Curriculum  |  ,   |  August 24, 2020

A Fun AI Syllabus for Kids

Curriculum by Elli Wittmann.
Published on Medium.


AI is incredibly powerful and growing more and more important in our lifes. There are a million reasons why it is important for everyone to learn and understand the basic workings of it — not saying everyone should be a programmer or have a linear algebra certificate. But understanding what AI is and how it influences our daily life is important, even for children.

I gave a summer school course on it for kids from 11–14 yo a while back and will share my syllabus here. Feel free to take what you need or write me to connect. You’ll find some great resources at the end of this article as well. My course took around 10h in total.

This is not an exhaustive description but a quick overview of the topics covered and some methods and ideas. [ . . . ]

Ethics and AI are intertwined. You cannot talk about AI without talking about its downsides and failures. There are many stories about unfair AI systems that were exposed or systems that just seem pretty fishy in the first place. Some stories I find fascinating for this section include: MITs Gendershades, Googles gorilla problem in 2015, the privacy breach in the netflix prize 2010 and NYTs Clearview AI reporting. The main lesson kids should take away from those stories is:

AI is not always right and neutral, it can fail and I have the right to criticize and question it.

[ . . . ]

About the Author

Elli Wittmann is a PhD student working at the intersection of AI & Physical Chemistry.