In between remote knowing, more time spent in your home, and working parents trying to keep their kids inhabited, kids across the United States have clocked in record-breaking hours of screen time throughout the pandemic. Much of it is supervised and curated by instructors or parents– but significantly, kids of any ages are seeing videos, playing video games, and connecting with gadgets powered by artificial intelligence. As head of the Personal Robots group and AI Education at MIT, Media Laboratory Professor Cynthia Breazeal is on a mission to help this generation of youths to mature understanding the AI they use.

At “AI Education: Research Study and Practice,” an Open Learning Talks occasion in December, Breazeal shared her vision for educating trainees not only about how AI works, however how to develop and utilize it themselves– an effort she calls AI Literacy for All. The AI Education job Breazeal is leading at MIT is a collaboration between MIT Open Knowing and the Abdul Latif Jameel World Education Lab, the Media Laboratory, and the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing. Through research study projects, hands-on activities, and scalable learning modules, Breazeal and her AI Education affiliates throughout MIT are developing a robust resource hub for educators, moms and dads, and learners of any ages to comprehend how AI functions in various day-to-day roles, and how to approach both using and producing artificial intelligence with a basis in principles, inclusion, and compassion.

Open Knowing Talks|AI Education: Research Study and Practice

“It’s at this crossway of human psychology, engagement, and AI and innovation, and we’re learning a lot,” Breazeal stated as she explained her group’s research to the audience. “We’re not trying to build innovations to change instructors or take on parents. These are fluffy, pet-like robots, however they can engage kids in this interaction where there are aspects like an encouraging ally, like a pal … there are aspects like this buddy animal, and this nonjudgmental buddy animal gives the nature of this relationship this really various taste, where even if they’re embarrassed to make mistakes in front of their teacher or their pals, they appear not to be in front of the robotic– and you can’t learn if you’re not ready to take finding out threats.”

Breazeal shared examples from her Individual Robots group’s efforts, consisting of recent research studies on personalized learning buddies for early childhood education, developing extensive K-12 AI literacy programs, and developing tools to assist kids get creative utilizing AI innovations.

“So how do you empower kids to produce things with AI? You’re not going to put a middle-schooler on Tensorflow and say ‘All the best,’ right?” Breazeal stated. “MIT is the home base for things like Scratch and App Innovator, so the team is taking these more advanced AI approaches and curricula and ideas, and augmenting these platforms to empower kids to use these AI technologies, to discover them and then design jobs of their own, and port them to different type of platforms.”

Host Teacher Eric Klopfer, director of the Scheller Teacher Education Program and the Education Game at MIT and head of MIT Relative Media Research Studies and Writing, engaged Breazeal in a dialogue about all elements of AI education and fielded questions from the live audience, ranging from psychological connection with robotics to screen time, information collection, and representation in research and design.

“How does AI in education narrow the space that we see in between socioeconomic groups? How do we see AI bridging that gap rather than broadening the space?” asked Klopfer, as he and Breazeal shared insights on training instructors, providing hands-on activities and paper prototyping to broaden access and inclusion on innovation education. “The technology itself is not the motivation for the divide anymore; it’s the way the innovations are being used, and the method people are trained to be able to use them,” Klopfer said. “It’s so crucial that we don’t duplicate our errors from previous technological developments, where we simply disperse devices to schools without considering the training and competence that needs to opt for that.”

And in an increasingly tech-driven society, gain access to and education are essential to developing equity for, and encouraging thoughtful involvement from, all users. “We want a far more diverse, inclusive group of individuals having the ability to take part in forming this future [with AI],” stated Breazeal.

Released last fall, Open Knowing Talks is a public, online event series that includes discussions between leaders from MIT and around the world, sharing their research study and insights on education, teaching, and the science of knowing. Approaching occasions include William Bonvillian and Sanjay Sarma discussing their brand-new book, “Workforce Education,” on Feb. 23; and Professor D. Fox Harrell and Rocky Bucano, executive director of the Universal Hip Hop Museum, in mid-March.