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Edtech startup Mindjoy is offering artificial intelligence (AI) bootcamps during the school holidays to help 11- to 15-year-olds come to grips with the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and what it means for their future.

The holiday bootcamps are based on an existing hackathon series that has seen the company host coaching sessions at several innovative schools. Mindjoy’s holiday bootcamps are open to any kid with an internet connection.

Students are immersed in a world of code during the three-day event, planned for 12-14 July. This allows them to learn with some of the most advanced AI technology in the world – GPT-3 created by OpenAI. Students are given “kid-shaped” problems – such as doing their homework – to solve and a technology to use to build solutions to the problems.

Says Gabi Immelman, CEO and founder of Mindjoy: “We’ve had teachers remark how wonderful coding with Mindjoy is, not only because the learners get to experience co-creating with an AI, but because the challenges are open-ended. This allows the kids to explore, be curious and be creative, and also pushes them to think critically.”

At the end of the sessions, Mindjoy’s coaches facilitate discussions with the learners where they get to ask questions about the AI and share reflections. Immelman says many students mention the fear of jobs being lost to AI and say they are grateful to be learning more about it when they are so young so that “they are prepared for the future”.

“Many students begin to reflect and debate about the morality and ethics around AI and it prompts a really interesting conversation around how AI will shape our world in the future and who should be in charge of making decisions around AI,” Immelman says.

More information on joining the holiday boot camp is available from [email protected].