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What is the story of the artificial intelligence (AI) learning adventure called "Rio's Brain"?

What is intelligence?  What distinguishes computer thinking from human thinking?  Are computers intelligent in the same ways as humans?  Will a computer ever be smarter than a human?  These are just some of the questions—many relating to the limits and extremes of engineering and technology—that arise from the study of artificial intelligence (AI). 

In the AI unit, learners follow the story of Rio, a middle school-aged boy from the Talk to Me novel, who falls off a cliff while trying to save his dog on a camping trip.  He wakes up in a hospital to find his brain has been taken out of his head and that the researchers who took it out are planning to destroy it.  His best friend, Sadina—one of the novel’s main characters—needs learners' help to see if they can create an artificial brain for Rio to keep him alive.  Learners explore brain engineer Dr. Ecks’ mansion on a desperate quest to improve and share ideas about how to create this artificial brain.

From the Through My Window Video Library

Why is engineering education important?

Sarah Dunton, Director of Education at Girls Inc. of Holyoke, MA, believes engineering education is critical before children leave the engineering pipeline.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Nos. 1223868 and 1223460.  Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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