What’s In Your Web-based Computer Curriculum?

Capital One offers cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence training for Bot Camp students

Artificial Intelligence isn’t the exclusive purview of science fiction authors and advanced computer scientists anymore.

Through programs such as Capital One’s Basic TrAIning Bot Camp, youths learn to apply AI technology to fun simulations while getting a glimpse of real-world applications.

The financial company partnered with Major League Hacking (MLH) to create a free, cutting-edge curriculum so that students can learn the basic building blocks of the Python coding language.

Through the program, students create Markov Chain chatbots that simulate chatting with their favorite celebrities or other public figures. 

Vedant, a North Texas high school sophomore, found the program a fun learning opportunity that opened the door to possibilities. Capital One withholds the last names of students out of a concern for youth privacy and safety.

“I really enjoyed learning how programming languages like Python work. The videos were fun to follow and enabled me to pause and ensure I really understood the curriculum before moving on.”

Vedant

Bot Camp can now be completed virtually through a seven-video series. The videos are divided into three modules and designed to be a “workshop in a box.”

“Bot Camp is unleashing opportunities for students to not only learn basic technical skills but also problem-solving, creative thinking, and human-centered design skills, which will equip them well for future leadership roles and careers where bold ideas and innovations will ultimately succeed,” said Sanjiv Yajnik, president of financial services with Capital One. “I’m excited for this first-of-its-kind curriculum to reach even more students in DFW and around the world.”

In April 2019, Capital One launched Bot Camp, intending to reach 10,000 students over three years. 

Capital One smashed that goal — even setting a Guinness World Records title for the largest AI programming lesson in the process. To date, the program has reached nearly 80,000 students from around the world and is focused on reaching more educators who have the desire to incorporate AI into the classrooms but lack resources and funding. 

The curriculum has lasting effects. A survey of initial participants shows that 91% understood Python when they completed the program, and 91 percent are interested in learning more about AI.

“Creating a chatbot is just the start,” Vedant said. “I’m excited to explore more programs that can be created with Python and thankful to Capital One and Bot Camp for opening the door to understanding.” 


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