MIT Responsible AI for Social Empowerment and Education (RAISE) recently held its second annual Day of AI, with two flagship local events. The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate hosted a human rights and data policy-focused event, which was streamed globally. Dearborn STEM Academy in Massachusetts also hosted a student workshop in partnership with Amazon Future Engineer. Participation in the Day of AI has more than doubled since its inaugural year, with over 8,000 registrations from all 50 U.S. states and 108 countries in 2023.
The Day of AI is a free curriculum designed by researchers at MIT RAISE to teach kids of all ages and backgrounds the basics and responsible use of artificial intelligence. This year, educators had the flexibility to run the curriculum at any time and in any increments they chose. The curriculum included five new modules that addressed current topics such as ChatGPT in School, Teachable Machines, AI and Social Media, Data Science and Me, and more. Additionally, collaboration with the International Society for Technology in Education introduced modules for early elementary students. Educators from around the world shared photos, videos, and stories of their students’ engagement, expressing excitement and relief over the accessible lessons.
Professor Cynthia Breazeal, director of RAISE and dean for digital learning at MIT, said, “It’s been a year of extraordinary advancements in AI, and with that comes necessary conversations and concerns about who and what this technology is for. With our Day of AI events, we want to celebrate the teachers and students who are ensuring that AI is accessible to everyone.”
During the global Day of AI celebration, which took place on May 18, 2023, a local event focused on human rights and data policy was held at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate. Various speakers, including representatives from the City of Boston, Liberty Mutual, and MIT, discussed the benefits and challenges of AI education. MIT President Sally Kornbluth emphasized the potential of AI while also highlighting the need for ethical considerations to ensure it doesn’t cause harm to individuals or society as a whole.
The event speakers shared their insights on using AI to improve city life in ways that are equitable, accessible, and delightful. They also stressed the importance of inclusive AI development to mitigate biases. A discussion on government policy and its influence on technology development and usage was led by Marc Aidinoff, former White House Office of Science and Technology Policy chief of staff. Students from Warren Prescott Middle School and New Mission High School engaged in activities to explore the potential benefits and concerns of AI in areas such as data privacy, learning deficits, social media addiction, job displacement, and propaganda.
In another local event, held at the Dearborn STEM Academy in collaboration with Amazon Future Engineer, students used MIT App Inventor to learn about voice AI through a hands-on activity. Principal Darlene Marcano expressed the importance of exposing students to diverse experiences, especially for those interested in careers as computer scientists and engineers. Professor Cynthia Breazeal encouraged students to have an informed voice in shaping the use of AI in society and highlighted their ability to make a positive impact on the world and their community.
Amazon, as a partner in the event, emphasized its commitment to STEM and AI education by donating a $25,000 Innovation and Early College Pathways Program Grant to the Boston Public School system. The Day of AI program also gained traction in Australia, where educators developed their own regionally specific curriculum. With an estimated need for 161,000 AI professionals in Australia by 2030, the Day of AI Australia project reached 85,000 students at over 400 secondary schools, sparking curiosity and interest in AI among the next generation of experts.
The Day of AI program continues to make strides in AI education, empowering students and educators to understand and responsibly use artificial intelligence.