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Young Coders Curate AI Event @Tate Modern

As Tate associates through the Tate Exchange program our young coders had the opportunity to curate their own 2-day event to celebrate AI and Women in Tech (for International Women's Day) - See The young coders that ran the event have written a bit about what happened.

Femi and Imran curated the first day, presenting a space for drop in Python sessions, digital art, an introduction to Machine Learning session, Linear Algebra masterclass and an Introduction to Deep Learning with PyTorch MeetUp, using Udacity's amazing online learning platform.

Drop in: Digital Art space

Hey guys, it's me Amelie and I am here to tell you about our Digital Art Space, that I hosted at the Tate Modern on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th March 2020 in celebration of International Women's Day. I worked on the Digital Art Station with young children, letting them design their own bedroom sign, using canvas, a lot of creativity and some LED lights to light up the space. We had fun filled afternoons, where some interesting creations were made; don't believe me? Take a look at the pictures above. Each young person was given a plain white canvas and access to our art station, full of decorating accessories, with items like pens, googly eyes, glitter, stickers, some coloured lettering and glue. We let them design their own canvas with their creations to make their own named bedroom decorations. Once they had designed their canvas they were given a selection of colourful LED lights to chose from. We would then insert the LED light into the canvas attaching a battery and tape to the back so they would stick together. Voila... and you have your very own amazing room decoration with a light for the night. This activity was fun and popular with the young children and we got great feedback and even a few ideas on how to make it better!

Looking forward to the next challenge.

Amelie - age 13

On the 7th March 2020, the Young Coders were at the Tate Exchange. There were many different workshops and activities to get involved in. One of the activities was the digital art space, for the younger children. This area was run by Amelie and I. Each child would be given a canvas frame to work on. The children decorated the canvas with stickers, colouring pens and crayons. When they had finished decorating their canvas frames; we taught them how to make a small circuit and light up their canvas with small LED lights. This was a very good idea and it kept the children very entertained. It was a fun activity that taught children about basic circuits. We hope that the children will go on to learn more about circuits and begin to learn about coding and other concepts. We found it very interesting and encouraging to show how everyday things can be used to make amazing digital art without it costing much money.

Adonai - age 14

Drop in: Python Workshops

Whenever we do anything with the YCM we have to have some coding sessions, so this event at the Tate was no different. For both Saturday and Sunday we ran a rotor to organise Python Drop in Coding sessions for young and old. It was a bit strange because the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic was just beginning to sinking in. So we had to be really careful around hygiene - making sure each workspace was sanitised between use. It was strange to have to ask everybody to wash their hands before joining the session, but in hindsight, it was a really good call. We focused on using PiTops (Raspberry Pi) and the MU editor (with Python3). Participants we given the choice of creating art with the turtle library and exploring the colour palette using code. As young coders it was nice to share some of our skills with variety of other people.

Femi - age 14

Introduction to Machine Learning

The first main session of the day was the introduction to Machine Learning. I've been learning a lot about Machine Learning recently and so this was a chance to share what I've learned with a wider group of people. I started off talking about the history of Machine Learning, with the Dartmouth Workshop, in 1956, where the term Artificial Learning was coined and following the journey of ML through the AI winters and to the present day. I then went into more depth about the workings of Machine Learning and a bit around Neural Networks, which was very hard to explain and ended talking about ethics and showing a few cool ML examples. It went well and there was a lot of positive feedback from the session. It was also nice to try out a Machine Leaning Workshop which I can improve and deliver at later events.

Femi - age 14

Child Rights Panel

On the 7th March 2020, I had the opportunity to be on the Children's Right Panel at The Tate Exchange. I did this along side two other young coders. It was exciting and very informative. I learnt a lot about how children's data is used. As young people we need to be more careful about our use of technology and understand the importance of using social media safely. This opened my eyes to realise that a lot of our personal information is collected and companies can make money out of this. My role on the panel was to answer questions about what i knew about data and my opinion on how things can be changed for this generation and generations to come.It is important that young people are educated about this and how to keep ourselves and each other safe.

Adonai - age 14

During the YCM at the Tate there was a child rights panel. It consisted of three YCMers - including me - and some industry experts in the field. I was a bit nervous but it was very interesting to hear about how technology is being used in schools - and sometimes invading children's privacy - and to provide my own input. It could have been better if they also got the opinions of some average school children who didn't already know a lot about privacy and tech.

Thomas R - age 13

Introduction to Linear Algebra

The Introduction to Linear Algebra was run by Tolu Ogunremi. She is a mathematics and computer science graduate. We learnt the basics of maths with matrices - see A vector is a line of values separated with commas. This can be used in machine learning to store the values of the ‘neurons’ for use in mathematical equations. If you multiply two vectors of the same length, one horizontal one vertical, you get a matrix. A matrix is like a vector however it is a rectangle of values instead of just a line. This can be added or subtracted from matrices of the same size.

