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  • Writer's pictureRakesh Budarapu

How to Explain Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to Kids?

Updated: Mar 4, 2022

Intelligence is the ability to learn and deal with new situations. When a computer or a robot solves a problem or uses language, it may seem to be intelligent. However, such intelligence is different from human intelligence. It is called artificial intelligence, or AI.

Kids are increasingly exposed to concepts of artificial intelligence and machine learning at a young age. They might not know what these terms mean. As parents and adults, you can help them to learn and understand these terms. However, it would be a challenge if you personally did not learn about Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.

Fortunately, there are many websites, tools, and study materials available to help you learn. Not only will you develop a firm grasp of machine learning and artificial intelligence, but your kids will be excited to explore these concepts with you.

The first step is to understand the concepts of machine learning and artificial intelligence on your own, and then find the right tools and methods to explain them to your kids.

Since the beginning, computers have depended on people to tell them what to do and how to react. Developers continue to work on creating machines that are able to learn. With artificial intelligence, robots get the ability to make their own decisions.

This explanation might seem basic, which is actually a good thing. Kids understand with the help of examples, and by asking questions. The best way to teach them about AI and its value is to compare it to items that are relatable to them.

“Many people for example have a pet dog and they may have even at a young age tried to train their dog to do tricks, Training artificial intelligence is very similar to that process” - Michael Milford.

Let's take an example. Say you have a 10 Square Feet wall to color. You have given the instruction to the robot with Artificial Intelligence. The robot will compute the information with the database to learn about it. Then based on the information it finds, it will estimate the time required to perform the activity. The robot learns that it will take about 1 hour to apply color to the wall, and makes further decisions accordingly. Talking about this to your child while you both are coloring, can demonstrate how technology needs to learn to complete even simple tasks.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) uses computers to do things that traditionally require human intelligence. This means creating algorithms to classify, analyze, and draw predictions from data. It also involves acting on data, learning from new data, and improving over time. It is similar to a tiny human child growing up into a (sometimes) smarter human adult. And just like humans, AI is not perfect.

Similarly, Machine learning algorithms identify patterns and/or predict outcomes.

Like many adults, kids lack the opportunity to explore AI and enhance the understanding of basic Machine Learning concepts and essential building blocks. Understanding the fundamental concepts is becoming important for people of all ages, especially children, who are growing up in an environment that integrates AI and ML products more than ever before.

We wish you happy learning.

For Educational AI resources for children, we recommend visiting the following websites.

There are many worksheets available on site. They will help your kids learn about artificial intelligence with fun.

Choose from a variety of hands-on activities that introduce simple machine learning models to students through games and interactive projects.

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