VIA Pixetto: Educating Future AI Talent

On May 15th, VIA visited Taipei Municipal Renai Junior High School in Taiwan to participate in a one-of-a-kind artificial intelligence educational event. Marking the middle school’s 8th lesson in a 24 course Intergenerational AI Learning Online Program series run by Taiwan’s Ministry of Education, the event was a culmination of the past year-and-a-half of teamwork between Renai Junior High School and VIA. Throughout the event, students participating in the school’s AI education program demonstrated core concepts they learned in robotics and coding using the company’s latest innovation, the VIA Pixetto vision sensor. Consisting of a full HD sensor with visual recognition for everything from colors, to shapes, to faces, and even handwriting, VIA Pixetto’s value extends beyond its technical abilities — it is a great tool for bringing AI into mainstream education as well.  

The event was live streamed to instructors all across Taiwan and sought to tackle a pressing social issue using AI, in particular, how to make the elderly’s lives more convenient. Professor Chang Yu Shan, who represents National Taiwan Normal University in developing AI related course materials for the AI Learning Online Program, notes that the goal of the program is to focus on practical learning — to “find answers to our daily problems and to humanize AI education.” Following a brief demonstration by VIA on the functions and basic design of VIA Pixetto, students brainstormed methods in which its AI features might be used to target elders’ difficulties in their day to day life and encourage elders’ participation. At the end of the lesson, students gave group presentations on possible designs in which VIA Pixetto might be applicable. By serving as a thought experiment on how AI technology can be used, students were able to develop a greater understanding of AI applications. 

Our joint event with Renai Junior High School is one example of how tech industries can foster future talent in AI through technology designed for education. VIA Pixetto can serve as a demonstration device for preset models, such as handwriting recognition for digits, and provide more intuitive block coding platforms suitable for beginners. The AI visual sensor is also designed for more advanced Python coding and running machine learning algorithms. Children, be it at school or at home, can utilize VIA Pixetto to experiment with code creations of their choice. The goal is to further students’ education in AI while cultivating their interest and excitement about the field.

Perhaps the most difficult part of developing a curriculum which can effectively teach Artificial Intelligence to a large population of students is creating a technological product which targets inexperienced users while also retaining its attractiveness to their more advanced counterparts. After all, AI, like all academic subjects, is a field which cannot be limited to mere concepts, there must be a way for students to exercise what they’ve learned through hands-on-experience. For the sake of cultivating a future pool of talent pre-exposed to high-tech —a field which will only grow increasingly prevalent in day to day life — VIA is determined to contribute its technological resources available towards supporting student education in AI. We believe VIA Pixetto is but the first of many future developments to come.

Written by Josephine Cheng, a current Marketing Intern at VIA and a Communications student at the University of Pennsylvania.

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