The conference room in NVIDIA’s Santa Clara headquarters was bubbling with conversation on a recent Saturday. As chatter flew, so did scraps of cardboard and tinfoil.

That’s because local families were hard at work building parallel processors, which have played a large role in fueling advances in artificial intelligence technology. Parallel processors allow computers to break apart a large program or dataset into multiple smaller pieces and work on each of those pieces at once, finishing the task much more quickly than tackling each piece one after another.

However, unlike NVIDIA’s signature high-tech GPUs (which can perform trillions of operations in parallel), these were made out of paper plates, wooden dowels, and a lot of masking tape. These inventors were launching the second season of the AI education challenge from Technovation Families.

Launching a second season of AI education programming around the world

With the help of Univision Bay Area and NVIDIA, we were delighted to kick off our second season with longtime supporters of Technovation, and especially happy to benefit from the expertise of NVIDIA employees who were on hand to mentor and guide kids and parents as they tackled two hands-on projects about artificial intelligence. Developed in partnership with NVIDIA in 2017, the challenge to Build a Parallel Processor and Build (and Play!) a Self-Driving Car Card Game are both part of the program’s curriculum.

“We are delighted to host families at UTEC, the Univision Technology Center, as they participate in Technovation Families to learn and build with AI,” said Leticia Mendoza, Community Empowerment Director at Univision Bay Area. “UTEC is committed to bringing opportunities that will empower our community, and we think the opportunity for families to pick and solve a problem of their choosing is very empowering. We can’t wait to hear from families directly about how they’re changing their communities.”

 

The Santa Clara event was the first of several launch events happening around the United States this summer and fall in partnership with local organizations and schools. Through winter, Technovation and NVIDIA will also team up with John W. Neal Middle School in North Carolina and Austin Achieve Public Schools in Texas to support local families as they explore, play, and build with AI. From the fundamentals of what AI is and how it works, families will progress to using AI tools themselves to solve problems in their local communities. We are holding launch events for both sites this fall.

“As AI becomes a bigger part of all of our lives, it’s important that everyone, regardless of age and access to technology, has the opportunity to learn about AI and the problems it can help us address. We’re excited to partner with Technovation to help inspire the next generation of innovators through AI education,” said Tonie Hansen, Senior Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at NVIDIA.

 

As families built, chatted, and laughed through the day at NVIDIA, we started to get a good feeling about Season 2 of the Technovation Families AI education program. In the first season of the program, 7,500 people from 13 countries participated, using AI to change their communities, and the world. This year, schools, libraries, and families everywhere can join them – and we hope you will too. Learn more and register as a family for Season 2 here, or get in touch to learn more about running a Technovation Families program in your community. We are also seeking professionals to volunteer as mentors for Technovation Families. Mentors share their expertise with families as they learn about – and build – AI for the first time. Learn more about mentoring, or get started today.