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Ask an expert - JUI KHANKARI, NONPROFIT FOUNDER

 

Last updated 10/21/2020 at 3:01pm | View PDF

Jim Slonoff

Hinsdale Central junior Jui Khankari shares her interest and budding expertise in artificial intelligence through AInspire, the educational non-profit she founded earlier this year. (Jim Slonoff photo)

How can people learn more about artificial intelligence?

What does a high school student do when she can't find adequate resources to fuel her interest in artificial intelligence? She starts her own international educational nonprofit, of course.

After attending a summer camp at Stanford University as a high school freshman, Hinsdale Central junior Jui Khankari was left with a hunger to learn more about artificial intelligence and its potential, specifically in medicine.

"I didn't find very many resources dedicated to increasing the knowledge of a beginner in this field," Khankari said.

As a result, AInspire.org was born.

AInspire is a free resource for people of all ages to learn about artificial intelligence and its many applications. Since its launch in April, AInspire.org has been utilized by more than 330 people in 41 countries and 36 U.S. states.

With the help of AInspire's 11-member team of young women from all over the world, Khankari continues to develop new lessons and activities to further users' grasp of artificial intelligence and the technical, interpersonal and comprehension skills needed to pursue a career in the growing field. The team, which includes Hinsdale Central classmates, friends from the Stanford summer camp and other connections made since the launch of AInspire, meets remotely every Sunday. They're constantly researching and developing new workshops to keep AInspire users engaged and furthering their understanding of the field.

"It takes up a lot more of my time than I thought it would," Khankari said. But the experience of developing AInspire has had benefits she never imagined.

"It helped me make connections in different countries," she said.

Khankari, who also started an AI Club at Hinsdale Central a year ago, said she created AInspire's initial workshop by sharing what she had learned at Stanford with her then 9-year-old sister. The resulting slide presentation presented the basics of artificial intelligence in easily understood terms.

AInspire is geared toward middle and high school students, but Khankari said she believes everyone should have a basic understanding of the science that she predicts will be part of everyone's future.

"It's used in every industry," Khankari said. It's what companies like Uber use to map out the best routes for drivers and what Netflix uses to make recommendations for what customers should watch next.

That's why she's made AInspire free for everyone.

"We don't want there to be any barriers," Khankari said.

Eventually, she would like AInspire to partner with school districts to make artificial intelligence part of the elementary, middle and high school curriculums.

Khankari said she hopes to one day use science, and possibly artificial intelligence, to improve the experience of aging. After seeing her own great-grandmother's quality of life quickly deteriorate after a hip fracture, Khankari said she was left wondering how the most modern tools in science might help others as they grow older.

"Anything I could do to alleviate that would be great," she said.

- by Sandy Illian Bosch

 
 

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