New Delhi: What’s new: With the goal to empower India’s youth on emerging technologies, Intel and Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that outlines initiatives geared towards increasing the pace of AI integration in India’s education system. These initiatives include co-development and roll-out of an AI curriculum for students; setting up focused AI Skills Labs; and creating AI-readiness by skilling facilitators across CBSE schools. The AI curriculum is based on Intel® AI For Youth, which is an immersive, hands-on learning program using experiential methodologies covering both social and technological skills. The MoU also states that Intel along with CBSE will soon be launching a National AI Olympiad to motivate young students to showcase their meaningful social impact solutions as evidence of achievement.
Sharing her thoughts on the collaboration, Shweta Khurana, Director – Programs, Partnerships and Policy Group at Intel India said, “Artificial intelligence has become a strategic imperative for worldwide economic growth and will continue to be one of the most crucial technologies of the future. Given its impact, there is a need for coordinated efforts by academic institutions and the industry to address the gap between the demand and supply of AI-related skills. It is critical to empower India’s young population and equip them with the skillset and mindset required for AI-readiness; and democratize access to AI tools. Our collaboration with CBSE is a meaningful step towards enabling our youth to become digitally-empowered and effectively utilize emerging technologies such as AI to solve pressing local and global challenges.”
Why it’s important: It has been estimated that by 2030, AI, in all its applications, is predicted to contribute US$15.7 trillion to the global economy. India’s own AI strategy identifies AI as an opportunity and solution provider for inclusive economic growth and social development. While governments worldwide are working on creating comprehensive national AI strategies to create sustainable, inclusive and positive impact on citizens, industries and overall societies; the AI skill crisis is recognized as the biggest barrier for wider adoption and growth.
In order to help close this gap, Intel has rolled out a comprehensive program called ‘Intel® AI For Youth,’ aimed at empowering the young generation to become AI-ready. Together with CBSE, Intel has curated an outcome-oriented AI curriculum for students of grade VIII and above. The curriculum was piloted with eight schools, training youth to create AI projects focused on social impact in 2019, with the aim to empower 100,000 students with AI-readiness skills in 2020.
Speaking on the initiative, Dr Biswajit Saha, Director – Skill Education & Training, CBSE said, “AI has been widely recognized as the power that will fuel India’s digital economy. It is imperative to understand its importance and enable Indian youth to become adept in harnessing its positive impact. CBSE is the only Board that has introduced AI as a full-fledged subject in school curriculum. Our collaboration with Intel has helped us empower the youth with AI skills in an inclusive way and we hope to take this journey ahead in a big way in the coming years. Further, a new practice of ‘AI Integrated Pedagogy’ created by us will help the teachers to engage youth in an innovative way. We feel that building AI-readiness is critical in shaping India’s digital future.”.
Intel and CBSE, in consultation with academic experts, have also formularized an orientation manual along with a list of frequently-asked-questions to support school leaders in integrating AI as a subject in their schools. In the next two years, as part of the skilling initiative, Intel and CBSE will work together to create AI-readiness across 22,000 schools in India.
The collaboration will also enable AI-readiness across North and North-Eastern states with a special focus on ‘Aspirational Districts’. This will be achieved by creating AI Skills Labs as dedicated spaces for students to learn basic AI-skills by engaging in experiential hands-on learning sessions. Intel has collaborated with Kendriya Vidyalaya Sanghathan to set up India’s first AI Skills Lab at Dr Rajendra Prasad Kendriya Vidyalaya, New Delhi in accordance with the AI curriculum specified by CBSE. The school will be using the lab for all students studying in grade VIII and those who adopt AI as a skill subject in grade IX and above. The lab has been designed to support the journey of a learner towards becoming AI-ready as they go from AI learning to AI model training and inferencing.
More details: Intel recognizes AI as the next inflection of computing technology – one that will deliver profound, pervasive benefits across societies. Today, Intel technologies power some of the most promising AI use cases – from fighting cancer to advancing brain research, to detecting fraud in our financial systems or increasing agricultural output to feed the world’s burgeoning population.
Intel® AI For Youth program has witnessed students come up with several innovative use cases of AI in schools such as digitizing hand written complaints using Natural Language Processing; a tracking system for school bus drivers to keep a tab on key factors such as drivers’ speeding habits, frequency of sudden halts; an AI-powered voice enabled chatbot equipped and trained to answer queries at schools; and a personalized AI library assistant that suggests books to students based on their past reading history.
Intel, through its Intel® AI For Youth initiative will continue to engage with the government to democratize and accelerate AI-readiness skills in the country.