Thomas G - age 14

Udacity PyTorch tutorial MeetUp

Some of us at the YCM have been exploring AI and Machine Learning over the past 12 months; we entered the Nesta Longitude Explorer Prize and got through to the finals for our Sign2Word AI App. Now we have to develop a prototype and part of the journey towards that is to up-skill ourselves. So obviously the event at the Tate was always going to be focused around AI. This was a good opportunity to run a meetup where we can come together to work through Udacity's 'Introduction to Deep Learning with PyTorch' and invite someone to support us for the afternoon. However it didn't quite turn out that way. Kai Arulkumaran, who was tagged on twitter by PyTorch (thank you, thats awesome) wasn't able to make the event this time round, anyhow we went ahead and got everyone set up with Jupyter Notebook and registered onto Udacity's free online course with an Introduction to Machine Learning, lead by myself, and an Introduction to Linear Algebra, lead by Tolu, to get us started. It is a really difficult course to do on your own so it was really nice to be able to help other people get through some of the more difficult sections. It was good for people to make the connection between the Linear Algebra (matrices) session and the Neural Network coding of the introduction. Everyone seemed to really enjoy the session, that lasted around 3 hours (although it didn't feel like it). I felt really proud of what achieved together - it was a great introduction to PyTorch and Udacity.

Femi - age 14

On Sunday it was the turn of the girls, who curated an amazing celebration of Women in Tech, with a series of talks around Careers in Data Science, Insights into Quant and what wider skills are needed to be successful as a woman in Tech.

IWD: Ora Rammala Talk

On the 8th March (International Women’s Day) I introduced one of our speakers, Ora Rammala, to the crowd. In doing so, and then listening to the talk, I learnt a lot about the data world and how to get into it. Ora is a UX and data recruitment consultant at Bamboo Crowd, an innovation recruitment consultancy. Her talk was about plotting your career in data science, and she began by stating the value of data today - data is literally more valuable than oil these days. Here are the main key facts I took away from Ora’s talk: 1) To get into data, you don’t have to take maths/computer science as a university subject, although it can help. 2) There are many different ways to get into data and you don’t need to always follow a specific route, you can chop and change. 3) You don’t need to go straight to big companies like Barclays, it is more helpful and your work will be recognised more if you go to start-ups and work up from there. To find these startups, Ora recommended LinkedIn. 4) Experience is key - Commercial experience helps a great deal when trying to get a job. There is no ‘too young’ to begin working in data science - you can start when you see appropriate. 5) Although it can help to go to a university, it is possible not to go to a university and still do well in data science. I also learnt about the three aspects of data science - insights, which is about analysing the data, engineering, where the technical coding happens, and science, which is about finding patterns in the data. Ora told us how important it is to have women and people of colour as part of data science teams, as otherwise products are designed for the people who made them - white men.

Malaika - age 12

I especially enjoyed Ora's talk and learnt an incredible amount of useful information. She firstly discussed the 3 pathways into Data Science and the industry itself. From this I learnt that that there is not just one way to get in the industry like I had previously thought before the talk. She gave us so many tips and recommendations such as: she wouldn't recommend working for a corporate company or you would just be another number. It was also super helpful that she was a recruiter so she was able to tell us what recruiters look for when hiring. Ora also discussed why diversity is important which was also very eye-opening. Her 3 top tips were: don't be rigid about your pathway, technical ability will always carry you and that it is a hard sector so you need resilience which I will ensure I remember.

Mutsa - age 15

IWD: Arpita Nigam Talk

I really enjoyed Arpita's talk as she covered so much in a suitable level of detail. For example when she discussed the question - What is AI? It was simple enough to understand, but still in a high enough detail which meant I could easily understand the difference between supervised and unsupervised machine learning. I especially enjoyed when she discussed career opportunities which was extremely helpful for helping to make decisions for the future.

Mutsa - age 15

IWD: Suki Fuller Talk

On 8th March, I was at the Tate exchange talks with the Young Coders Meetup. There, I listened to Suki Fuller giving a talk about how your “Qualitative Skills Matter Also”. Suki began working as a chemical engineer, but found it hard and isolating, so switched, now calling herself an ‘analytical storyteller’. This new career covered a wide range of jobs, from the USA intelligence services to teaching children in China, but the things these jobs all had in common was that they included working with data. When working in the US intelligence, Suki learnt about how intelligence is created. In her talk, she used the example of the James Bond films - whilst Bond is out gathering information on the field, Q is gathering different information from his computer. When these two different streams of information join together, it is called intelligence. Suki was also, in her career, taught how to gather and correlate data. She told us that this, along with the skill of making good decisions and sticking to them, is essential for working in data. When asked for 3 top tips to summarise, Suki replied with her 3As - awareness, advocacy, and action. To be successful in data science, Suki told us it was vital to always take action, and not to be afraid to take action. Her next A was advocacy, to be able to be decisive. Her final tip for us was to be aware of your surroundings, and with that never to stop learning, even if you think you know all you need to know. If you are aware, you will realise that the world is changing all the time and there is always something new. Suki ended her talk by telling us that, if the world changes all the time, some of the people changing it should be definitely be women, and it is up to us, the future generation, to ensure that.

Malaika - age 12

Plenary - Reflections

Both days were quite different: Saturday was about sharing our understanding of AI, Machine Learning and Mathematics to help us up-skill and deepen our understanding. And Sunday was about providing a platform for our female young coders, with a series of talks about women in tech for International Women's Day. It was great to be part of a wider celebration of creative arts and technology in collaboration with UAL's Uni2Unicorns week-long event. This was the last coding event before the Covid19 lockdown (but we are still meeting up virtually as an AI group). Femi - age 14

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