How Should we Educate Kids About Artificial Intelligence?

This Women in AI Podcast episode is with Juliet Waters, Chief Knowledge Officer at Kids Code Jeunesse, a Canadian charity with a mission to give every Canadian child access to digital skills education, with a focus on girls and underserved communities. KCJ teaches kids and their educators about topics including algorithm literacy and artificial intelligence, and how these integrate with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals to give kids the confidence and creative tools they need to build a better future. Read more blogs like this and hear more from AI experts here.

Topics explored include:

  • The #kid2030 Challenge, and the Response So Far
  • How the Algorithm Literacy Project Came About and It’s Goals for the Initiative
  • Kids Interest in Pursuing a Career in AI
  • The Positive Impact of COVID-19 on KCJ
  • Challenges Faced by Women AI Practitioners in the AI World
  • Role Models and the Importance of Them

🎧 Listen to the podcast here.

Nikita RE•WORK [0:46]

Juliet [1:06]

Nikita RE•WORK [3:00]

Juliet [3:17]

Nikita RE•WORK [4:12]

Juliet [5:02]

Nikita RE•WORK [7:11]

Juliet [7:27]

Nikita RE•WORK [9:05]

Juliet [9:10]

Nikita RE•WORK [10:32]

“In the UK, ever since they introduced programming into the school system, there’s I think about an 11% rise in girls that are taking on CS”

Juliet [10:42]

We really change that to make sure that the focus was on having an experience that was really fun and playful and engaging, and that involved the teachers and sort of hope that that was a broader pathway towards interest. And certainly, we’re seeing the statistics, let’s say in the UK, ever since they introduced programming into the school system, there’s I think about an 11% rise in girls that are taking on CS. And that’s even without really giving a lot of support to teachers. So I think that number is going to rise even more as that goes on. So that has tended to be our pathway, we’re going to be working more with teens.

So I think as we get into developing resources for teens will probably bring in a little bit more about, what would you want to learn if you want to be a data analyst or a data scientist, or a data engineer? Like what are the different kinds of things that these people do? And do you like to guess things a lot? Like, you’re probably going to want to be a data scientist. Do you like to explore patterns, then maybe a data analyst? Do you like to build things, then think about engineering, like those kinds of broad ways? And I wouldn’t be surprised if we can reach girls through that. Because I think we’re in a much more society and culture that’s supporting that now than we were when we started.

Nikita RE•WORK [13:12]

Juliet [13:33]

Nikita RE•WORK [14:44]

Juliet [15:33]

So for instance, as a woman, you might be the person that’s going to have to question whether or not we really want to be using AI as the only tool in job performance or job recruitment, or things like that, where often it cannot be explained how the AI algorithms are coming to those things. So I think that that’s challenging. But as always, I think that if you’re going into a career in AI, or even technology anywhere, as a woman, you need to also make sure that you are strengthening and developing your socio-emotional skills alongside your hard skills because those are the skills that they’re going to see you through all of the different parts of your careers.

And those are the skills that are going to have an impact on all of the people in your company. So I think that staying strong, having a good support network, knowing how to be supportive without losing your strength, those are all skills that you still have to do to make sure you are strong, alongside your hard skills.

Nikita RE•WORK [17:50]

Juliet [18:05]

Nikita RE•WORK [19:45]

Juliet [20:38]

Nikita RE•WORK [21:09]

Juliet [21:54]

Nikita RE•WORK [21:58]

If you’re keen to learn more about KCJ and The Algorithm Literacy Project, then please do check out the website in the links. If you would like to get involved in any of our Women in AI initiatives, then please do get in touch at hello@re-work.co.

Bringing together the brightest minds in AI & Deep Learning from research & industry https://www.re-work.co/

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