Written by: Reagan Flowers, Ph.D.
It’s easy to think of artificial intelligence (AI) as a technology that is decades away from everyday use. Many people may also be aware of current applications, like chatbots on websites. However, AI is being implemented in a wide variety of industries. Its use will only continue to grow, and we must incorporate this technology into the K-12 STEM curriculum now. AI is so important that it is the focus of our current C-STEM Challenge.
How Artificial Intelligence is Being Used Now
First, let’s talk about AI is currently being used. AI is a broad category that includes any application where a computer performs a task that would traditionally require human thinking. This type of thinking involves much more than robots performing human jobs like movies depict.
Let’s look at a few examples where AI is already changing the future, starting with something you might use daily — voice search. Voice-activated assistants are now everywhere — from Siri on your phone to Alexa in your home. More than 3 billion people globally now use voice search, which will hit nearly 16 billion by 2023.
Self-driving cars have long been a possibility, and now they are being developed and tested. Here in Houston, Domino’s is testing delivery with self-driving vehicles. In healthcare, AI is playing a role in diagnosing conditions. Warehouses are using AI to manage inventory, and farmers can now monitor their crops with drones.
With AI opening up so many possibilities now, imagine what will be possible by the time our K-12 students enter the workforce. They must get access to AI education early on, so they will build those skills for their future careers. Even if they do not pursue STEM, these technologies will drive industries, and they will need to have at least a basic understanding. Read more…