Introduction: What is AI?

Actua's AI Series - Activity 1

In this activity, participants will develop a baseline understanding of artificial intelligence (AI). Using videos and online activities to explore all the various forms of AI, they will participate in discussions about different applications of AI, as well as the potential benefits and dangers that AI presents. Participants will use tools like Google Quickdraw to experience how AI works, and develop a further understanding of how AI operates and the layers that go into the functioning of artificial intelligence.

If you’re accessing this activity directly, did you know there are eight other activities in this series up on our website? These activities also follow a space exploration narrative when done in order. It is recommended to complete the activities in order but they can also be done on their own.

If you find yourself unfamiliar with any of the AI concepts and terminology introduced in these activities, please refer to our AI Glossary. For more information about Artificial Intelligence and how to incorporate it into your classroom, we suggest exploring our AI Handbook.

Here we go:

You and your group-mates are astronauts and scientists aboard the Actua Orbital Station. Unfortunately, your station just got bombarded by magnetic rays and your electronics have begun to shut down! The only one who can save you is the station’s AI, DANN. DANN stands for Dedicated Actua Neural Network, and it’s gone a little loopy. Brush up on your technical skills, learn about AI, and save yourself and your crewmates!

Welcome to the Actua Orbital Station! We need to get started on fixing DANN as soon as possible, but first, we need to understand what makes DANN tick. That is, we need to understand different kinds of artificial intelligence and how they work. This activity will guide you through some fun examples of AI from earth, and then you’ll be prepared to take on the challenge of fixing DANN in the next activity, “Decision Trees: Classifying Space Objects”!

Activity Write Up

What is AI?

Related Resource

Educators AI Handbook

Looking for more information about Artificial Intelligence education? Check out our AI Handbook for educators.

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Related Resource

Artificial Intelligence Activities Glossary

If you find yourself unfamiliar with any of the words in this activity, our AI Glossary is here to help!

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