Machine learning for kids: Why introduce young learners to AI?

By James Robinson. Posted

Although artificial intelligence (AI) is a developing field, its applications are all around us and increasingly part of our everyday lives. This week, James and Carrie Anne explore why educators should introduce even their young learners to the principles of AI, and they explore some activities and experiences to develop learners' understanding. Not only are many learners likely to use or even develop AI as part of their future careers, but they should all understand the principles, benefits, and risks associated with the technology.


We're fortunate this week to be joined by two fantastic guests who share their experiences in educating young learners about AI and machine learning (ML):

  • Dale Lane is a software developer, machine learning expert, and author of the Machine Learning for Kids resources, a collection of project-based activities to support young learners in developing their understanding of machine learning.
  • Nic Hughes, a primary teacher, Raspberry Pi Certified Educator, and computing consultant who’s recently been teaching his learners about ML and AI.
Carrie Anne Philbin.
Carrie Anne Philbin, MBE, is a computing educator, YouTuber, author, and host of the Hello World podcast.
James Robinson.
James Robinson is a computing educator, trainer, and host of the Hello World podcast.
Dale Lane.
Dale Lane is a software developer, machine learning expert, and author of the *Machine Learning for Kids* resources.
Nic Hughes
Nic Hughes is a primary teacher, Raspberry Pi Certified Educator, and computing consultant.

Together, we discuss the AI applications that our younger learners are likely to experience, including smart speakers and content recommendation systems. We explore some activities that can support learners in understanding the key concepts of AI, including catagorisation activities, games, and home automation. We also address the importance of the training data used in AI applications and the real-world implications of introducing bias into a system. Finally, we highlight the opportunities within this topic for rich discussions around the social and ethical implications of AI and how we balance the risks and benefits.

For more insights into teaching and learning from classrooms all around the world, check out and subscribe to Hello World magazine. If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and leave a five-star review wherever you get your podcasts.

We’ll be back in two weeks time with our next episode, where we'll ask the question: "What does equity have to do with computing?"

You can get in touch with your questions or comments about the current episode at or @helloworld_edu on Twitter.

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