Workshops

Each school is offered a choice between the following five different workshops:

Theme 1: What is Intelligence?

This workshop covers the broad area of Artificial Intelligence. How and why do we want to create intelligent machines? How can we tell whether a machine is intelligent or not? As an introduction students will try and determine the qualities needed for something to be intelligent. The rest of the workshop will focus on a machine's ability to communicate. We often see computers in films that can communicate with humans: Sonny from I-Robot, and Jonny Five from Short Circuit. Why do we only see them in films? Why is it so difficult to get a machine to communicate with us? Students will look at some of the difficulties that researchers face and the latest ‘talking machines’ and able to have a conversation with one of the first and the latest chatbots to see how far we have come. To test the machines for intelligence the students will then be intorudced and implement our own version of the Turing Test.

Theme 2: Teaching a Machine

Machine learning is an important research field within AI but how do you program a machine to learn? This workshop will look at why machine learning is important and the methods that are currently being used.

Theme 3: Game Theory – Identifying the Best Strategy

Artificial Intelligence is used in a number of today’s computer games. However, game theory does not just play an important part in gaming but anywhere where strategy is important. This workshop is not designed to involve machines and instead studies a number of games such as Prisoner’s Dilemma and Eleusis to investigate ways in which the best strategies can be identified and how they are used in Computer Science.

Theme 4: Searching and Sorting

Computers can search through and sort a large amount of data very quickly and it is one task in which they can outperform humans. This workshop involves a number of group exercises and activities to help investigate a range of different sorting and searching methods. This workshop is more suited to schools that wish their students to focus on lower-level principles of computation rather than at higher-level applications.

Theme 5: Logic

Designed to illustrate the importance of mathematics in Computer Science, this workshop will allow students to investigate various logic puzzles and exercises. [More details to follow]

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