The above image of this post was made by me using an artificial intelligence software, Deep Dream Generator. Deep Dream is a neural network based computer program written by a computer vision engineer at Google. It is a remarkable feat that an AI software has created this image with great accuracy and visual elements, and an understanding of how much color to apply where and with what weight. AI is now being taught to kids and kids across the world are continuously being exposed to AI based tools, software, and devices.
I am a teacher at UnicMinds and I’ve been working around computer-science in the industry for about 15 years now. I vividly remember the first time I started programming was when I was in 6th grade and we used to go to a computer lab with four children sharing one computer and doing something in the computer languages BASIC and LOGO. I can only say that computer programming has come a long way from then.
When I was doing my engineering in computer-science, it was difficult to imagine that AI would be a reality in this world. Around 2004-05, we used to study a lot of theory around neural networks and just a handful of people in the entire university would know something about pattern-recognition, sentiment analysis of text, computer-vision and NLP.
Come around 2009-13, a lot of things changed fast. A lot of technologies and science behind it have started to mature and a lot of new programming languages with open-source libraries have led to that movement and stability in certain areas of AI algorithms.
Now, we have technologies like DALL-E (from OpenAI) which is truly translating a text provided by the user into a beautiful image that is so relatable to the human behind that text. A lot of complex AI areas go into building a system like that. Now, I am not someone who jumps the gun and says the future is all AI and the human element would go down. I don’t think so. But, I would say that the world around us is changing really fast without our notice in our busy lives daily.
An example closer to home: gone are the days when children used to go to school and the teacher would explain some complex topics and the child would understand it a bit and not understand it completely. Children today are learning in a very different way. They are learning from video lectures, live demonstrations, practical hands-on experience, real-world experience of objects and things around them. They come back home and google extensively and learn, and they take online coding classes and boost their knowledge across subjects and applications across subjects. It is crazy for a person like me to think that kids are learning really fast and a vast area of subjects.
So, the future is not going to be like what we organically think of it to be. From gravity batteries to quantum computing, the future is going to be a lot different than what we can project organically because knowledge is widely available everywhere and it is more about what areas of knowledge you can practically apply across subjects. In our world, we were more driven with one area of expertise. The future may not be driven with one area of expertise. For example, you may have a product designer who has studied design but he will be using his programming skills to work with an AI program to build designs and architectures. Similarly, a doctor would have studied medicine and specialized in a specific area, but a lot of preliminary operation and analysis would probably be conducted by him remotely using an AI system that he programs and he needs that knowledge on that AI system.
We don’t know exactly about the future, but going by how children are learning today, it is going to be fairly different from what we can organically imagine it to be. It is just beautiful to witness the pace of change of technology around us and what it has in store for us in the future. AI for kids and students is taught here at UnicMinds as we introduce and build fundamental awareness and the algorithms and programming constructs for children to recognize and appreciate AI technologies that they face in their world.
Hope this helps you to take a step back and look at the larger canvas of the technological change in the last 15 years.