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Scienteens Lab launches art and AI workshops


Scienteens Lab launches art and AI workshops

Practice

Showing the extent to which artificial intelligence requires creativity, a new series of workshops expands the Scienteens Lab’s offer to computer science

Showing the extent to which artificial intelligence requires creativity, a new series of workshops expands the Scienteens Lab’s offer to computer science

Using AI to Create Art in Scienteens Lab’s Latest Workshop

Photo credit: Lucie Debroux, Scienteens Lab

Humans are generally wary of artificial intelligence that takes away their jobs or takes over their lives. But AI is increasingly playing a central role in scientific research at the University of Luxembourg, especially in areas such as cancer and Parkinson’s disease.

“Computers are everywhere. We need it for science and the humanities, and AI specialists can help researchers process the data to better understand it, ”explains Régine Poussin, who is leading a new three-hour workshop on art and AI for Scienteens Lab, an extracurricular learning center of the University of Luxembourg.

The workshop, which integrates the field of programming and artificial intelligence, is the first in a series that will extend Scienteens’ offering to high school students.

The Art and AI workshop, given simultaneously in French and English, examines the integration of smart technologies into our daily lives. Students learn to understand the science behind these devices to help them use the technology confidently and securely.

“Students learn interactively and see how AI can be used to create works of art. They learn to design unplugged AI and use computer programming to produce designs, ”said Poussin. “Working with images makes it easy to understand the power of computational methods, giving teens the chance to have fun exploring the endless possibilities. “

Creative use of data

Children also learn that data is not worthless, but must be collected in the right way. It can start with the data that an elevator needs to get you to the right floor. This includes recognizing who you are, what floor you are on (and therefore where your house is) and what you hold – laundry or trash means you have to go to the basement.

Poussin points out that the data is worth a lot, citing the incomes of top YouTubers, footballers, pop stars and computer scientists like Elon Musk.

“AI can make art. It’s basic coding. The mouse becomes the brush and the coding is the paint. I want to show young people that you have to be creative to be a computer scientist. In fact, research shows that you are using the same part of the brain that you use to paint or create music, ”says Poussin.

Skills needed in all areas

“IT can open up many areas. You can go anywhere with this skill, not just banking and IT, ”says Poussin. Students in the workshops see how it is used for health through Neuralink and that open AI can research and write articles like a journalist. “The ultimate goal of computing is to create an artificial brain that acts like a human brain.”


Getting girls to unleash their computer skills

Getting girls to unleash their computer skills

Photo: Lucie Debroux, Scienteens Laboratory

It also discusses views that make many people afraid of AI technology, for example whether it is possible to create the AI ​​shown in movies like “2001 A Space Odyssey”, “Ex Machina “or” War Games “. The technology is unlikely to be able to fit into a human body or be advanced enough to detect when a human is in danger.

“Data scientists, analysts and engineers are the people who prepare the data, not the computers. AI has no intuition, feelings, or the ability to rely on experience like humans. He tries to find a solution, but he does not always succeed, say for example if he rejects or accepts a loan application. It’s up to the data scientist to put it into context, ”explains Christian Lucius, teacher at Lycée Michel Lucius who helps English speakers in the workshop. “We can train a computer, but it doesn’t know what it is learning. We need to help them make decisions with data.

This becomes evident when Poussin uses her photo to see if a computer program can identify her age. The project was undertaken by teenagers who scanned photos of their friends, so unsurprisingly the AI ​​decides that Poussin must be a young adult.

Encourage girls in computer science

The workshops are part of the “Becoming computer scientist” project, and are supported by the National Research Fund and the PSP Flagship program, which aims to set up long-term scientific popularization activities in Luxembourg. They were developed with the support of the Royal Bank of Canada.

Next year, Poussin hopes to launch Swimming Pool, an online platform offering tutorials and a meeting space for girls interested in computers. “When the boys are around, the girls take a step back and are shy about computers. But they are just as capable as the boys, so I want to create a computer environment suitable for girls, ”she said.

Plans are also in place to provide training for art teachers with coding and math via algorithms so that they can be added to the school curriculum. The organizers are also keen to help answer parents’ questions about ICT, such as how much time children should spend on devices and at what age they should start.

Scienteens Lab has been in existence for eight years and aims to spark student interest by presenting the latest scientific research. To date, he has offered workshops in biology, mathematics and physics and has invited nearly 10,000 students to step into a scientist’s shoes.

Book a workshop

New computer workshops, including Art & AI, can be booked by schools or private institutions and businesses through the Scienteens Lab website. They are aimed at students aged 12 to 19.


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