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On a rainy Saturday, a group of “future innovators” arrived at IBM Research-China. The 40 young students, selected from a pool of nearly 200 applicants, spent the day interacting with and exploring some of IBM Research’s advanced AI technologies.
We’ve been advancing cutting-edge technologies at our China lab for more than two decades. This event, “AI for Kids,” co-organized with the IEEE Beijing Section Women in Engineering Affinity Group, aimed to spread AI knowledge and encourage children to explore science. During the two-hour visit, our young guests learned about AI and trained their first AI models with the help of our scientists.
In the AI class session of the event, our researchers guided kids to train their first AI models. Kids prepared their datasets (1,500 photos of cats and dogs), chose their AI models and taught machines to recognize their favorite pets from thousands of animal images successfully, showing that AI technologies can be understood and used by kids based on the deep learning platforms and tools developed by our scientists.
What we did not expect is that many of them did some homework before class; some did it so well that even our scientists were surprised by their original and unique interpretation of AI. Our scientists explained to our guests that besides these interesting applications, AI can be applied to various industries to solve real-world problems.
IBM Research-China is dedicated to building a broad AI ecosystem and fostering a new generation of scientists and innovators. Along this path, as corporate citizens, we have a strong commitment to social responsibility and services for our community. This session was the first of a series of new commitments to our schedule for 2018. We‘re collaborating with major Chinese universities for joint research and talent incubation in hopes of doing our part in future innovation.
At the end of the visit, a little girl beamed at her mother and said: “I really liked today’s science class. It is awesome and so much fun! Can I come again?”