Parents Look For Ways to “Tech-Proof” Their Family for Impact of Artificial Intelligence

A recent study commissioned by Iridescent reveals 86% of parents want new ways to learn critical computer skills outside traditional classrooms such as taking a class, joining a club, or participating in events for more guidance on at-home education. The online study, conducted by VeraQuest, surveyed parents of 3rd – 8th graders to better understand their views of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and their children’s learning experiences.

In addition to new approaches to learning, the study found parents do not understand the extent to which AI is already integrated into their everyday lives, but an overwhelming majority (92%) understand that technology, such as AI, is rapidly advancing and their children need to learn about these new technologies to be prepared for the future.

Today, only 36% of children receive technology education outside of their school, and parents expressed concern in the current gap between their child’s interest level in learning about future technology and their preparedness for it.

These trends are consistent with studies conducted by Google and Gallup, which found interest in computer science learning continues to be strong, but all students do not yet have access to these learning opportunities in class. The education gap is especially prominent in low-income communities.

“We often talk to concerned parents who are wondering how to provide their children the tools and skills they need to have a bright future as technology and the skill sets needed to succeed rapidly evolve,” said Tara Chklovski, Founder and CEO, Iridescent. “We want to help these parents feel confident and optimistic about their family’s future in a world filled with new technologies. That’s why we created the Curiosity Machine AI Family Challenge.”

Through the Curiosity Machine AI Family Challenge Iridescent is filling the education gap with immersive AI curriculum for children and their families. The program introduces AI to underserved families in a way that fosters a deeper understanding of AI and its real world applications and makes technology education accessible to all communities.Parents learn alongside their children as they create AI-based products that solve problems in their community.

“My daughter very much likes science,” said a mother surveyed in the study. “I think [the Curiosity Machine AI Family Challenge] will give her an upper hand in the [AI] field as well as allow her to be as creative as she wants to be in building skills for her future.”

Iridescent Curiosity Machine AI Family Challenge Family

Additional study findings for AI education:

Fears and Misperceptions Around AI

    • Our research found that 85% of parents understand that new AI technology develops rapidly, but less than 20% of parents know that Facebook, targeted ads, or other recommendation engines use AI technology. There is real danger the lack of AI knowledge and its rapid development will widen the “digital divide,” or information gap, between parents and technology.

Interest in Exploring New Technology

    • Regardless of their concerns, we found that parents still had a positive outlook on the future of technology. 63% of parents believe AI will be used to make the world a better place and 78% were especially interested in learning more about AI.

Join the conversation.

Iridescent is hosting a series of panel conversations with leading AI and technology companies and researchers. Join us for a deeper dive into this new study and a thoughtful conversation about how to support families, parents, and communities in the face of a rapidly changing world.

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About the Survey

Methodology
The survey was conducted online from January 11th to January 17th, 2018.  The sample was comprised of 1,566 respondents in the United States ages 25+ who have a child in grades three through eight. The sample was constructed from U.S. Census proportions to be representative of the population based on age, income, education, race/ethnicity and geography. Targets were also used for residential status and grade level of child.  The low-income group (585 respondents) also had targets for each of the above variables. These targets were created to be specifically representative of families earning under $50K annually with a child in third to eighth grade.

Rationale
Iridescent, in partnership with the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), and NVIDIA Corporation, is encouraging families to learn about Artificial Intelligence technology through the Curiosity Machine AI Family Challenge.  Over the next two years, the Curiosity Machine AI Family Challenge will invite 3rd – 8th grade students and their families to explore core concepts of AI research, apply AI tools to solve problems in their communities and have an opportunity to enter their ideas into a global competition.