Takeaways from “Webinar: Inspiring Young People to Make a Better Tomorrow with AI”

Contributor: Bauhinia Lee (Founder & Impact Venture Builder, Anima Ventures)

Artificial intelligence has acted as one of the main driving forces for technology innovation. How can we get young people motivated to learn AI and make use of this technology to unlock a better future? How could we facilitate an environment to conduct AI for good projects?

On 26 May 2022, I participated in the webinar “Inspiring Young People to Make a Better Tomorrow with AI” held by MakerBay Foundation to learn about some possible ways to encourage the youth to learn AI. It was a real delight to have Ms Tara Chklovski (Founder & CEO of Technovation) and Ms Samira Khan (Former Director, AI & Sustainability, Microsoft) to be the guest speakers. I am deeply inspired and here are some key takeaways from the webinar.

Problem-solving is the core to fully utilize AI

The World Economic Forum placed ‘problem-solving’ as the #1 skill in our future of work for a reason. It is the basis for how we build tools, services, and products towards solving problems in our environment, life, and work. AI & Tech is not simply a ‘skills stack’ because it is not the end goal and neither is it sufficient in itself.

For young people to stick with learning AI, we need hands-on and project-based experience, where they get the opportunity to solve actual problems. They get to observe, be creative, and use their voice to solve problems around them.

Deciding on the problems to be tackled with AI based on your own values and purpose

Values and purpose drive our actions. Problems around the world, in our communities, and in our lives are complex, so we need to understand and identify our own sense of purpose in order to tackle such problems. So is ‘money’ at the top of this pyramid when we build new things? Or should we reevaluate our values system? When there is a strong sense of self and purpose found in solving a problem, something that is bigger than yourself and not mostly money-driven, there is more patience to persist through it.

The paramount role of leaders in empowering young people

Leaders, who have the capital, and the networks, should lead from the top in empowering young people to come up with solutions that actually have real-world impact. How? By driving the capital there! Where the money goes, things get built. Decision-makers are change-makers and cultural-drivers. Impact and Return on Investment (ROI) do not have to be separated from business & tech. They can co-exist and integrate well into each other. And how do we raise the bar for our leaders? This goes back to reevaluating our own values system. 

To sum up, values and purpose sit at the core of everything that we do and how we perceive our society. To motivate young people to tap into the power of AI, it is essential to take their passion into account for establishing an everlasting sense of motivation. Of course, it is not only leaders who can make such an impact, as change-makers can come from every level – do YOU care enough to drive change? It is something to ask ourselves if we care to reflect and make a difference.

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Ms. Angie Zhou

Education Specialist

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Angie Zhou is an Education Specialist at MIT App Inventor. She was the founder and CEO of Dreams Come True in Shenzhen, where she developed online coding courses for kids. She also has previous curriculum development, teaching and staff training experience at First Code Academy in Hong Kong.