DAY 7

We were situated at the BBC New Broadcasting House at Oxford Circus for day seven of our #TeensInAI2018 Accelerator. After an hour or so of settling in and getting ready for the day, the teens were lucky enough to have the opportunity to be taken on a tour of the BBC!

Andy from BBC showed us around and explained various aspects of what the BBC does, what he specifically does, and what all the various rooms and studios do.

He explained how every member of staff (with the right permission) can access everything- from things happening at their own studio, to the ones in Liverpool and Glasgow, to the ones in Nairobi and Lagos- and can even edit any footage that they want, from their own computer screens. He said that the decision to allow this kind of accessibility was vital for the BBC, and has made a tremendous impact. __ mentioned that iPhones are nowadays becoming much more viable than the big, heavy cameras that used to be used; the easier, cheaper option replacing the old is becoming much closer to being a reality. In truth, the majority of news presenters aren’t even filmed by humans anymore, there are now robots on rails in most newsrooms. We were also shown a ‘gallery’, and a radio studio, and told about their uses.

With the aid of business-specialised mentors, and some tech mentors, the rest of the morning was dedicated to building.

After lunch, Catherine Breslin from Amazon Alexa joined us to discuss voice technology with us.

Though Alexa, Siri and Cortana have brought themselves to the forefront of our society, and are now common and known to even the youngest of children, when Catherine started out in the world of voice technology, this was not the case. She discussed how voice is the easiest, most natural way to interact and communicate with others, with gesture following in close [[pursuit]]. Catherine also mentioned different topics in the large sphere that is voice technology, some of which are: transcribing videos, automatic subtitling, machine translation, and automatic speech recognition. Conversation- understanding sentences and deciding how to respond- is bound to be a possibility in the near future for AI.

Though Alexa, Siri and Cortana have brought themselves to the forefront of our society, and are now common and known to even the youngest of children, when Catherine started out in the world of voice technology, this was not the case. She discussed how voice is the easiest, most natural way to interact and communicate with others, with gesture following in close [[pursuit]]. Catherine also mentioned different topics in the large sphere that is voice technology, some of which are: transcribing videos, automatic subtitling, machine translation, and automatic speech recognition. Conversation- understanding sentences and deciding how to respond- is bound to be a possibility in the near future for AI.

The next topics of discussion were language understanding and dialogue management. Language understanding refers to command and control, and listening to a huge variation of different ways of saying things, and still understanding the intent of the sentence. Dialogue management is about conversation- understanding the context of what they’ve said, having real world understanding, and taking what someone’s said and being able to interpret it.

With Demo Day looming, the next few hours were spent working hard on the products teams are developing, with mentors available to help and guide.

As the afternoon began to come to a close, the teens were lucky to have a Skype talk from San Francisco with founder and CEO of Brighterion, Akli Adjaoute.

He advised the teens that “wherever you come from, if you really, really want something, you can achieve it”, and that “the measure of your life is how good you feel about yourself, and you feel good about yourself by helping other people”. In addition to his highly inspirational words, Akli also told us about what he does at Brighterion, and his journey towards it. Recognising the value AI had with its capability to do good for humanity, Akli was drawn to AI and wanted to use it to help people in Africa. His idea was, take knowledge from a doctor, put it in a computer, then send it to Africa, and the same applies for any subject. Finishing his talk, he reiterated the same message of “when you love what you do, you don’t work”, and “hard work ends in success, real success is being happy, and happiness comes from doing good”.

Originally published at Acorn Aspirations.

Powering the Next Generation of Thought Leaders, Innovators and Technologists in #AI @teensinai #TeensInAI #GirlsinAI #MCStartup2016 Founder @elenasinel

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