NextGen AI Festival

The NextGen AI Festival serves to increase diversity and inclusion in Artificial Intelligence.

Our lives are becoming more aided and accommodated by a combination of science and many different technologies working together to enable computers to act and learn with human-like levels of intelligence. BooM! The world is changing in front of our eyes. Today’s innovations and prodigious levels of technology enablers have contributed to artificial intelligence (AI) becoming a more mainstream activity. AI aided tools are becoming more accessible and we are all becoming more enthralled by it. The Covid-19 pandemic has drawn everyone’s attention to how science and AI, when put together, make the impossible possible. We have all witnessed how AI and genomics reduce the time scales for scientific discovery and make precision medicine a reality.

Despite a surge of AI integration into user facing technology, public understanding of these technologies is still often rudimentary. The actuality is that consumers are adopting AI technology without understanding the real impact it could be having on their lives. At the same time, AI is being implemented by teams and organisations who still do not fully comprehend its potential.

To offset some of the potentially negative impacts of AI on society many discussions about ‘ethics’ are taking centre stage. But as the focus on AI bias and ethics grows, the scope of inquiry should clearly expand to consider not only how AI tools can be biased technically, but how they are shaped by the environments in which they are built and the people who build them. By integrating these concerns, we can develop a more accurate understanding of how AI can be developed and employed in ways that are fair and just, and how we might be able to ensure both.

Why do we need it?

There is a clear need for a better understanding of these developments from the perspectives of both learners, i.e. users and designers. In particular, we need to learn what the Next Generation wants from the world. The voices of the NextGen are what will create and form our future.

The Next Generation needs to become AI literate to fully comprehend the ways in which AI transforms the way that we communicate, work, and live with each other and with machines. With this in mind the NextGen AI Festival aims to connect today’s tech businesses that are implementing AI and the NextGen of AI users and future developers to help better understand:

  • what competencies users need in order to effectively interact with and critically evaluate AI and
  • how to design learner-centred AI technologies that foster increased user understanding of AI

Our Aim

The NextGen AI Festival aims to democratise AI and create opportunities for underrepresented young talent through a combination of workshops, mentoring, hackathons and networking opportunities to give young people aged 15-19 early exposure to AI for social good and positive impact.

The NextGen AI Festival is designed to serve ambitious high-school students who are open to learning. We will run workshops that will introduce the students to the technologies behind AI such as machine learning, deep learning, neural networks, and algorithms. The hackathons will provide workout spaces for searching and further expanding acquired AI skills and knowledge. Mentored by practitioners from partnering companies and organisations and working in a team, each student will be able to implement the knowledge and ideas they have gained to provide AI driven solutions to real-world challenges. The successful solutions will be showcased and the winning teams will be provided with an opportunity to use their skills in a real-world working environment. They will be offered work experience summer break placements provided by our partnering companies and organisations. This will provide a valuable experience of different aspects and insights into what it takes to run a successful data driven business.