Last Friday, 25 CHAC students from Years 9 to 11 participated for the first time in Microsoft’s AI for Good Schools Challenge, an event modified to run online during the COVID-19 pandemic. Teams of students spent one day collaborating online to create an innovative solution to a real-world issue using Artificial Intelligence. Students also had the chance to reflect on possible ethical dilemmas facing AI development. All teams enjoyed the experience and learnt much along the way, and their ideas have now been submitted to the competition organisers. We wish them luck.
"Artificial Intelligence is technology with the ability to think and learn to perform tasks which improve our lives. Our facilitator from Microsoft took us through the different steps in the problem-solving process: understanding AI and its place in today’s society, deciding on a category of AI that we wanted to work with (AI for Earth, Humanitarian Action, Cultural Preservation or Accessibility), choosing a specific problem within this category, and finally, creating or AI concept. My team chose to focus on how we can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of recycling by creating a form of AI which scans and sorts rubbish into recycling and trash, reducing human error which can contaminate whole loads of recycling. Overall, this was a very interesting, educational experience which I would recommend to anyone interested in problem-solving, even if you don’t have any background in technology." (Lily Chippendale – Year 10)
"During the AI for Good Schools Challenge workshop, we worked in small groups to come up with a solution to a real-world problem using Artificial Intelligence. My team had the idea to have a filtration plant to protect reefs and ocean areas from runoff. It relied on AI to detect the change in water quality, which would activate the filtration to prevent dead zones from forming. The engaging workshop taught me about what AI can do and will be able to do in the future. This event was really enjoyable and was a great learning experience." (Matthew Sloman – Year 11)
"The Microsoft AI for Good Schools Challenge is a competition that asks students in groups of 2-3 to design an AI solution to a problem in the world. These issues could be anything big, from world hunger to identifying a hard to diagnose disease. Through this challenge, I have learnt a lot about the ethics and principles of artificial intelligence and the pros and cons of having such smart computers. We faced a few challenges while designing our AI because there are so many problems in the world, so choosing only one was a challenge, as well as coming up with an idea that has not been thought up before. However, by the end of the day, Dani and I had completed a rough outline for an artificial intelligence idea called 'SAI' that aims to help young children in abusive situations." (Sarah Leonard – Year 9)