What is artificial intelligence?
Great question! Even experts have a hard time agreeing on a single definition for artificial intelligence, or AI. We think about AI as a branch of computer science that allows computers to make predictions and decisions and solve problems. You can learn more about AI and its many uses here.
Why is it important to include more people in AI?
When artificial intelligence is created by a group that reflects the world we live in, we believe AI solutions will be more innovative, ethical, and will solve new problems. Looking to the future, we believe that everyone will be an AI consumer, so everyone deserves to have an understanding of how these technologies may be impacting their lives. Even more crucially, AI has the potential to amplify the biases of its creators. When a diversity of people is not involved in creating, guiding, and regulating AI, the risks for algorithmic bias and other unintended consequences are heightened. Finally, AI is poised to make a massive global economic impact which is right now largely off-limits to large segments of the population due to lack of access to training and other barriers. Even if the field continues on the current path, we’ll still face a shortage of adequately trained AI workers in the future.
Why do you target high schoolers versus university students or middle school students?
Recent research out of Microsoft showed that girls may lose interest in STEM curricula around age 15. If you’re losing interest or feeling left out by 15, it will impact your ability to get involved in the field later on in life. That said, it’s never too late to start—you can get involved in the space or teach yourself new skills any time—but our focus is on intervening and building a support network early on.
By focusing on high school students, we’re reaching them at a crucial time when they may be starting to lose interest in STEM. We’re also able to show how AI can be applied to real-world situations rather than teaching abstract skills.
Why do you focus on artificial intelligence and not computer science more broadly?
We focus on AI because 2 of our 3 founders are leading AI researchers and saw the need to bridge the gap between existing computer science education and AI careers. Plus, the field of AI is actually significantly less diverse than the broader field of CS overall. For example, under 14% of AI researchers globally are women, whereas 26% of all people in the computing workforce are women.
Who develops your curriculum?
AI4ALL’s programs are deeply rooted in research and continually tested and refined. Our curriculum is developed in-house by content experts and educators, reviewed by leading AI researchers and industry experts, and tested at top AI institutions around the world. You can learn more about our team here.
I work at a large company that uses data. How do I make sure we’re using the best ethical practices? Or, I’m building a product that uses AI. How do I build it in a way that mitigates bias?
Concrete actions you can take to address bias and other risks include:
- Continually test, audit, and monitor AI for bias and its impact
- Create standards around ethics and fairness (or leverage existing ones that interdisciplinary groups and AI leaders have already developed)
- Prioritize transparency in algorithms so people can understand how these systems arrive at predictions
- Prioritize diversity and inclusion from the start. Though diversifying your technical team is not sufficient to ensuring ethical products, it is a key starting point.
I have a robots/circuits/CS-related product. How can I partner with AI4ALL to integrate the tool into your curriculum?
Thanks so much for wanting to share your product with AI4ALL! Though we are honored by your interest, we currently do not have a need to use a specific product in our curriculum. If you are looking for AI curriculum to use alongside your product, you can look to our AI4ALL Open Learning program. It’s free and available for anyone to bring to their community.
Are there volunteer opportunities with AI4ALL?
We are not able to offer regular volunteer opportunities at AI4ALL, though volunteer opportunities may occasionally arise. In order to stay up to date with volunteer opportunities, you may want to sign up for our newsletter.
If you’re interested in volunteering at a specific AI4ALL summer program, please contact the program directly. You can find contact information for each of our summer programs on each program’s website. We link to our summer program websites from our Summer Programs page.
If you are interested in bringing AI education for high school students to your community, learn more about the Open Learning program here.
How can I apply to be a student at an AI4ALL summer program?
You can apply to an AI4ALL summer program through the individual program’s website or webpage. All program websites/webpages are linked from our Summer Programs page.
Who can apply to your summer programs?
AI4ALL is designed to create pathways for young people who are underreprestend in AI into the field of artificial intelligence. We welcome anyone to apply who meets the grade level and location requirements of the summer program(s) they’re interested in. We particularly encourage young women and non-binary students, You can learn more about grade level requirements for each program here.
Currently, many of our programs are open only to students in the US and Canada. If you live outside of those regions, you may want to consider participating in AI4ALL Open Learning, which is freely available for use around the world. Learn more here. We are actively expanding our program offerings and encourage you to check back frequently to stay up to date with our current program sites.
How much do AI4ALL summer programs cost?
AI4ALL program costs are available on each program’s website, which you can access from the Summer Programs page. Program tuition goes towards room & board, field trips, access to top AI institutions, and our lifelong alumni program. All AI4ALL summer programs are free or provide extensive tuition assistance, and the majority of our students receive tuition assistance.
AI4ALL runs programs in close partnership with universities. When starting a program in a new location, our priorities are equity, access, and sustainability, and we work with university partners to ensure that is happening. However, there are variations in total program cost at each site depending on geography, cost of living, university structure, and existing resources. Our goal is to ensure equitable access as well as to ensure program sustainability, which we’re continually working with each of our university partners on.
When are you coming to my country/school?
