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AI Classroom Activity: Machine Learning

Today’s blog is a guest post from Audrey Pilcher who is a visual content and digital marketing specialist who finds passion in expressing her own thoughts as a blogger and currently works at A-writer.com. She is a tech-savvy person and likes to write on different topics like social media, web design, mobile apps, online marketing and much more.

Have you thought about teaching Artificial Intelligence (AI) in your classroom? It’s a relatively new technology that has made its way into all industries and has the potential to transform them. You have probably heard many good things about AI, and many of them are true. According to The Brookings Institution, for example, AI is already making quite an impact in such areas as national security, healthcare, criminal justice, education, transportation, and city management.

Image Source: https://futureoflife.org/background/benefits-risks-of-artificial-intelligence/

The growing role of AI in all these areas is driven by the tremendous opportunities for economic development that it provides. For example, it’s predicted that AI technologies could increase global GDP by $15.7 trillion, or 14 percent, by 2030, according to The Brookings.

What does it mean for students?

Clearly, AI will play a major role in their lives, so they need to learn it. One good way to begin learning AI would be to study the technology behind it, and it is intriguing. Machine learning (ML) is one of these technologies and its main branches.

What is Machine Learning?

One of the most widely used definitions of ML was first used by Arthur Samuel in 1959, who said it was a subfield of Computer Science whose purpose was to give “computers the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed.”
In other words, it’s the underlying technology that enables AI, so learning it as an essential step.

Why Teach ML to Children?

There are several reasons why teachers should teach ML:

Reason #1: Introduce them to Coding
Less than a decade ago, coding was a skill required only for programmers. Today, however, many more other professions require people to learn how to code as well, including marketers, technical writers, bloggers, and project managers. Children who one day decide to be involved in these professions would need ML assignment help to be successful. Besides, introducing kids to coding helps them to improve their skills and therefore be more competitive in the labor market.

Reason #2: Improve Their Gaming Skills
This is not to say that studying machine learning is all about learning how to complete difficult levels in a computer game. Rather, I mean that AI started with games (in fact, the first AI experiment was to teach a computer how to play Checkers), but its concept goes far beyond building games and includes teaching computers how to play them. Besides, gaming and gamification are popular concepts in education and other areas.

Reason #3: Teach Data Fluency
Helping children how to collect, examine, and analyze data is becoming as essential as teaching them how to be a good essay writer. Why? Because data-driven methods will be present in many professions that will make an impact in the future. It’s reasonable to assume that many of them will be working in jobs or starting companies that rely on data to make decisions.

AI Classroom Activity: Face Lock

If you’re looking for some activities on machine learning on the Internet, you’ll find some good online resources. For example, one of the latest searches that I performed to discover some activities for my classes was successful because I discovered a great collection of them on a British site called Machine Learning For Kids. You can check all the games they have and see whether some of them could be good for your class. I found most of them very good because they taught basic features of machine learning in an easy manner online and provided all models and worksheets.

Let’s do a quick overview of the Face Lock Activity which you can also find in the collection.

Goal: to train ML learning model to be able to recognize a face (the same technology that modern smartphones use to ensure that only the owner can unlock them).

Steps:

  1. Go to Machine Learning For Kids website and click on Get Started button on the homepage
  2. Click on the “Sign Up” button if you’re using the platform for the first time or “Try Without Registering”
  3. Click on “Projects” on the top menu bar and then select “Add a new project” to begin your own
  4. Give it a name – Face Lock – and then set the system to learn how to recognize “Images”
  5. The platform will create a new project, so you click on it and then select “Train” section to begin collecting samples of faces you want to be recognized
  6. Click on “New Label” and create the “Granted” bucket
  7. Click on “Webcam” and grant the permission to access your webcam.
  8. Take at least 10 photos of your face. Try different emotions, angles, and distances
  9. Then add another label and name it “Denied”
  10. Again, use the webcam but this time use faces of other people
  11. Click on “Back to Project” button and then “Learn & Test”
  12. Click on “Train new machine learning model”
  13. Wait a bit while the computer learns to recognize your photos
  14. Click on “Back to Project” button in the training page and then click on “Open in Scratch”
  15. You’ll see your project under Project Templates subsection of the menu, click on it
  16. Create the following script < recognize image (costume image) (label) = granted > then
  17. Click on “Costumes” tab and then “New costume from camera” button
  18. Take a photo of another person using the webcam
  19. Repeat the previous two steps but take a photo of yourself
  20. Click on “Stage”
  21. Create these scripts
  22. Click on the green flag in the top left window and begin testing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig Kemp

I am a passionate Head of Educational Technology at a large International School in Singapore. I am a lifelong learner, dream creator and thought leader. I love to inspire others and find inspiration. Co-founder of #whatisschool, #asiaED edchats and #pubPD.

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