Resource AI in Middle School Science Topics
Artificial Intelligence is all around us, although we do not always see it. Most visible and familiar are “smart” devices like phones and tablets, but AI is also increasingly being used in scientific research. Any instance where there is a large amount of data to be examined or processed that would take a lot of time for a person to examine, AI can do it and not get distracted, fatigued, or bored. This makes it a helpful tool for scientists to use.
AI is good at processing large amounts of data and sorting or classifying it, as well as finding patterns. Humans are good at analyzing data that doesn’t fit clearly into the pattern, but they get tired or distracted. So, a human plus an AI is sometimes the best solution for a problem. For example, a radiologist may use an AI to filter out scans that are definitely cancer or definitely not cancer – those are typical cells that follow a specific pattern. Then the radiologist will look at any scans that don’t have a 100% certainty rate and determine the diagnosis, saving the human from repetitive tasks that may make them fatigued or distracted. These human + AI teams have lower error rates compared to humans alone or computers alone.
One of the 5 “Big Ideas” of AI is Perception: Computers perceive the world using sensors. This document will look at ways that living things sense and perceive things, and how we mimic that perception in computers and AI systems. It will also explore some of the ways we use sensors and AI in various fields of science, and most importantly, share resources and tools for your classroom:
- Introduce the 7 human senses, compare with AI computer sensing, and discuss benefits and challenges of human vs computer sensing.
- Examine features that are used by AI systems to perceive an object.
- Explain sensor limitations for computer perception.
- Implement algorithms that use sensory data for perception.