Project

It matters what tools are available to a culture, but it matters more what that culture chooses to do with those tools.

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SMAILE is a research project led by Politecnico di Torino in collaboration with Università di Torino and Royal Holloway University of London.

 

The SMAILE project is funded by Fondazione Compagnia di San Paolo within the scheme “Intelligenza Artificiale, uomo e società.”

Context

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has increasingly become part of our everyday life.

AI tools are already omnipresent in our society, and, in the near future, we expect to rely on AI even more with the use of self-driving cars, robotic companions, and personalized medicine.

In Education, the Covid-19 pandemic, with the consequent social distancing measures adopted in many countries, has led to a sudden acceleration of the adoption of distance learning. The challenge is now to identify BLENDED LEARNING models that can flexibly adapt to both remote and in-person education and be effective in both scenarios. 

Currently, digital competences, including but not limited to AI, are almost completely neglected in the curricula of Italian primary and secondary school students. There is an urgent need to bring AI into such curricula both as a discipline of study (along with broader competencies in computer science) and as a pedagogical tool to improve education’s quality and efficacy. This challenge requires the introduction of new methodologies to both enable young students to acquire digital competences and awareness of AI and to improve the learning experience via an effective use of AI itself. 

SMAILE (Simple Methods of Artificial Intelligence Learning and Education) fits into this context as it aims to foster an effective use of AI tools by promoting an in-depth knowledge of its principles, codes, features and applications.

To achieve this goal, SMAILE uses Game Theory and Gamification codes and adopts an educational methodology that maximizes children’s involvement so that they can first internalize the knowledge and then learn the use of application tools.

Main objectives

  • Making AI principles and techniques available to young learners

  • Promoting an effective and responsible use of AI tools across different disciplines and applications. 

  • Formulating new learning pathways in AI education. 

  • Establishing Torino as a lab for AI education.

  • Making the project’s outcome available to a broad audience, both national and international. 

Development

Since AI is an inherently multidisciplinary topic, so too is the nature of the SMAILE project, which involves a team of mathematicians, computer scientists, engineers and psychologists with extensive research and teaching experience in this field, coming from leading departments of the Polytechnic University of Turin, University of Turin, and Royal Holloway University of London, as well as cultural associations (AIACE, POPAI), schools (Convitto Nazionale Statale Umberto I), and leading companies in the field of gaming and innovation (Quercetti and Giffoni Innovation Hub). 

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