Artificial Intelligence (AI) is rapidly becoming a part of daily life for humans–just look at self-driving vehicles and humanoid robots such as Sophia, who was even granted Saudi Arabian citizenship last year. As one of the most advanced technologies all over the world, AI has become a leading topic of research in the field of technology.

The WholeRen Artificial Intelligence Workshop aimed to provide students the opportunity to learn and explore AI in-depth. During the 3-week workshop, students developed a basic knowledge of Calypso with the help of Dr. Touretzky in order to apply their creative ideas to Cozmo robot technology. At the last day of this workshop, WholeRen Education held a showcase at its headquarters in Pittsburgh, where students presented and showed their innovative AI projects. This kind of activity encouraged students to practice what they learned, transforming their ideas into real life and giving them the chance to discover how science and technology can affect the world today.

Learning about programming via traditional classroom lectures could easily become tedious for young learners if it were the sole component of information delivery. Thus, the WholeRen AI Workshop concentrated on creating an enjoyable and educational learning atmosphere. Using a fun, interactive teaching method that required hands-on participation, students were provided opportunities to learn about advanced robotic techniques, research directions, and the Calypso programming system.

Students presented their final projects to Dr. Touretzky and the WholeRen staff confidently and passionately at the end of the workshop. They mulled over real-life issues and created ingenious solutions using AI to improve current situations while solving challenging, real-world problems using Calypso. After three weeks of training, students’ creativity, imagination, critical thinking skills, and manipulative ability were fully explored and developed.

One of the students, an environmentalist, used his Cozmo robot to assist in waste sorting and recycling systems; others were concerned about medical issues within intensive care units so they used their Cozmo robot to watch over patients 24-7. Their Cozmo robot was programmed to alert attending doctors of irregular heartbeats; yet another team used their Cozmo robot to monitor and control wildfires. In short, the WholeRen AI Workshop trained students to think critically by broadening students’ ways of observing and changing their world.

In summary, the WholeRen AI Workshop not only helped students learn the basics of Calypso but also encouraged the students to push boundaries to solve tough issues that they perceived to affect their world via the usage of AI. As a leading education provider, WholeRen always maintains a careful watch on current trends, topics, and innovations in the field of education–recognizing AI advancement is at the forefront. With an eye to continuing collaborations with Carnegie Mellon University, WholeRen Education will look to create more workshops and programs to provide opportunities for students to experience and learn more advanced theories and applications.