We are actively working on expanding our summer programs across the US and around the world. Because of the highly specialized and intensive nature of our summer programs, we expand to a handful of new university sites per year. We work closely with AI researchers, graduate students, and administrators at each university site to establish an inclusive, welcoming, and sustainable program that gives high school students access to professional-level AI research.
I am a student or teacher at a high school or middle school. How can I bring this program to my school?
We’re excited to hear that you want to bring access to ethics-focused AI education to your community! Please consider AI4ALL Open Learning at your school, community-based organization, or workshop series. Free access to the curriculum and facilitator guides is available here. Our summer programs for high school students are run only at universities at this time, which provides our students with unique access to professional AI labs, researchers, role models, and the experience of life on campus.
I want to start a program at my university. How do I do that?
Thanks for your interest in bringing AI4ALL to your university! The unique nature of our programs coupled with AI4ALL’s deep partnerships with our university sites is key to our long-term impact on the field. Partnership decisions are made on a case-by-case basis, based on funding and partnership fit.
We encourage applications from institutions with:
Engagement in top-tier research
Demonstrated commitment to access for underrepresented populations
Locations in geographic priority regions in the US (Pacific Northwest, Midwest, Southwest, and the South)
Access to funding for program financial sustainability (3+ year commitment to partner with AI4ALL)
If you are a university administrator or faculty member and you feel your university meets these guidelines, please fill out the application here.
Will AI4ALL Summer Programs be online this summer 2020? Are any programs happening in person?
Due to challenges presented by COVID-19, all Summer Programs currently scheduled to happen in summer 2020 will be held online. Please note that a few of our sites are no longer able to host programs this summer. For updated information about program status and application deadlines, please see our Summer Programs webpage and contact programs directly.
What is the virtual program experience going to be like? Will 2020 AI4ALL Summer Programs be full-time, now that most programs are moving to a virtual platform?
This is a new endeavor for all of us, including AI4ALL and our university partners. We thank you for your patience and we commend our partners for working with us to ensure we are able to offer AI4ALL Summer Programs online. To read more about how we’re thinking about our 2020 Summer Programs and the work we’re doing with our university partners to ensure a positive student experience, read the article from our University Programs Manager, Jonathan Garcia, here.
While each program will adhere to our AI4ALL program pillars and priorities of equity, inclusion, and access, each site may vary in how they implement the program to best suit the needs of their university and the students they serve. For example, some programs may structure their days so that students will be actively participating in program events for much of each weekday for the duration of the program. Other programs will have pre-recorded lectures with live small group learning and collaboration time. Programs will be sending finalized program schedules in student admission packages, so please connect directly with each university for more information. For Summer Program contact information, please see “How can I get more information about a specific AI4ALL Summer Program?” below.
Now that 2020 AI4ALL Summer Programs are virtual, can I apply even if I don’t meet the regular geographic requirements?
Programs with geographic requirements will continue to be open only to students from those specific areas. The geographical requirements for each program vary by university site and are listed on our Summer Programs page. For more information about your eligibility for a program, please follow up with the individual program site directly.
How can I get more information about a specific AI4ALL Summer Program?
Please contact each site for specific program details and questions. Program websites and contact emails for each site are listed below.
- Arizona State University:
- Boston University:
- Carnegie Mellon University (program on hiatus for 2020):
- Columbia University:
- Georgia Tech University (program on hiatus for 2020):
- Princeton University:
- Seattle University:
- Simon Fraser University:
- Stanford University:
- University of California, Berkeley:
- University of California, San Francisco:
- University of Maryland:
- University of Michigan:
- University of Pennsylvania:
- University of Texas at El Paso:
- University of Washington:
Open Learning Program
How can I get access to AI4ALL Open Learning?
AI4ALL Open Learning is a free, project-based AI education program, facilitated by community members, that gives students the tools to solve problems they care about using AI. The program is designed to be used by high school teachers or community-based organizations that serve high school students to bring AI education into the classroom or community. You can access the free curriculum and extensive facilitation guides here.
- I’m experiencing technical difficulties with the Open Learning Program platform. What should I do?
What is the difference between Open Learning and Summer Programs?
Both AI4ALL Open Learning Program and AI4ALL Summer Programs are designed to welcome and support underrepresented students in AI. The curricula for both programs are project-focused, social good-focused, and approachable. AI4ALL Open Learning is designed to be used by volunteer facilitators and teachers in high school classrooms, clubs, or workshops around the world.
AI4ALL Summer Programs are designed to be immersive summer experiences on university campuses for high school students where AI professors and graduate students provide instruction and exposure to the AI research lab experience. In addition to AI and Python instruction, Summer Programs also provide personal growth development to address the key barriers to the field that underrepresented students in AI face.
High school students may participate in both AI4ALL Open Learning and AI4ALL Summer Programs. No prior AI experience is required or expected for either program. Learn more about Open Learning here and Summer Programs here.
Do you have any tips for accessing and using the Open Learning platform?
Check out our Open Learning Platform Tips document, here.