RALEIGH, N.C. — Poring over the results of her recent artificial intelligence project with 28 high school students, N.C. State assistant professor Shiyan Jiang says she is impressed with their ability to use this developing technology.

What You Need To Know

  • 28 high school students participated in an artificial technology lesson developing machine learning models

  • The models helped organize and analyze Yelp reviews

  • The project helped introduce students to future careers in AI

“It’s for them to plant a seed, and for them to understand the AI technologies," Jiang said. "Also we want to empower their voices in the public discussion about AI technologies.” 

Jiang had the students create their own machine learning models, analyzing Yelp reviews about ice cream shops.

Through running their models, Jiang says students explored the challenges, limits and promise of AI in the future. 

“So many big tech companies are coming and so many job opportunities," Jiang said. "We want them to become confident and have the kind of language, that kind of knowledge they have to enter into this field gradually.” 

Jiang says AI has begun to creep into our everyday lives. Something as simple as when Amazon offers you suggested products, that's AI utilizing your purchase habits. 

“There’s a model behind the system that can make automated recommendations," Jiang said. "When you watch movies on Netflix, the recommended movies.” 

While AI has helped consumers, there has been discussion about potential concerns that come with it. 

Recently videos have surfaced using the technology to replicate and manipulate individuals voices. 

And Chat GPT, a service that follows instruction in a prompt and provides a detailed response, has been used by students to write papers. 

Jiang says it's important to be cautious when encountering AI. 

“Knowing what kind of AI technology we are interacting with," Jiang said. "Like what kind of data has been used? Who developed this kind of technology from whose perspective?”

While the potential of this technology continues to develop, Jiang says she's excited to see where it can take us.

“I want it to help us be more creative, and also help us to create more innovation, different kinds of innovations," Jiang said.