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Science education and Artificial Intelligence. A Chatbot on Magic and Quantum Computing as an educational tool

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Communication to EDEN 2020, 22-24 June 2020, Timisoara, online

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Science education and Artificial Intelligence. A Chatbot on Magic and Quantum Computing as an educational tool

  1. 1. Science education and Artificial Intelligence. A Chatbot on Magic and Quantum Computing as an educational tool Miquel Duran,1 Sílvia Simon,1 and Fernando Blasco2 1University of Girona, and 2Polytechnics Univ. Madrid @miquelduran @silviasimonr @fblascoxyz EDEN Meeting, 22-24/6/2020, Timisoara, online
  2. 2. Currently...  Machine learning, chatbots, learning personalization, and other artificial intelligence (AI)-related concepts have entered the realm of higher education.  The #covid19 pandemic has enhanced this process  More than ever educational systems must and can tackle learning experience improvement, and indeed introduction of AI-related techniques – and attitudes  Science Communication is also starting to evolve
  3. 3. On Magic and Science  Magic, the Science of Deception and Illusion, is very related to Psychology and Behavioural Sciences, and is actually a field of interest for consciousness studies  Artificial Intelligence may be a useful tool to build up new magic tricks  And the opposite too: magic may be used to create artificial intelligence agents
  4. 4. Our group's interests  This is a science group involving mathemanticians and theoretical chemists, e.g.  https://magsci.eu with main project "From the Magic of Science to the Science of Magic"  Some experience with online learning:  MOOC on Science Communication 2.0  MOOC (soon :-) ) on Magic and Science
  5. 5. The Magic of the Periodic Table Here we review the elements of periodic table of elements with simple but intriguing and seductive magic tricks, which they are completed with spectacular and quick chemistry experiments. Using the historical relationship between magic and science, we mix enjoyment with increasing the scientific culture of the viewer. We take advantage that the periodic table is an example place where natural numbers appear, so we can translate classical mathematical tricks to a chemistry framework.
  6. 6. Science and magic performances on a stage Currently we have stage performances for 'The Magic of the Periodic Table' and 'Science Based Magic'. They have been represented in different places, changing the contents and the show extension (usually 1 hour) depending on the people attending the show. They are magic shows with participation of people.
  7. 7. Scientific-magic itinerary We have developed a collection of tricks that can be adapted to common places in a city. The length is variable and allows to walk around the city, stop in certain places and make a science based magic trick related with the the things that can be observed in that area. Is a funny and different way for showing science in the city
  8. 8. Magic and Science, online with AI  A recent paper by Zaghi-Lara et al., a team of neuroscientists and a magician, showed how magic tricks, played to deep neural networks, untangles human deception  A few years ago, a leading Science of Magic research group (McOwan et al.) developed new magic tricks using AI techniques, thus creating new card magic apps for smartphones that are slightly different, more “intelligent”, that commonplace tricks performed by conjurors.  The same group published another paper involving intelligent search of the Internet to create new magic tricks.
  9. 9. Magic, Science and AI  A paper by Primlani has commented on blurring the line between human tasks and automation.  Another paper by Sharkey et al. deals with deception as an integral part of AI and robotics (on automata and their relationship with conjuring).  AI may be used to enhance the experience of magic, i.e., impossibility (Messina)
  10. 10. Magic, Science and Robots  One must not forget magic performed by robots (an updated version of automata playing magic tricks in the XIXth century) (see Rosenbluth)
  11. 11. Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Computing  State-of the-art Science and Technology: for instance, progress in Quantum Cryptography by European and Chinese teams  Satellite-based secure communication using two land telescopes.  Quantum Computers: great progress ahead!
  12. 12. Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Computing  Quantum Mechanics is based on a set of principles that are difficult to understand by the general population.  Several games based on mathematical tricks have been created to pinpoint the key aspects of Quantum Science.  Currently, their online versions are being created - that result into a scripted chatbot, later to become an intelligent one.
  13. 13. On Magic and (Higher) Education  Magic has been successfully used in Higher Education, especially to enhance experiments related to key areas of chemistry, but also in physics and biomedicine.  Not only does Magic provide the illusion of impossibility, but it does also enhance the reality of teaching and learning.
  14. 14. Science Communication and AI  Experience with workshops and shows at schools, universities, street level, and stage theaters has led to consider magic as a very relevant tool to cohesionate communities, especially suitable for underprivileged environments.  Moreover, the public is far more engaged with science if it is presented in an attractive way.
  15. 15. Science Communication and AI  Magic is also used in mentally handicapped people through a terapeutic activity. Moreover, magic is currently used with hospital patients along with other entertainer volunteers.  Finally, there is another social impact of magic: as a very relevant tool for communication skills and for personal development – namely that of shy/introspect individuals.
  16. 16. Science Communication and AI  A recent paper by Zandan has tackled the way people will communicate in the future, by considering “hybrid thinking” and an interplay beween human and cyber intelligence.  AI writing bots have been proposed to revolutionize science journalism, even substituting the very journalists, and AI may lead to bots writing real news stories about science discoveries.
  17. 17. Science Communication and AI  Actually, AI algorithms are already summarizing scientific research papers and automatically turning them into simple press releases and news stories. Indeed, one the main drawbacks (or adavantages) of AI is that it will have no emotional or heated responses.
  18. 18. Our idea  Mystery brings about a strong impact on participants, while causing them to know about awesome science and difficult concepts.  Indeed, secrecy provides a continued anchor with Science – and a extrapolation of the learning process.  Artificial Intelligence fosters interaction and impact with students and citizens.  Thus, a Chatbot is very convenient and justified - thus being developed to further enhance the user experience towards Science.
  19. 19. Chatbot  We are developing a chatbot on Magic and Science, especially suited to explain the delicate and intrincate basics of Quantum Computing  We are using the Telegram app, which allows easy integration with Google Scripts and all Google applications  Ease of use for desktop and mobile devices
  20. 20. Chatbot: @prmagsci at Telegram  Connect to Bot @PrMagSci using the telegram app  Several options: online magic games to learn  Complex Science Concepts like  Entropy  Aromaticity  Quantum Mechanics key concepts  Quantum Gates  Superposition Principle  Entanglement
  21. 21. Currently working on...  Automated Chatbot using Telegram  AI-enhanced chatbot using  IBM Watson technology  DialogFlow by Google  Others: Manybot  Utimate goal: deploying automated games with transparent interaction useable for entertaining and for teaching  Of course: increasing Public Awareness of Science
  22. 22. Post-#covid19 Pandemics...  The current pandemic means this initiative is quite timely  May be extented to hybrid environments, enhancing instructor-student communication  Fosters interest of students in complex Science areas, like Quantum Science – and in general Chemistry or Applied Mathematics
  23. 23. Take home message  Chatbots are useful to teach online  Magic and Science may be used for science communication  Experience very useful toward "new normality" in post-COVID-19 era  Contacts: miquel.duran@udg.edu silvia.simon@udg.edu fernando.blasco@upm.es  Twitter: @miquelduran @silviasimonr @fblascoxyz

Communication to EDEN 2020, 22-24 June 2020, Timisoara, online

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