By Aashi Tyagi, UAE
Science is humanity’s single greatest collective endeavor. In today’s world, challenges faced by society and the world at large seem to cut across traditional boundaries of disciplines and stretch across the lifecycle of innovation. To that end, science is a force for good as it responds to societal needs and global challenges, generates solutions for everyday life and offers us answers to the mysteries of our universe.
Arguably, one of the greatest breakthrough in the sciences is the development and deployment of Artificial Intelligence (AI). From automating transportation to preventing the spread of fake news and increasing the effectiveness of medical diagnoses, AI plays an incredibly important role in transforming society. Given its widespread ethical implications and its potential for positive impact, the AI revolution should not be limited to only computer scientists, researchers, and policymakers. Rather, those who are poised to be the future of innovation and change, students, should be driving forces behind the AI revolution. To this end, it is crucial that students of all backgrounds and identities have access to an AI education early on.
As someone who has been deeply involved in AI, I find it troubling to see such a significant gap in terms of resources and opportunities available to students interested in the field. In the pursuit of an AI education, I’ve gone to lengths to teach myself; from scouring the Internet for resources, to taking college-level courses on machine learning, to working on AI-powered projects and attending tech camps. Believe me when I say that pursuing an AI education on your own does not come easy.
Having witnessed firsthand the inaccessibility of AI-centric resources, I was inspired to create something that would bridge the knowledge gap for young AI enthusiasts. This was the premise on which I started AIxEntrepreneurs.
We created a youth-led platform that introduces students to fundamental AI concepts and inspires them to pursue their own AI-enabled startup idea. I, as a part of the group, am driven by one unifying goal: to provide an ecosystem where students of diverse backgrounds can learn AI and collaborate to solve the world’s greatest problems.
Our work is designed as such to demystify complex AI technologies like neural networks, natural language processing and deep learning through presentations, activities and worksheets. Learning and teaching Artificial Intelligence demands an interdisciplinary approach, and so the core curriculum integrates topics as varied as medicine, agriculture and business as they relate to AI. In addition to instruction through the curriculum, my team (chapter ambassadors) and I are actively working towards hosting webinars and workshops, and inviting guest speakers. Most recently, we hosted a Shark Tank inspired startup competition where high school students had the opportunity to pitch their startup ideas to a panel of distinguished judges.