Preparing for an AI-Powered Future

Why is an AI education important?

Over the past few decades, the world has become increasingly interconnected. With infinite information at our fingertips, the digital revolution has changed the ways we communicate, educate, live, and do business. Now, a new technological revolution is on the rise: artificial intelligence, or AI.

While AI is nowhere near having the broad intelligence and context-adjusting abilities that human beings possess, the diversity of its applications is astounding. For example, Alexa and Siri are virtual assistants that we interact with every day, empowering us to be more productive. Self-driving cars are reminiscent of science-fiction, using artificial intelligence to drive us towards a transportation revolution. Netflix, Spotify, Google, Amazon and countless other services we love are foundationally driven by this very technology.

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Students work on socially oriented AI projects, such as using computer vision to automate plant disease detection

In addition to these well known applications, AI can also be useful in lesser known but very powerful ways – as a force for good. Across critical sectors such as healthcare, journalism, agriculture that impact all of us greatly, AI can drive significant positive impact. From helping doctors to more easily identify diseases and thus treat many more patients, to detecting and preventing the spread of fake news and helping farmers detect plant infestations, the possibilities of AI for good are only limited by our imagination.

Although today’s students are poised to be the drivers of this revolution, AI remains inaccessible to most. Given its widespread effects, AI innovation should involve not only the computer scientists designing algorithms but also policymakers regulating this emerging field and users affected by the technology. To this end, it’s essential to introduce students to AI early on and give them the tools to navigate its complex ethical implications. Through education, they can advance these technologies in an effective and responsible way. It is also key to empower students from diverse backgrounds and fields to participate in AI – the design, production, and deployment of AI should be led by people who reflect the diversity of our changing world, including the young people who will be most affected by these technologies.

For current high school students, consider self-guided research projects to explore AI and see whether it piques your interest, or summer camps like Inspirit AI to pursue this exploration in a more guided environment. In college, AI is a developing field that students can study in a range of different majors. For example, you can consider majoring in Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, or even Information Sciences to start research on the cutting edge of these developments. Beyond college, knowledge and passion for AI will set you up for a rapidly-expanding career market as well.

Inspirit AI Scholars

Inspirit AI Scholars is a pre-college summer enrichment program that exposes high school students to AI through experiential learning and a mentor-guided project. The program is developed and taught by Stanford PhD and Masters students that apply AI to a variety of different domains from neuroscience, to regenerative medicine. The program runs across the globe, in the UAE, India, and major American cities.

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In the first week, students will learn about cutting-edge AI technologies including Computer Vision, Natural Language Processing, Deep Learning, and Recommendation Engines as well as some of their modern applications like speech recognition, machine translation, automated medical imaging, and autonomous vehicles. Students will code mini-projects using Python to get a glimpse into how such innovations are created.

The second week will involve a deeper dive into a project. Guided by our instructors, students will work in small teams to create a socially impactful AI project from a domain of their interest such as healthcare, agriculture, transportation, or disaster-relief. See examples from our past programs on the Inspirit AI website! The 10-day camp will culminate in a presentation of the project findings to parents and guests, and students will receive guidance on how to continue to pursue AI in college and beyond.

While the teachers have been integral to building and growing the AI Scholars program, it is the student energy and dedication that makes the experience truly meaningful. Students from a diverse set of backgrounds have taken part in the program, some of who are expert machine learning programmers looking to work closely with the instructors, while others had barely written any code before the program.

Summer Programs

No matter how you choose to get started, making the most of your summer vacation is a great first step to jump-starting your STEM future. Check out this post for some more suggestions on ways to stay busy and productive during your time away from the classroom. For starters, here are a few more of our favorite STEM summer programs, and this is a list of top coding and CS camps more specifically.

Looking for more one-on-one guidance and individualized support? Get in touch with our Expert Advice Panel. When you sign up for a free toolkit account, you’ll also receive one free research request. You can submit a query with your general location and any other factors you’d like to consider in a summer program, and one of our expert researchers will get back to you with a data-backed answer in three business days.

If you’re interested in trying Inspirit AI, here’s how:

Inspirit AI is coming to Palo Alto, San Francisco, Boston, New York, and Chicago, and also to India, Dubai and other locations globally. Apply for an Inspirit AI program in any one of their locations by April 15th here. If you have any questions, please contact the program manager Lucas Hornsby at lhornsby@stanford.edu.

If you’re interested in working with an Empowerly counselor to explore your options, book a consult to chat with us today!

Questions? Let us know!