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Hey, Alexa, What Should Students Learn About A.I.?


Rohit Prasad, a senior Amazon executive, had an urgent message for ninth and 10th graders at Dearborn STEM Academy, a public school in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood.He had come to the school on a recent morning to observe an Amazon-sponsored lesson in artificial intelligence that teaches students how to program simple tasks for Alexa, Amazon’s voice-activated virtual assistant. And he assured the Dearborn students there would soon be millions of new jobs in A.I.”We need to create the talent for the next generation,” Mr. Prasad, the head scientist for Alexa, told the class. “So we are educating about A.I. at the earliest, grass-roots level.”A few miles away, Sally Kornbluth, the president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was delivering a more sobering message about A.I. to students from local schools who had gathered at Boston’s Kennedy Library complex for a workshop on A.I. …

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