How does a computer “learn” and how can this process be exploited? Can artificial intelligence do art? Children are inquisitive and often ask tricky questions. They want to understand the world they live in, a world which is becoming increasingly digitized. At the “kids’ uni” in Hagenberg, Software Competence Center Hagenberg (SCCH) took young researchers on a digital journey, providing many answers, especially to questions about artificial intelligence, in a way the children could understand.

Eleven girls aged ten to twelve visited us at the kids’ uni. They had a lot to listen to, see and be amazed by when they saw how it worked!

Tomorrow’s technology through the eyes of a child
What is artificial intelligence (AI) and what can it do? Where is it already part and parcel of everyday life? And how exactly does a computer “learn”?

Clara Dacho, researcher and head data scientist at SCCH, and Sabrina Luftensteiner, researcher and data scientist, took the young researchers by the hand – literally – for one morning, giving them insights into the world of tomorrow’s technologies and the way projects with partner companies and research partners come about that not only deal with fascinating subjects but also shape the future.

“AI in particular is a technology of the future that will have an enormous influence on many aspects of our daily lives over the coming decades,” says Clara Dacho, commending the kids’ uni. “That’s why it’s important to arouse curiosity and a fascination for research in children.”

Artificial intelligence you can touch
The children had the chance to test an AI-based face or person recognition system, thereby training their first neural network. A demonstrator that correctly recognizes objects or animals with the aid of artificial intelligence showed how AI works in practice.

“It is always amazing and rewarding to see what clear perspectives children have when they look at tomorrow’s world,” says Sabrina Luftensteiner.

Bild ©SCCH