PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — With artificial intelligence, some see it as a threat and others see it as an opportunity. While its future may be unknown, one Palm Beach County high school is taking the lead in educating students how to use it.
Palm Beach Gardens Community High School has the first and only artificial intelligence class of its kind in the Palm Beach County School District.
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Teacher Anastassia Gritsenko led the charge to bring the course to the school. She said the curriculum was just approved for this school year, and she attended training with leaders from the University of Florida who developed the course.
"I'm like, oh my God, this is so cool. You have no idea how cool this curriculum was," Gritsenko said.
Students learn how to identify artificial intelligence around them, and more importantly, how to use it properly.
"Some people are scared of artificial intelligence, some people embrace but the thing is, it is just a tool," Gritsenko said. "It is like a hammer and we need to learn to use it and what to do with it. Artificial intelligence is already here, it is everywhere and we need to make sure kids know how to use it responsibly and if they decide to go into the field, they need to know how to create responsible artificial intelligence."
Student Dahysha Sainvilus said "it's really cool to experience classes like this. It's really interesting."
Palm Beach Gardens High School Principal Jay Blavatt said Gritsenko's passion matched the students' desire to learn more about this somewhat uncharted territory.
"What we're finding is we've got to find ways to keep students eager and interested and she saw it," Blavatt said. "We found something that students are interested in but I also really like as a principal that our teachers are feeling a layer of autonomy to come to us and say this is something that I'm passionate about and that's current and something we need."
Student Gabe Sanchez-Lopez said, "we learn about machine learning, we learn about anomaly detection, computer vision, there's a bunch of stuff."
He wants to be a software engineer someday and said this knowledge can help him in his future. "I feel really special being one of the few in this class," he said.
For Gritsenko, she said getting to explore new topics is what has kept her in the classroom for more than 15 years.
"This is what I like about teaching is," she said. "We have to grow up and educate ourselves all the time otherwise it is not interesting for them or for us," she said.
While it is only one course right now, the school is hoping to expand artificial intelligence to a series of courses.