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Artificial intelligence

The field of artificial intelligence (AI) is fast becoming an integral part of our daily lives, reshaping how we work, learn, and interact with the world. A high-quality computing education can provide a rounded knowledge of the principles, applications, risks, and benefits it offers.

While AI pushes the boundaries of computer science, it relies on:

  • skilful and efficient programming
  • solving problems, making computational thinking a foundational requirement and opening new ethical challenges for learners to navigate to maintain safety and secure equity of opportunity
  • computation - running on powerful hardware, for which applying an understanding of computer systems and networks can hugely improve performance

In a fast-changing global workplace, the UK is well-placed to capitalise on AI career opportunities, with many world-leading organisations based here. Students need your help to stay informed, gain future-ready skills and broaden their horizons – while building subject knowledge to meet their immediate challenges.

Machine Learning and AI

Neural networks, regression models, bias, variance, supervised and unsupervised learning - AI is filled with concepts and terminology that are new to many.

Our online course, Introduction to Machine Learning and AI, will give you a solid understanding of a broad range of topics in AI. From exploring what it can and cannot (yet!) do, to learning about the machine learning process and demystifying the hot topic of generative AI, this course will support you to develop a rounded understanding of the fundamentals and to build different AI applications.

Careers in AI

“There are so many different avenues and applications with AI, like using it to help identify diseases or to diagnose if someone has pneumonia. It’s not limited to healthcare; there are ways to use it in a wider business sense as well.” Alana Smith, Data Science and AI master's student

AI is opening new career opportunities that many young people will aspire to follow. By requesting support from STEM Ambassador volunteers, who give their time to share their experiences and knowledge with young people, you can host an industry expert in your classroom from sectors including data science, software development, natural language interfaces, business intelligence and UX design.

Ethics and AI

“A lot of my focus is around that and it is a big interest of mine to focus on how we make tech that is ethically good. How do we make products that actually are helping people and don’t have bad societal consequences? I think in recent years we’ve seen things around how social media has been using our data and that sparked my interest in the area of AI and ethics.” Aleena Baig, Software Engineer

Whether or not a young person goes on to work in a related field, AI will impact their lives in the immediate and long term. They need to be able to understand and challenge ethical issues surrounding AI to minimise its harmful effects and maximize its benefits. Computing lessons are an ideal time to discuss these issues, and our professional development courses can help you confidently lead debate and group activities that inspire and engage young people.

“When I saw that there was a huge variety of real-world applications, I thought it would be interesting to see how AI techniques could be used to understand climate change better.” Risa Ueno, PhD student

Foundational subject knowledge

Computer science knowledge is vital in AI, and we have a wide range of support to facilitate your school.

Teachers looking to develop or refresh their computer science knowledge can access the Secondary subject knowledge certificate, which covers the curriculum at key stage 3 and GCSE. For those looking to further their classroom skills to inspire students, our Secondary computing certificate is the perfect follow-on, and both are free to participate in for teachers in state-funded schools.

You can also utilise our high-quality, free range of resources. Teach Computing Curriculum includes introductory coverage of artificial intelligence for key stage 3, and you will find a more expansive vision of an AI curriculum in our blog. Isaac Computer Science is our free online platform for computer science teachers and students, boosting subject knowledge at GCSE and A level. Fundamental topics related to AI include programming, computer systems, algorithms and, importantly, consideration of the impacts of digital technology.