I am my school's new AI Program Architect and I also serve on the national AI4K12.org working group that is writing K12 AI Standards. I would love to ensure that we are broadly including CS educators and their ideas in writing programs and curricula that encompass the field of AI for K-12.

What AI resources do you use in your class? What are the essential ideas that students need to know? What should students be able to do at the end of class? If you incorporate AI in cross-disciplinary courses, please share those ideas as well.

  • $\begingroup$ Are you focused on HS (Secondary education) or otherwise (broader, other)? $\endgroup$
    – Buffy
    Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 14:41
  • $\begingroup$ My standards work is K-2; I teach at a high school. We are creating programs for both in-house at the upper 11-12 level and more broadly at the K12 level, both formal an informal. So, I will happily take all suggestions! $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 15:33
  • $\begingroup$ Elementary ed too? I assume you meant K-12 not K-2. $\endgroup$
    – Buffy
    Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 15:37
  • $\begingroup$ You may want to check out this question - it's not a duplicate, but it's similar enough that it might well be helpful. $\endgroup$
    – Ben I.
    Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 20:39
  • $\begingroup$ @Buffy, My standards work is K-2, as I am on that grade band team. I've taught every grade throughout my career. Currently I work at a high school, and we are creating curricular resources for K-12. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 22, 2019 at 17:25

1 Answer 1


Computers are stupid

Do some role playing. Have students describe how to draw a house, they can not use house words, just geometry words: line, square, triangle, etc.

Get one volunteer to take a pen to the white board, they don't know what is being described, and follow instructions (I normally take on this role first. I do what they say, but not what the mean).

Dangers of AI

The evil, or not so evil overlords: AI does what it was asked to do. AI algorithms but us into silos, make us vote for trump and brexit, advertise to us, etc.

  • $\begingroup$ This is important to impress on people, computers are machines, just as Ada Lovelace said. No matter how complex and sophisticated, until they become self-aware, they are not thinking, understanding, deciding... They are as dumb as a piece of silicon and have no insight. People in China or Japan, I forget which, are currently talking with a conversing voice on their phones because they are lonely. Humans are very easily drawn in to anything that remotely seems like an interaction, because we have to care for infants, and we make huge efforts to see them as beings. Computers are not. $\endgroup$
    – Scott Rowe
    Commented Mar 24, 2019 at 13:21
  • $\begingroup$ @ScottRowe it is not the silicone of it that makes in dumb. Look at how it works. There is a control-unit conducting the orchestra, but unable to hear, and does not even know what the instruments are. There is the ACU, being controlled by the control-unit, just doing logic operations on its input, and outputting something that makes sense to the programmer. None of this remembers what it just did, so no program could be written to allow self awareness (If you try to make it self aware, then it can only be aware of the current instruction: a part of the self-awareness program). $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 24, 2019 at 13:59
  • $\begingroup$ Some people argue that humans cannot possibly have consciousness either, because they are composed of material substances following deterministic laws. Consciousness has never been adequately explained, indeed, people can not even agree on a definition. It would be better if people realized that they are not unmaterial and special also. We somehow have insight, but it does not guarantee anything, least of all correct conclusions. We are smarter than a lump of silicon, but perhaps not for long. Then we really will be able to have insightful conversations with conversing voices. $\endgroup$
    – Scott Rowe
    Commented Mar 24, 2019 at 14:14
  • $\begingroup$ I don't thing that the material has anything to do with it. I don't see any reason why silicone etc. can't do what carbon etc. does. I only see that the current computer configurations can not be self-aware. Maybe one day, we will work out how to do it differently, and then they will take over and turn us all into fertiliser. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 24, 2019 at 14:19
  • $\begingroup$ We keep pets. I see no reason why an intelligence greater than ours would not simply do the same. My cat has a longer and healthier life than a wild kitty, but probably more boring. These are details that something smarter than ourselves would find trivial. Besides, humans might have interesting and useful perspectives that an AI lacks. It need not be adversarial. My dog could catch Frisbees way better and run faster than I could, to say nothing of nose and ear sensitivity. But modern computers are still dumb, despite playing Chess and Go (and probably driving vehicles) better. $\endgroup$
    – Scott Rowe
    Commented Mar 24, 2019 at 15:05

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