artificial intelligence

Can we say that machines really think? Or will they ever be able to? As scientists develop increasingly complex machines and software, they look carefully at issues of sensory information, decision-making, autonomy and collaboration. Studying artificial intelligence helps us to understand ourselves, and our own intelligences.

How to Use this Video

This video explores what artificial intelligence is and features people who work on different aspects of intelligence. How do we make machines that think like humans? How can we tell when we’ve accomplished this feat?

Find the video below, as well as some of the important science senses it features relating to separating signal from noise, doing statistical analysis, and applying scientific knowledge.

Have thoughts about the video? What resources or activities have you used to teach this topic in your class? We’d love to know – share your voice by sending us a message below 🙂


Science Senses Featured in this Video

Data sense

Separating signal from noise

Collecting data

Doing statistical analysis

Making measurements

Using proxies

Knowledge sense

Applying scientific knowledge

Activities & Lesson Plans

Intelligence discussion – have students work in groups to come up with qualities that are part of intelligence. Talk about how we measure these in humans. Discuss how we can tell if an AI agent has these traits. (KS – Applying scientific knowledge; DS – Making measurements, using proxies).

How big is big data? AI is often used to handle extremely large data sets. Students can estimate the size of all of this data using back of the envelope calculations. (NS – Making back of the envelope estimates).


OpenStax. 2014. Chapter 7: Thinking and Intelligence from OpenStax, Psychology. OpenStax. (Access the OER here.)

Pavlus. 2012. Machines of the Infinite. Scientific American. Sept.

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