Published: 05th May 2020
This Chennai-based start-up makes learning AI simple and fun. Check out how
The Chennai-based start-up aims to teach Artificial Intelligence to rural kids. The team has taught AI to over 7,000 students in 45 schools in Tamil Nadu
Remember Sophia, the first humanoid robot to formally become a citizen of a nation? Powered by Artificial Intelligence, the invention is straight out of a Sci-Fi movie. To build a humanoid like Sophia, a sound knowledge of AI is essential, asserts K Suriya Prabha, the founder of YouCode Intelligence Solutions. A Chennai-based start-up, YouCode teaches AI to kids in a fun and interactive way. While the two-lettered acronym itself may sound scary to many, Prabha says it can be simple. All you need is to understand the logic, she tells us. And with that statement, we couldn't believe that she's a Microbiology graduate. "Three years ago, I wanted to set up a start-up but was confused about the field. After several trials, my husband Karthik Kanna and I decided to teach AI to kids as we believe it is the subject of the future," she says, adding, "I'm a Science graduate, so technology is a whole different thing. I took it up as a challenge and learnt AI, assuming that it was more creative than technical. After repeated learning, unlearning and relearning, I got the hang of it."
During a session
So, what happened next? They started teaching AI to kids in rural areas. "They hardly get any exposure to technology. Over 7,000 kids in 45 schools in Chennai, Theni and Ramanathapuram districts have been engaged in this programme. It was part of the CSR initiative of various organisations," clarifies the 32-year-old. Understandably, it is difficult to teach 'tech stuff' in rural areas, so we were obviously curious to know their game plan. "We teach AI in the form of interactive games. Students are given tech toys to play with. In the end, we explain to the students what they have learnt while playing with the toys. I still recollect students being awestruck," she laughs and adds, "The classes are also practical where they even dismantle and assemble a basic PC." The dynamic curriculum is designed by the six-member team of YouCode.
Discussing the importance of AI in the near future, Prabha shares, "Three decades ago, our focus was on improving literacy. Now, we should focus on digital literacy as machines are integral to almost every field today."