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So what is the importance of AI and ML in children’s early learning and development? Let’s list out reasons below:
The concept of algorithms helps approach problems with simple step by step solutions. Algorithms direct computers to perform tasks like taking inputs, processing and analysing it and then giving out desired results, or even use it to make decisions. It also helps children to materialise concepts – which they subconsciously do in their daily life – such as decision making (conditional logic), selection, iteration and sequencing. These are fundamentals to developing programs and learning to code. STEMpedia’s PictoBlox enables children to create applications and games using precoded code blocks while also (self) learning about AI.
Learning AI and ML help kids to think creatively, reason with and have a solution-oriented mindset which is important at any age. Young children have high learning capabilities which is why they are taught discipline, etiquettes and other social skills at such an age. Thus, it is sensible to also inculcate problem-solving skills which will grow and take shape with their age; also fuels ambitions and makes them self-directed.
Today’s world is run by data. Big Data is strongly prevalent and is only going to grow and AI and ML rely heavily on it. Learning about big data systems and how they are incorporated into AI and ML will help children familiarise themselves into developing their own projects. AI doesn’t learn effortlessly; it needs data and data comes from the user. Thus, children will learn how to fetch, store, structure and analyse data sets and also provide data to the systems.
AI and machine learning will be used a lot more in the future and will be integrated into many common systems. Contrary to the belief that it will replace jobs, it would, as a matter of fact, create more job opportunities. People before assumed computers would replace them and that they would go out of work, look where we are now. The future has more focus on automation, AI and ML and rightfully so, children are already prepared by the time they start to find jobs.
Morality and Humanity
earning AI and ML open up discussions about humanity. So, AI and machine learning just don’t teach you hard skills. When you create AI, you must know and teach it ethical and moral values. Isaac Assimov devised the 3 laws of robotics in 1942, which direct the interaction between robots and humans. Development of AI, in accordance with, or even defying it allows children to question what it means to be human, what is morality and how to guide morality for a robot. These aren’t a heavy subject for young minds, in fact, they learn from their surroundings, parents and other people around them. Monkey see monkey do.
Artistic and creative fields will also integrate AI in production. Google’s Experiments with Google uses AI for a wide range of “experiments”, as they call it, like making music through voice commands, AI to guess what’s drawn, AI which can jam musical instruments with you, and even converting speech into drawings! This is testament to its presence in vast varieties of fields and children don’t necessarily have to stick to being a software developer.
by Dr Jassim Haji