Hello, Henry here! Happy High-Tech Highlight Day. Today’s highlight is something big, something I’ll undoubtedly come back to again and again because it promises to radically change everything about our lives and the future of humanity in so many ways:
AI. Artificial Intelligence.
One way to think of AI is it’s like a child with humans as the parents. Our computers used to only follow a single set of explicit instructions each time they tried something. Now, with advancements in machine learning, AI can recognize patterns and infer things. And with humanity’s help in this process of gaining knowledge, it will soon be able to surpass its teachers and accomplish so much more.
But not like this…
AI won’t necessarily become our antagonists, but rather our partners – offering behind-the-scenes enhancements. With AI, we’ll become augmented humans, using our former student AI’s help to improve our own lives.
Things are happening pretty quickly on the AI front. Check out these two crazy-sounding recent advancements:
AI can sense people through walls. Which means we will eventually be like Superman.
AI can identify genetic disorders by simply looking at a face. Which means we will eventually be like psychics or fortune-tellers.
As libraries, we can do a lot to help prepare our communities for this huge change and what’s going on with our still-developing children, AI. Here are a few free resources and tools I recently learned about that you can access via your browser or a mobile app that help showcase machine learning.
Evolution – browser-based tool with an app as well: “Use joints, bones and muscles to build creatures that are only limited by your imagination. Watch how the combination of a neural network and a genetic algorithm can enable your creatures to “learn” and improve at their given tasks all on their own.“
SeeingAI – Load this free app from Microsoft on your phone and point your camera to people and things. An AI will attempt to report what it sees. Give your own feedback on its accuracy and the AI learns!
Quick Draw – This browser-based game from Google gives you prompts to draw different things, but what you are actually doing is contributing to the AI’s pattern recognition skills. Over time, it will be better and better at associating a visual drawing with a particular concept.
You can then pair QuickDraw with another cool tool from Google: AutoDraw. Here you can actually start to draw something and the same AI that was honed through QuickDraw starts to suggest what you might be trying to depict. If you ever need an icon or quick representative graphic for something, feel free to use the AI’s guesses as your own.
Creative Help – Start typing a story in this browser-based tool, then see what the AI does to continue the story with another sentence. Could be useful in the creative process.
Microsoft Translator – Recently released by Microsoft for free, this app is loaded with multiple languages. You can have translated conversation without having to continually change the language input settings; the AI does it automatically. This is great in classrooms: Just share a code and have up to 100 students read what you say, as you say it, translated into whatever language the individual student has set it to.