-constructed multiple-choice tests, with problems that are easy for people but hard for computers. Specifically, I discuss techniques for constructing such problems at the level of a fourth-grade child and at the level of a high-school student. For the fourth grade level questions, I argue that questions that require the understanding of time, impossible or pointless scenarios, of causality, of the human body, or of sets of objects, and questions that require combining facts or require simple inductive arguments of indeterminate length can be chosen to be easy for people, and are likely to be hard for AI programs, in the current state of the art. For the high-school level, I argue that questions that relate the formal science to the realia of laboratory experiments or of real-world observations are likely to be easy for people and hard for AI programs. I argue that these are more useful benchmarks than existing standardized tests such as the SATs or Regents tests.

When Artificial Intelligence Surpasses Human Intelligence


Artificial Intelligence has impacted almost every aspect of human life, leaving large amounts of manual jobs to computers, and allowing humans to pursue intelligent jobs. However, in the future, there may be a time when intelligent jobs are also done artificially. Even more unsettling is the possibility that machines will become more intelligent than humans. Although there is little consensus on this topic, such an event is almost certain to happen. We can only hope that we have found a way to make AI "friendly", or share humans interests beforehand.

AI will change the world. Who will change AI? We will.


Editor's Note: The following blog is a special guest post by a recent graduate of Berkeley BAIR's AI4ALL summer program for high school students. AI4ALL is a nonprofit dedicated to increasing diversity and inclusion in AI education, research, development, and policy. The idea for AI4ALL began in early 2015 with Prof. Olga Russakovsky, then a Stanford University Ph.D. student, AI researcher Prof. Fei-Fei Li, and Rick Sommer – Executive Director of Stanford Pre-Collegiate Studies. They founded SAILORS as a summer outreach program for high school girls to learn about human-centered AI, which later became AI4ALL. In 2016, Prof. Anca Dragan started the Berkeley/BAIR AI4ALL camp, geared towards high school students from underserved communities.

These educators show what it takes to be named 'teacher of the year' amid a pandemic

Los Angeles Times

Rhiannon Chavez has always been an animated teacher, and her fourth-grade classroom is her theater. She sings, dances and gesticulates during her lessons, engaging her 23 students at 186th Street Elementary School in Gardena. But distance learning has elevated these tactics to a whole new level. Now, as she teaches into a computer screen from her home in San Pedro, she pours every last bit of energy into making sure that her enthusiasm is infectious enough to span the digital divide. From one of her three computer monitors screens she leads the children in a song about rounding numbers, her hand movements and facial expressions are bigger and more spirited than ever.

Reading: Books with busy pictures 'make it harder for kids to focus and understand the story'

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Illustrating children's books with too many detailed, non-essential pictures makes it'harder for kids to focus and absorb knowledge', a study has demonstrated. Colourful pictures intended to motivate young readers may achieve the exact opposite by drawing attention away from the story text, US researchers warned. Although reading is considered a'gateway for learning', around 20 per cent of children in the UK do not meet the minimum level of literacy proficiency. Children's books typically include eye-catching illustrations to help readers visualise the characters and setting of the story. However, eye-tracking studies found that too many pictures can prove distracting.

One farmer finds answer to ESL students' virtual learning struggles

FOX News

For non-native speaking English students, trying to get good grades while learning a new language can be challenging at the best of times, but as classes turn virtual some students are being left behind. BUCKEYE, Az. -- Virtual classrooms are the new normal for many students, but for non-native speaking English students, trying to get good grades can be challenging in the best of times. As classes turn virtual due to COVID-19, some students are being left behind. Valeria Gonzalez, 11, told Fox News that her school in Buckeye, Az., doesn't offer a virtual English as a second language (ESL) program. All of her classes are taught by an English speaking teacher with no Spanish translation.

Drones – the New Critical Infrastructure


Be prepared in the near future when you gaze into the blue skies to perceive a whole series of strange-looking things – no, they will not be birds, nor planes, or even superman. They may be temporarily, and in some cases startlingly mistaken as UFOs, given their bizarre and ominous appearance. But, in due course, they will become recognized as valuable objects of a new era of human-made flying machines, intended to serve a broad range of missions and objectives. Many such applications are already incorporated and well entrenched in serving essential functions for extending capabilities in our vital infrastructures such as transportation, utilities, the electric grid, agriculture, emergency services, and many others. Rapidly advancing technologies have made possible the dramatic capabilities of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV/drones) to uniquely perform various functions that were inconceivable a mere few years ago.