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, regulating, and implementing AI, the risks for algorithmic bias and other unintended consequences are heightened. Finally, AI is poised to make a massive global economic impact which may negatively impact large segments of the population due to lack of access to AI education 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 and college students rather than middle school or elementary 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.
Lack of exposure and awareness is one of the primary barriers preventing low-income and students of color from entering the AI field. By targeting university students that have not yet declared their majors, or who have not been encouraged to pursue a technical path, we can spark an interest in AI by focusing on its interdisciplinary applications, and build a community to encourage retention and support persistence for these students.
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 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 crucial 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, consider checking out our Bytes of AI, fun, quick mini-lessons for high school students designed to spark an interest in AI, developed by the AI4ALL Open Learning team.
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 school or 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 into AI for young people who are part of groups that have been historically excluded from 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, Black, Hispanic/Latinx, Indigenous, and Southeast Asian students, and low-income or first-generation students to apply. You can learn more about grade level requirements for each program here.
How much do AI4ALL Summer Programs cost?
AI4ALL Summer Program costs are available on each program’s website, which you can access from the Summer Programs page. 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 on with each of our university partners.
When are you coming to my country/school?
The AI4ALL Summer Programs team currently partners with 16 universities across the US and Canada, and we will expand to additional sites in the future. Because of the highly specialized and intensive nature of our summer programs, we typically 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.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, AI4ALL is focused on supporting our existing partnerships and evaluating the landscape of university program expansion. We are committed to being responsive as the pandemic continues to evolve.
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 or community-based organization. Free access to the curriculum and facilitator guides are 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 Summer 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. Please note that during the Covid-19 pandemic, AI4ALL is focused on supporting our existing partnerships and evaluating the landscape of university program expansion. We are committed to being responsive as the pandemic continues to evolve. We will respond to new university partner applications received during this time as our partnership capacity increases.
Will 2021 AI4ALL Summer Programs be virtual? What is the virtual program experience like?
Though AI4ALL Summer Programs are traditionally held in person, during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have transitioned our programs to be held online. All 2021 Summer Programs will be virtual, despite changing guidance from the CDC. Application and program information for each site will be added to the Summer Programs webpage as program details are confirmed. To sign up for occasional emailed updates about Summer Programs, go here.
To read more about the 2020 online Summer Program experience check out our blog post here. Please note that while each program adheres 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.
How can I get more information about a specific AI4ALL Summer Program?
Please contact each site for specific program details and questions. Program websites for each site are linked from the Summer Programs webpage.
Open Learning Program
How can I get access to AI4ALL Open Learning?
AI4ALL Open Learning expands access to AI education to all high-school students through free curriculum, teaching resources, and a Teacher Community for educators of all backgrounds. All curriculum is approachable to people without math or coding backgrounds. You can access a sample of the free curriculum and extensive facilitation guides here. To get access to the full curriculum, please apply to join the AI4ALL Open Learning Teacher Community here.
Who is AI4ALL Open Learning for?
AI4ALL Open Learning is for high-school teachers ready to bring AI to students who have been historically excluded from tech fields. We welcome educators of all disciplines who are interested in expanding access to AI education in community with other educators. Educators interested in bringing Open Learning to their classroom are encouraged to join the Teacher Community.
What is the Open Learning Teacher Community?
The Open Learning Teacher Community is a free online forum where teachers can ask questions, share resources and curriculum modifications, and celebrate classroom highlights. By joining the Teacher Community, educators gain access to the full 65+ hours of AI4ALL Open Learning curriculum, detailed teaching guides, and additional resources like online engagement strategies, PD, and Teacher Meetups. To join the AI4ALL Open Learning Teacher Community, complete the short survey here.
What kind of curriculum is available through Open Learning?
Over 65 hours of free AI curriculum is available through Open Learning. Educators can teach Bytes of AI mini-lessons for 1-2 hours or 5-10 hours of content, or the full ExploreAI or Sentiment Analysis curricula for 5-30 hours of content. The curriculum is flexible so you can teach what works well for your setting, and skip what does not. Open Learning also provides detailed teaching guides so you can teach with minimal prep time. The curriculum is written for high school classrooms and can be implemented in any subject–English, Social Studies, Computer Science, Career Technical Education, etc., or in other educational settings. To learn more about the AI4ALL Open Learning curriculum, please go here.
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 students who have been historically excluded from AI. The curricula for both programs are project-focused, social good-focused, and approachable. AI4ALL Open Learning is designed to be used by teachers in high school classrooms, clubs, or workshops.
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. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Summer Programs are being held virtually by the same staff of professors and graduate students that participants would be learning from if the program were happening in person.
AI4ALL Open Learning is designed to be a resource for teachers who would like to teach AI to high school students. AI4ALL Summer Programs is a program for high school students to learn about AI. No prior AI experience is required or expected for either program. Learn more about Open Learning here and Summer Programs here.
What is AI4ALL College Pathways?
College Pathways is an initiative designed to spark interest and support persistence in artificial intelligence for undergraduate students. The program offerings are co-hosted with universities and connect participants with interdisciplinary AI education, career-readiness resources, and a supportive on-campus peer community. College Pathways is designed to work in tandem with AI academic courses offered by participants’ universities.
How does AI4ALL College Pathways work? Do students need coding experience to participate?
College Pathways comprises two parts: Discover AI and Apply AI.
Discover AI – An intensive workshop for college students not already on an AI academic path to introduce them to the field, get them excited about AI, and encourage them to take the next step in their academic path in AI. Discover AI is meant to spark interest in AI among students who have limited or no exposure to computer science (CS) coursework or who are taking a CS course but are not CS majors. The curriculum is interdisciplinary and exposes students to many applications of AI across a variety of fields. No prior coding experience is needed to complete the program.
Apply AI – A group that gives students who are on an AI academic path an opportunity to build community, as well as a forum to engage with more challenging AI projects, and to develop tangible products to add to their portfolio for internship/job applications. As students develop their skills, coding may be required to complete projects and build portfolios.
How do I get involved?
For universities: Thank you for your interest in AI4ALL College Pathways! We are currently piloting programs with select university partners around the US. AI4ALL College Pathways is meant to complement AI academic courses available on university campuses while focusing on the social impacts and interdisciplinary potential of AI. We are thus interested in partnering with computer science majors and engineering departments, as well as programs outside the scope of engineering, like the social sciences. Please complete this form if you’d like us to consider your university as we expand our partnerships.
For undergraduate students: If you are a college student interested in participating in Discover AI or Campus Chapters, please join our email list to stay updated on new campus partnerships and initiatives. Applications to participate in Discover AI will be offered through universities once new partnerships are launched.
Will College Pathways programs be happening in person?
Due to challenges presented by Covid-19, currently scheduled College Pathways programs will be held online. As universities reopen, programs will be offered in person when it is safe to do so. The health and safety of our community is our priority and we are working closely with our university partners to develop plans that reflect their needs. We understand the concerns surrounding Covid-19 and are committed to being responsive as this situation evolves.