Turing Team: AI and What it Means to be Human

Developments in AI have been occurring at breakneck speeds. Over time, AI has encroached on many of the capabilities that we once thought were unique to humans. We are living through a technological revolution, a paradigm shift, that is challenging our understanding of what it means to be human and augmenting the possibilities of human capability. How will we adapt to the new tools at our disposal? What can we learn about ourselves as AI challenges our self-understanding?

In the Turing Team (ages 14-17) campers will choose topics related to Artificial Intelligence and the ways AI will affect their lives and careers. The campers will begin by brainstorming, exploring, and researching issues based on readings such as Will tech change what it means to be human? And does it matter? — Harvard Gazette and ‘Homo Deus’ by Yuval Noah Harari. From here, the campers will debate, divide up, and choose narrower questions for in-depth investigation. For example, a STEM-based subtopic might be understanding why AI “hallucination” has been an insoluble problem for software engineers. A philosophical exploration might be researching what it means to be human, in a world where many human capabilities are being imitated or superseded by bots. 

Campers will start with smaller projects, often taking less than a day, to practice the steps involved in a successful project. By the end of camp, they will have identified and researched a tangible problem in small groups, culminating in a presentation to real-world stakeholders, peers, and parents. Each team member will get a copy of the portfolio, as well as a video of their team’s presentations and exhibition.