News  |    |  May 15, 2018

AAAI Launches “AI for K-12” Initiative in Collaboration with the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) and AI4All

Press Release. The Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) and the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) have formed a joint working group to develop national guidelines for teaching K-12 students about artificial intelligence. Inspired by CSTA’s national standards for K-12 computing education, the “AI for K-12” guidelines will define what students in each grade band should know about artificial intelligence, machine learning, and robotics. The working group will also create an online resource directory where teachers can find AI-related videos, demo software, and activity descriptions they can incorporate into their lesson plans.

“There is huge public interest in AI right now” said Professor David Touretzky, an AI researcher at Carnegie Mellon University who is leading the working group. “Adults are excited by the prospect of self-driving cars and intelligent assistants, but also apprehensive about the impact of these technologies on future employment. It’s important that our children be given accurate information about AI so they can understand this technology that is reshaping our lives.”

Dr. Fred G. Martin, chair of the board of directors of CSTA and an Associate Dean at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, said: “Computer science teachers are eager to discuss AI with their students, but may not be that familiar with the subject. The guidelines and resources directory will be constructed by working educators in partnership with AI researchers so that teachers get the support they want.” Deborah Seehorn, cochair of the CSTA Standards Task Force said, “I am delighted to be working on this initiative. The topics of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and robotics are of great interest to our K-12 students, and the guidelines and resources will be extremely helpful to our K-12 educators.”

Also joining the effort is AI4All, a nonprofit that works to increase diversity and inclusion in artificial intelligence. AI4All creates pipelines for underrepresented talent through AI education, outreach and mentorship programs around North America in collaboration with leading AI research institutions and companies. AI4ALL’s CEO Tess Posner said “AI4All is looking forward to participating in the working group, and to make our AI curriculum for high school students more widely available through this effort.”

AAAI President Dr. Subbarao Kambhampati of Arizona State University and incoming President Dr. Yolanda Gil of the University of Southern California’s Information Sciences Institute jointly announced that a workshop led by the “AI for K-12” working group will take place in Washington DC in October as part of the association’s annual Fall Symposium Series. “As the leading professional organization for AI researchers and practitioners, AAAI looks forward to this dialog between AI experts and the educators who will be helping future generations build meaningful, productive lives in the company of intelligent machines,” they said.

For more information, contact ai4k12@aaai.org.

About the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence

Founded in 1979, the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) (formerly the American Association for Artificial Intelligence) is a nonprofit scientific society devoted to advancing the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines. AAAI aims to promote research in, and responsible use of, artificial intelligence, and to increase public understanding of the field. For more information, see http://www.aaai.org.