Artificial Intelligence
Time 1.6 hrs

Difficulty Intermediate
Prerequisites Thinking Procedurally
Departments Science
Authors Sandra Kuipers
Groupings Individual
Minimum Year Group None


AI, or artificial intelligence, has been a dream of computer science for 50 years. We are still a long way away, but this unit will look at what AI means for us as humans.


This work is shared under the following license: Creative Commons BY-SA-NC


Learner Outcomes
Students will:
  • ...
Competency Focus
  • ...
Interdisciplinary Connections
  • ...
What was successful? What needs changing? Alternative Assessments and Lesson Ideas? What other Differentiation Ideas/Plans could be used?
  • ...
Any CC attribution, thanks, credit, etc.

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5 mins
AI: Friend Or Foe?
The Pitch

  • Computers are getting smarter every day.
  • Is it possible for computers to get so smart that they replace us? You be the judge.

10 mins
Artificial Intelligence
Digging In
  • In Thinking Procedurally, we played Universal Paperclips.
  • On the surface, it's is a game about making paperclips.
  • Dig a bit deeper, and there's something else happening ...
  • Here's what Frank Lantz, the creator of Universal Paperclips, has to say:

  • Frank mentions an AI thought experiment that the game is based on. Check out this link if you're interested to learn more: Paperclip Maximizer
10 mins
Computer Behaviour
Asking Questions
  • What do you think this game says about AI?

  • Does a paperclip-making AI taking over the world really sound possible? Probably not.
  • But, there are other ways AI can impact our society, for better or for worse.
5 mins
What is AI?
Digging In
  • The AI in use today isn't taking over the planet.
  • Instead, it's involved in some amazing breakthroughs in image recognition, decision making, and automation.

20 mins
Current AI
  • Check out OKAI by Brown University
  • Progress through Chapter 0, Chapter 1 and Chapter 2.
    Feel free to continue to Chapter 6 if you're interested!

  • OKAI introduces some initial concepts of AI:
    • Artificial Intelligence
      • Artificial Narrow Intelligence (Weak AI)
      • Artificial General Intelligence
    • Machine Learning
    • Deep Learning

  • The AI we see in games, apps and cars are considered Narrow Intelligence. They're much more advanced than a standard algorithm, but they're not going to take over the world anytime soon.
  • The AI we see depicted in movies and the media that people are concerned about is General Intelligence. This is where AI has more human-like sentience and can make it's own decisions.
  • The AI we saw in Universal Paperclips is a thought experiment about the dangers of general intelligence AI.
30 mins
Future AI
Viewing, Reading, Thinking & Discussing
15 mins
Your Thoughts
  • Now you hopefully have some views about AI, and whether it will turn out to be our friend or foe...or something in between.
  • You've also seen a bit of how AI is being used in our current digital technologies.
  1. Add some slides for Artificial Narrow Intelligence, Artificial General Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Deep learning to your ongoing slideshow.
    • If you already have a slide for some of these terms, is there anything new to add?
  2. Film a two-minute video or audio clip of yourself answering:
    • What is the difference between AI today, and AI in media and the movies?
    • What is your personal view of AI in the future?
  • In your clip:
    • Try not to over script, nor over rehearse the piece: simply make some outline notes, and then get going.
    • Only shoot your work once.
    • It does not need to be perfect.
  • Once your work is ready, upload it to this this unit of evidence of what you have learned.
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