Artificial intelligence comes to The Oaks Public School

Innovation: Principal Steven Hooke, students Ryan Watson, Harvey Stucki, Samuel Parsonage and Emma Windred with Neuranext's co-founder Andrew Kyngdon. Picture: Ashleigh Tullis
Innovation: Principal Steven Hooke, students Ryan Watson, Harvey Stucki, Samuel Parsonage and Emma Windred with Neuranext's co-founder Andrew Kyngdon. Picture: Ashleigh Tullis

You know the Terminator, you’ve probably seen I, Robot but students from The Oaks Public School will actually get to use artificial intelligence.

The school will be the first to welcome a new incursion-based program from Australian technology company Neuranext.

The Sydney-based company has pioneered a program, AI in Schools, to introduce school-age students to the world of AI and help establish their understanding of the fast-developing technology.

The program is designed to teach students about the real-world situations where AI can be used as well spark their interest in their science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects.

School Principal Steven Hooke said he was pleased to partner with Neuranext to bring the innovative technology to the school.

“It is good to see this type of program will be taught to students in a ‘little country’ school like The Oaks that is not known for its technological prowess,” he said.

“Our students will get to play around with cutting-edge technology. It will be the next step up after learning about coding.

“Technologies such as artificial intelligence and their related fields of study will figure significantly in the lives of today’s young students, and not just in Australia but globally.

“To bring to our classrooms this rare opportunity to understand and interact with them could have huge positive influences on our students’ future education choices and their lives in general.”

The students will learn and discuss the history of AI, its scientific underpinnings, the technology’s current state of development and its practical limitations. 

In addition to learning theoretical concepts, students will interact with Jupyter Notebooks, Python coding language, MNIST data sets and Neuranext’s own image classification AI platform.

They will learn to apply AI technology in settings such as computer-based classification of their own handwriting and using AI to categorize images they create at school.

Students will also learn about AI’s possible realistic future applications and the changes it could bring to workplaces, education and life in general.

Mr Hooke said there were many gifted and talented students at the school who would benefit from learning about the innovative technology.

He said students already learnt about coding that major technological companies used and AI would be a perfect next step.

“Students are going to need know how to use these types of technologies in their adult life,” Mr Hooke said.

“The more we expose our students to it at a young age, the better placed they will be to find jobs.”

Neuranext’s co-founders Dr Andrew Kyngdon and Adrian Tyson are excited to launch the program.

Dr Kyngdon, a leading psychometrician and one of Australia’s top data scientists, said this unique program was likely to help open learning and career pathways for Australia’s next generation of scientists.

“AI is the intersection of various important education subjects and it brings to life many of the concepts behind mathematics, science and computing,” he said. 

“As AI’s place in the world deepens it’s important our next generation of scientific minds are aware of its abilities and how it works and the AI in Schools program opens this door early in their education.”

Neuranext specializes in the practical application of artificial intelligence (AI) in commercial and non-commercial settings. 

Neuranext assists its clients to solve problems that involve high-stakes decision-making in situations involving large-scale datasets. 

The program will launch on Monday, August 27.