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Computer Education: Machine Learning - AI for Kids

Computer Education: Machine Learning - AI for Kids

Reading time: 4 minutes
You've probably heard of artificial intelligence, but you might not know exactly what it means. AI is a type of computer science that involves computers making decisions that help solve problems. When AI is used for a product, machine learning has probably happened; this is when computers use data to learn and make predictions and decisions.

History of AI

Back in 1950, Alan Turing devised a concept for thinking machines that were capable of reasoning on a human level. Turing created a test that became known as the Turing Test, which specified that computers had to be able to complete reasoning puzzles as well as people could to be considered to be "thinking."
  • John McCarthy was the first person to use the term "artificial intelligence" when referring to machines that could think independently.
  • The current definition of AI refers to machines that respond to stimulation consistently and with traditional responses from people while showing a human ability to contemplate, judge, and form intentions.

Types of Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence can be divided into two general types. Narrow AI includes the computers in use today, which people use for specific tasks but which have not been programmed specifically for these tasks. General AI includes the adaptable intellect that is like the intellect that humans have. These abilities could include learning things like how to bake bread, change a tire, or use a computer program.
  • Examples of narrow AI include speech and language recognition apps and self-driving cars.
  • General AI is often the type of AI that's depicted in science fiction movies, and some scientists are trying to find ways to make this type of AI a reality.

How Artificial Intelligence Impacts Daily Life

The goal of artificial intelligence is usually to replicate human intelligence in computers. Artificial intelligence can solve both big and small problems. AI can be used for apps, and it can help with content recommendations. AI can also be used to help with disaster relief, to protect endangered animals, and with diagnoses of diseases.
  • AI can be used in health care to design treatment options for patients, determine drug dosages, and perform some surgical procedures.
  • AI is used for self-driving cars, with the on-board computer being able to weigh the consequences of possible actions and take the correct actions to prevent car crashes or minimize their effects.
  • Banks may also use AI as they monitor banking activities by customers, which can help them to prevent fraud.

What Is Machine Learning?

Machine learning is a subset of artificial intelligence that involves a computer receiving large amounts of data and then using it to complete a specific job or task. Neural networks are an important part of machine learning. Neural networks process data, learning how to perform specific tasks.
  • Deep learning is a subset of machine learning in which neural networks expand to include many layers that process data.
  • Powerful GPU clusters are making it possible to train systems to perform machine learning.

Subsets of Machine Learning

Machine learning can be divided into two categories: supervised and unsupervised learning. Supervised learning uses data and examples to teach a machine how to do a task. Unsupervised learning uses algorithms to identify data patterns, which then help a machine perform a task.
  • An example of supervised learning would be using data to highlight specific features, perhaps in photos.
  • An example of unsupervised learning would be sorting items according to a specific number or size.


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