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Students taking part in the Artificial Intelligence event, hosted by the University of Exeter.

Students explore Artificial Intelligence

Students from across the UK have been given an invaluable insight into the world-leading advances being made in the crucial field of Artificial Intelligence, during a special course hosted by the University of Exeter.

More than 40 students were given a unique hands-on learning experience when they visited the University’s Streatham Campus in Exeter, as part of the four-day residential course, organised delivered by educational charity The Smallpeice Trust.

During the event the 13 and 14 year-old (Year 9) students learnt about the different aspects of the field of Artificial Intelligence including talking robots, otherwise known as ‘chatbots’.

Students worked in small teams to develop their own computer program that they then tested for intelligence. The students also discovered the methods machines of the future may use to learn about their environments and make decisions for themselves.

The social programme, sponsored by the University, included a film night, sports activities and a formal dinner and disco.

Professor Richard Everson of the University of Exeter said: “It has been fantastic to welcome such an enthusiastic group of students to the University of Exeter. We are at the forefront of the fast-developing field of artificial intelligence and our research and teaching is focused on applying the latest developments in computer science to really important fields, such as aviation and medicine. Events like this provide a wonderful opportunity for us to share our expertise and to encourage young people to consider a career in this really exciting and important area of science.”

Dr Kevin P Stenson, Chief Executive of The Smallpeice Trust added: “Thanks to the continuing generosity of the University of Exeter, these students have been given a worthwhile insight into Artificial Intelligence. This has become an important area of study with a wide range of applications in fields ranging from financial trading systems to gaming and medicine. The students have worked enthusiastically on some interesting projects, enjoyed their first taste of studying and living in a University, and had the chance to explore some fascinating topics.”

All Smallpeice courses are linked to the National Curriculum and are designed to improve core skills such as team building, financial management, communication and problem solving. By attending one of our courses students will gain experience of university and working life that will accelerate their personal development and their potential for greater academic achievement.

Date: 11 May 2015

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