Robot artist teaches girls about artificial intelligence
U4 girls were blown away with the opportunity to explore artificial intelligence and machine learning while working with an innovative robot artist.
On Tuesday 12th November, the School welcomed Ai-Da, the world’s first ultra-realistic robot artist, for an afternoon devoted to actively and critically scrutinising the potential and limitations of artificial intelligence. The sessions asked girls to question the relationship between AI and issues such as authorship, ethics, creativity, empathy and learning.
Ai-Da has been created by Headington parent Aidan Meller and has attracted huge amounts of interest in the scientific and artistic community. You can read more about Ai-Da here.
Tuesday’s workshop was a landmark event in the School’s wider creative thinking initiative. It follows a series of internal events encouraging girls to work across different subjects to develop the uniquely human skills of collaboration, curiosity and divergent thinking – last year girls drew upon Science and Art skills to design, construct and test model planes, while the challenge to develop plans for a ‘space hotel’ is becoming a regular annual enrichment activity. The School broke ground this summer on a Creativity and Innovation Centre, the Hive, which is due to open in September 2021. The new centre is set to be a hub for knowledge exchange through cross-curricular learning with an emphasis on sustainability, technology and enterprise and embodies the School’s approach to these inter-linked skills.
One girl said: “I really liked it I did however make me wonder what’s next for AI. I was slightly creeped out when I first saw Ai-Da however by the time I left I really liked Ai-Da. The questions that were raised in the different activities challenged me.”
Another added: “I thought more about the future of AI and how it will affect my later life and jobs, whereas I originally thought that AI would not move into the creative side of jobs it challenged what jobs I thought would be taken over by AI.”
Headington School Director of Art Mrs Lacey Davies said: “Headington School is acutely aware of the shifting tide in education. Digital technologies and the rise of artificial intelligence are already transforming the world of work for future generations and as such, it is also beginning to shape the landscape of education.
“Seizing the challenge, Headington School is positioning itself to capitalise on this movement in education by developing the next level of creative thinking, adaptability and independence, preparing our students for the skills of tomorrow.”