Why kids should learn about artificial intelligence and machine learning

The exciting world of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning isn’t just for computer scientists; it’s a world which our kids can begin to explore right now. In fact, we think it’s absolutely vital. This technology is going to shape the future – and we’re not talking lightyears away, it’s already happening.

More than we realise, these tech trends are being embedded into our everyday lives everywhere we look, from healthcare to construction. They not only support and enhance the way in which we do things currently across all industries – they are going to completely change them.

But what does this mean for our children and their futures? In this blog post, we will take a look at what these technologies are, how they will impact our kids’ future careers and explain why every child will benefit from learning about them.

What is artificial intelligence and machine learning?

Put simply, Artificial Intelligence or AI is what we call any human-like intelligence displayed by a machine, such as a computer or a robot.

Examples include; an ability to learn from example or experience, decision making, problem-solving, object recognition and understanding and responding to language – then combining these and other abilities to do things that humans do, such as driving a car.

Machine Learning is a subset of AI where machines can learn from data without being explicitly programmed and give an accurate result or prediction from that data.

It’s being used already in Google search algorithms, spam filters for email and friend suggestions on Facebook.

How will AI affect my child's future?

In 2018, Gartner predicted that by 2021, 80% of emerging technologies would have AI’ foundations’, meaning that the change is already upon us.

By 2024 they anticipate that they will replace 69% of a managers workload, so it is clear that our children will likely need to use these technologies and use them responsibly throughout their careers.

Learning about AI and Machine Learning at a young age and knowing how to use it will inevitably lead to better career opportunities in the future, especially if your child is tech-obsessed!

We once spoke to AI expert Michael Luck, who is a professor in Computer Science at King’s College London. He believes that this technology should be introduced as early as possible so that kids can understand it and build a foundation for the future. Similar to how they are taught reading, writing and mathematics!

“AI and machine learning will impact the future of all of us – but the kids will be those most affected. Their lives and careers will require a different set of skills to those we use today. Everything is changing – and there’s an opportunity for kids to shape the future and our use of these technologies.” – Professor Michael Luck

What are the benefits of my child learning about AI and machine learning?

However, it’s not just about better work opportunities – there are other benefits to learning about these technologies. Learning about AI and Machine Learning will help kids:

  1. Have awareness – we often fear things we don’t understand. Learning about this technology will give your child a sense of how it works and help them feel confident when they come across it in the future.
  2. Gain new skills – getting to grips with AI and Machine Learning will also give your child exposure to coding and help them develop transferable skills, and increase their problem-solving capabilities – which will support them in their work and play.
  3. Get creative – kids are curious and have great imaginations. AI and Machine Learning will give them new ways to flex and feed their imaginations.
  4. Get ahead – understanding the theories of the technology and how it works will give them an edge when it comes to learning more about it through their continuing education.

What future careers will involve AI and machine learning?

Currently, AI and Machine Learning are already making their way into the workplace. Take a look at the amazing video from inside an Ocado warehouse, where robots use this technology to pack orders.

AI and ML help industries streamline processes, save money and provide better services, making many typical roles redundant.

However, as this tech becomes more prevalent, so will professions that specialise in it. Gartner estimates that in the next few years, the number of roles this technology creates will outnumber the jobs replaced by it. A McKinsey report stated:

“The number of people employed in these occupations is small compared to those in healthcare or construction, but they are high-wage occupations. By 2030, we estimate that this trend could create 20 million to 50 million jobs globally.”

We will always need doctors, nurses, therapists, psychiatrists, teachers, artists, writers, scientists and managers, but it is likely that many of these roles will utilise this technology in future, where it will make specific tasks more straightforward and cheaper.

For example, within healthcare, AI is expected to handle many analytical and administrative tasks, lowering the cost of care, which is vital with an ageing population who require more care resources. It will allow more money to be allocated for roles that deliver care – such as nurses and doctors.

How can my child start learning about AI and machine learning?

We have some great remote courses to help get your child acquainted with AI – in just one week, they’ll gain a comprehensive introduction and have a go at building their own AI models. All they need is a laptop to get started!

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Why kids should learn about artificial intelligence and machine learning

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Why kids should learn about artificial intelligence and machine learning

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